Recently at 3rd Medtech Conference in Delhi, one of the key issues that was raised by practicing doctors was that current crop of doctors coming out of college don’t have much exposure to technology and how to use technology in practice. In fact CEO of Batra Hospital (Dr Sanjeev Bagai) even went to the extent and suggested to honorable health minister (Mr Diwedi) to incorporate a course in medical colleges through which doctors can at least learn something before they are out of college. It was also pointed out in the current curriculum doctors have 1 week of technical course in their entire 5.5 yrs of M.B.B.S and that too is optional. May be the example quoted was that of a particular medical college and mightn’t be true across the board but If that is the state of Medical colleges today, we can understand to what extent current generation of practicing doctors, who graduated some years ago, are familiar or comfortable with technology. This also makes me wonder as to how many doctors have email-ids and surf web or keep themselves abreast with the latest technological changes happening and changing the medical world.
Anyway there are a number of other issues and solutions that technology can bring into picture which is transparency, analytics of tonnes of data that gets generated, family genealogy and hence better understanding of current diseases and may be better medicines.
Along with above highlighted benefits a large part of India’s population is still under served. People don’t have access to any sort of medical facilities – technology can provide answer to such issues and help medical services reach under served and under privileged but at the same time Government has to ensure that certain critical requirements of Telemedicine are met so as to aid the delivery of health care services through internet and telephone. Proper medical and taxation laws need to be framed so as to give a thrust to this sector at the same time govt should also provide subsidy for import of equipment required for delivery of these services at a subsidized rate.
With transparency – Income tax and other medico legal cases are also bound to go up which in a way is good for the health of industry as it will bring in accountability of the acts of Service providers and give more power in hands of service seekers. Also transparency by publishing things (EMR) over the web will ensure that illegal activities of some service providers like female foeticide etc. come down.
Some of the things talked about in the paragraphs above like EMR are long term and India would take at least 10-15 years to make some progress but various models of Telemedicine will come in front of us in this duration. As necessity is the mother of all inventions so is Telemedicine an answer to some of the health problems of India. www.RxOcean.Com is an initiative in that direction.
About the Author: Author is co-founder of www.RxOcean.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having founded www.Rxocean.com in 2009 author dreams of setting up a virtual hospital and bring transparency and affordability of medical services across India and developing world.