New Delhi (15/06/2022): Dr. Yojna Sah Jain, an entrepreneur, writer, public speaker, and renowned poetess, raises an important and thought-provoking question in her Ted Talk at a Tedx event – What is the most substantial change anticipated in the country’s healthcare system over the next decade? According to Dr. Jain, the digital healthcare revolution, i.e., the digital and distant care in the future of healthcare is an anticipated substantial change. In her talk, Dr. Jain uses her personal life experiences and knowledge from her training and experience in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare domain in India and Germany to talk about the importance of digitalizing the healthcare system.
Digital Healthcare refers to the use of information and technology in support of health and health-related fields. Dr. Jain emphasizes making digital healthcare beneficial not just for the privileged and wealthy but also for the underprivileged, underserved, marginalized, and remote populations. Dr. Jain uses the parameters of telemedicine, electronic health record system, e-commerce, wearables technology, and mobile health technology to discuss and explain the areas of Health Equity, E-Patient, and Entrepreneurship in the field of digital healthcare.
Dr. Jain states that the hardships and havoc created by the Covid – 19 Pandemic pushed the civilization to adopt digital technology, especially digital health. She explains that with the development of telemedicine, i.e., remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by the means of telecommunication technology, healthcare professionals could deliver medical aid to people even in the remotest areas of the country while maintaining the healthy social distance between the patients and the providers. This is a small step towards a larger goal of making healthcare available from one consultation center to a larger geographical area. This development is time-saving and money-saving for people seeking simple medical aids such as medical consultation, follow-up check-ups, etc. Dr. Jain emphasizes that the goal of this development is not to create technology and applications that would replace the vision of developing primary healthcare systems in villages but to provide high-quality healthcare to villagers right at their doorsteps. Private sectors, governments, and global health organizations are working on strategies, guidelines, execution, and implementation of digital health programs across the globe.
Further, Dr. Jain talks about e-patients in the field of digital healthcare. E-Patient refers to electronic/empowered patients. She explains how with the availability of smartphones and the internet right at one’s fingertips, today’s patients read, search, and share medical and health information with family, friends, and doctors. These patients ask questions and take control and charge of their health. While the growth of e-patients does not mean that self-diagnosis or self-medication from information available on the internet or online support groups becomes a replacement for professional medical consultation, Dr. Jain states that this development is the need of the hour due to the increase in the prevalence of chronic and non-communicable diseases and the global impact of viral and infectious diseases. E-patients provide tools that empower our population and spreads awareness, especially in resource-constrained settings. These tools help the patients be more informed and become medication compliant, enabling them to make the right lifestyle choices, among other benefits.
Dr. Jain further talks about the area of entrepreneurship in the field of digital healthcare. She talks about the motivating report from Statista Research Development which states that the global digital health market was estimated at 175 billion $ in 2019 and is expected to reach nearly 600 billion $ with an expected CAGR of 25% by 2025. She firmly believes that technology can help reduce global health inequities and make quality healthcare available to even the remotest and most marginalized areas of the world. Dr. Jain appeals to healthcare professionals and women thinkers and entrepreneurs to join the digital healthcare revolution as she believes that the domain needs voices driven by the vision to make a difference in society.
The main aim of Dr. Jain’s vision is to build simple and effective solutions for not just business profits but to improve the quality of healthcare and make it affordable, accessible, and available to the most disadvantaged and underserved populations living in the remotest regions of the world. She concludes her talk by stating that the massive tectonic shift taking place in healthcare towards adopting the far-reaching benefits of digital healthcare will be worthwhile only if these advancements and benefits provide the last mile of healthcare to the underprivileged, underserved, marginalized, and remote populations.
Written By Megha Singh