Digital approaches to address India's healthcare challenges: Fitch
Digital solutions will help in creating a comprehensive and integrated healthcare ecosystem across India and support the patients to get access to high-quality and cost-effective care, according to Fitch Solutions.ANI | Updated: 15-02-2021 11:10 IST | Created: 15-02-2021 10:54 IST
Digital solutions will help in creating a comprehensive and integrated healthcare ecosystem across India and support the patients to get access to high-quality and cost-effective care, according to Fitch Solutions. At present, the healthcare system performs poorly on multiple dimensions with the country ranking 145 among 195 countries on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index.
The healthcare infrastructure is crippled by several inadequacies including limited access, inadequate capacity, poor quality care and limited affordability for the less affluent population. As a result, most of India's citizens have to contend with poor health outcomes. The Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed these prevailing gaps. Increased investments are needed for both improved and increased physical infrastructure like hospitals and medical equipment, and more importantly in building medical staff capacity, including doctors, nurses and technicians.
Digital disruption will enable and empower care-givers in several ways, said Fitch. They will be fully informed about patients' needs and a well-coordinated care continuum will make the service patient-centric. Analytics on aggregated and anonymised data will allow population-wide co-relation between clinician advice and health outcomes. Over time, the aggregated data will also help in standardising clinical protocols and improving care quality.
Fitch said the Indian government has encouraged the expansion of telemedicine, primarily as a complementary strategy for strengthening existing healthcare systems coinciding with universal health coverage targets, and leveraging the growing reach of mobile and fixed broadband networks. Digital technology adoption is already gaining prominence in healthcare industry with efforts from both the public and private sectors.
With telecare providing better access to medical professionals, diagnosis rates and patient adherence to treatment regimes are expected to improve. The latter will become increasingly important as more patients are affected by multiple chronic conditions and require multiple pharmaceutical products. "We believe India's pharmaceutical market has the capacity for considerable future growth in the long term due to increasing government efforts to improve healthcare quality and infrastructure in the country," said Fitch.
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