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THE PHARMA REVIEW (JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2017)

Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Healthcare Delivery in an Era of Digital Technology and Big Data

Vinuth Chikkamath & Anantha Naik Nagappa

Introduction: The advent of chronic diseases like Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Asthma and Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be managed by conventional general practitioner, primary healthcare center or consulting physician rooms. Many of the conditions require a constant monitoring with documentation to achieve the therapeutic goals1. The strategic interventions involve identifying the abnormal deviations and rectifying the anomalies to bring back the normal health by adherence to the therapy and visiting to the healthcare professionals with regular checkups. Due to large number of patients and scarcity of healthcare professionals, the quality of healthcare delivery is not proper and also inappropriate. Advent of Information technology (IT) Platforms have come as a savior for health care delivery. For example, Application of telemedicine in Healthcare with healthcare professionals and IT professionals jointly made it possible to provide healthcare services to patients who are remotely placed from the urban facility. Revolution in communication technologies added products and services like WebPages, interactive platforms, blogs, social media interface like whatsapp, facebook, LinkedIn…etc has a big impact on communication in the field of healthcare. The advents of android platforms for smart phones have provided a great stimulus to the revolution of digital healthcare. Now we have readymade focused applications which are assisting and motivating the patients to engage in the self management of health. They are popularly called as ‘Health Apps’ which are mostly available freely for downloading and using by the patients2. The health Apps are available in management of all sorts of disease and conditions. Conventionally, a Type 2 diabetes patient continues to suffer from burden of the disease, despite his/her prompt adherence to the advices and instructions by the physicians. Hence a patient becomes the victim of complications of Type 2 diabetes leading to Kidney failure, Heart attack etc. The conventional monitoring of the parameters of the disease is not only difficult but also expensive. The Apps can facilitate good communication, documentation of revival of condition which is essential for the disease management. The communication gap between the patients and provider seems to be overcome by Health Apps. The key factors contributing to inefficiency like shortage of physician’s, cost on travel and cost on communication were improved by Health Apps. 

 

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