The periodic eruption of infectious diseases threatens healthcare systems around the world and has become global concern and priority, irrespective of developed & developing countries.
COVID-19 since its slow pace eruption on New Year’s Eve has emerged as a potential medical, social & economic threat to not only its origin country but entire world communities.
SARS and MERS did warn us earlier about such epidemics & its serious impact on social & economic situations. Though the situation due to both outbreaks were managed & confined in time, its probable impact & multidimensional loss on communities has been ignored by the world. Over the period, the threat of spreading infectious disease from human to human increased multi fold due to travels across the globe for business, education, tourism & trade. Today, while you are reading this article, the entire globe is under tremendous stress, fear & on high alert struggling to protect & fight the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus.
COVID-19 has exposed & highlighted shortfalls of the most advanced healthcare systems & its limitation to handle such emergencies. Most of the countries may take longer periods to recover and overcome the impact of this pandemic. The current situation has clearly underlined the need to boost our healthcare systems, expedite research & development processes and re-engineer supply chain management of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Technology is going to play major role in redefining business strategies, opportunity assessments and risk mitigation.
Specifically, in Asia, which has 60% of the world’s current population and highest growth rate today, the cost of quality healthcare is rising. Emerging economies in Asia are struggling to expand their healthcare workforce. Currently, there are on average three nurses & one doctor per 1,000 people. Drastic measures need to be initiated & implemented to boost healthcare system. These also need strong support & encouragement from respective government policies & supplementary trade policies.
Healthcare system should optimize existing resources & manpower, which develops immense opportunities for data integration and digitalization to deliver value-based services. This is an immediate opportunity. Optimization will be KPI oriented, like saving the quality time of nurses through hospital asset management, improving bed turnover time by implementing e-records, enabling doctors to take timely & appropriate decisions with diagnostic support modules driven by Artificial Intelligence. Implementing Hospital Information Management systems will also improve patient flow management from web-based appointment modules till discharge of inward patient. Adopting cloud computing solutions can make healthcare facilities more efficient & cost effective.
Create decentralized healthcare infrastructure. From traditional model of patient goes to care to community care-based model of care goes to patient. This model has scalability & brings quality healthcare to the masses. In highly populated Asian regions, decentralized healthcare services will bring healthcare to the people. Tier 3 cities will have no alternative than visiting physician with questionable expertise. Telemedicine or video consultation reach is required to expand. Currently, many patients are appreciating e-clinics experiences. Going forward this trend will be present both for near & long term opportunities.
The new decade is poised to disrupt the healthcare sector. Players & stakeholders of the healthcare system must understand these trends of the rapidly developing situation and should gear up to deliver exceptional care to millions. This brings potential opportunities to technology players & experts in this domain to serve mankind and align their strategies for business continuity.
Diseases have no boundaries in the present era of global mobility; therefore, the healthcare community must come together to combat such pandemics & world citizens should extend their cooperation to win this battle.