How Is Digital Innovation Driving The Healthcare Space During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to disrupt businesses across the world. Being one of the most hustling sectors globally, healthcare has turned into the most reshaped ecosystem amid the crisis. In the initial phase of the pandemic, the healthcare ecosystem was afflicting several challenges in terms of delivery of services. However, technological innovation enforced the sector to adopt digital models, resulting in the holistic development of the industry. 

Reimagining the healthcare space through digital innovation creates an ecosystem for improved delivery of healthcare services. During COVID-19, the digital turn in the healthcare sector has always been customer-centric. It spans across patient and doctors’ communication, diagnosis, and treatment while complying to travel restrictions and social distancing norms. 

The Healthcare sector is emerging as one of the largest and most thriving sectors in India. To provide universal health coverage to the citizens, the newly launched ‘National Digital Health Mission’ by the Government of India is also set for the nationwide rollout. It aims at reforming the healthcare system by bringing more transparency, standardisation, and innovation. According to the estimates of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and FICCI, the economic value of the benefits covered under the mission are estimated at R.1.5 trillion over the next decade. 

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Enhanced Doctor-Patient Engagement

The healthcare sector is one of the earliest yet slow adopters of technology and digital innovation. However, with the pandemic induced lockdown and restrictions, the sector instantly turned into a connected community of patients and doctors. The acceptance of digital channels allows doctors to communicate with their patients more effectively or vice versa without having to see them personally. They have brought new ways of boosting engagement at both ends that help in delivering improved and informed healthcare outcomes. 

The widespread use of virtual tools by doctors is transforming the way they interact with their patients. From appointment scheduling to providing treatments, technology has evolved the ever-growing needs of the patients. Furthermore, the need for reducing physical touchpoints has empowered doctors and patients to be in a closed-looped communication. This results in effective patient care management that removed the barriers to delayed diagnosis, patient privacy, and doctor’s availability. 

Voice-Enabled Digital Prescriptions

Digital healthcare in today’s scenario is about ensuring accuracy and efficiency. The adoption of new-age technology in digital innovations have strengthened the healthcare sector. Several healthcare organisations and doctors are embracing the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in simplifying the lives of doctors, patients, and other stakeholders. The tools integrated with AI transform the healthcare delivery model by automating the everyday processes in the sector and providing improved patient outcomes. 

To redefine the doctor and patient interaction, Voice AI (Voice-driven Artificial Intelligence) works as a smart and technologically advanced solution in the industry. Its technological intelligence recognises and analyses medical jargon that results in improved patient care. The transformational tool also automates the process of writing prescriptions, ensuring speed and accuracy in the process. It works as a convenient solution, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when a patient receives a digital copy of the prescription that cannot be misplaced or misinterpret by the patient. Moreover, to reduce the physical touchpoints, the same prescription can be shared with the pharmacy as well as other doctors for a second opinion. 

One-Click Prescriptions

  • Doctor’s time is significant and should be prudently used mainly for patient care. 
  • Technology can aid the doctors in writing prescription faster using pattern recognition and artificial intelligence, doctors can create prescriptions faster than the old pen and paper way and can transmit the prescription to patient digitally on email/ WhatsApp.
  • Doctors can also use the electronic record of patient history to diagnose the patient better. 

Burgeoning Trend Of Telehealth

During the ongoing pandemic, telehealth has become one of the safest methods for patient care. Though it is not a new concept, the widespread deployment of digital technologies has made it remarkably important, especially in the era of social distancing. According to the reports, the global telehealth market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.2% from USD 61.40 billion in 2019 to USD 559.52 billion by 2027. 

Telehealth effectively bridges the gap between patients, doctors, and health systems that are used for treating patients virtually. In the context of COVID-19, telehealth has resulted in becoming the most powerful tool for patient care where doctors can communicate and treat the patients without having to visit the hospital. This results in reducing the spread of coronavirus infection to other people and medical staff present in the hospital. 

The COVID-19 has accelerated the acceptance of digital innovation in the healthcare space. By harnessing the power of digital tools, the sector can deliver highly-personalised patient and healthcare delivery services.

Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta is the co-founder of Navia Life Care where he leads the business team. He is passionate about building a quality solution for the healthcare industry. He likes to experiment with different business models to understand what works and what doesn’t work in the industry — to eventually evolve a business model that has high growth potential and is sustainable. Gaurav is an MBA from Indian School of Business, and an engineer from NSIT Delhi, he specialises in Strategy, Business Development and Marketing. Prior to Navia, Gaurav has successfully built two sustainable businesses, one being an enterprise solution for a large billion-dollar company and the other being a consumer product.

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