Digital India health Summit augurs tectonic shift in healthcare delivery
Digital PWD is coming to Cut Doctors to Size
New Delhi, August 7: Healthcare in India is in throes of a tectonic upheaval due to digital medium. The transformation that IT will unleash is going to completely change the rule of the game in the healthcare sector; it will not be in the hands of doctors; it will be in the hands of technology. Two day Digital India Health Summit HIMSS 15 – Asia Pacific underlined this much.
It was a veritable ‘dose’ to doctors from a distance by Rajendra Pratap Gupta, the chairman of the summit. The brief special address that he delivered in the summit was a bitter ‘capsule’ of sorts when he told point blank if doctors do not embrace technology, technology will not need them. The future of healthcare will be in the hands of technology, not in theirs.
Mr. Gupta, noted policy expert and a original thinker, kind of brandished a digital PWD (Power Wala Danda) on doctors, reminiscent of latest Akshya Kumar blockbuster ‘Gabbar is back’. IMA (Indian Medical Association), the largest trade union of allopathic doctors in India, is still nursing the wounds that this film delivered to them. If one paraphrases Mr. Gupta’s brief special speech, it amounted to saying without mincing words that armed with digital PWD; the patients no longer would brook their ‘goondagardi. Though in the context, he used the unsavory word goondagardi for cable operators but it flew automatically in the face of doctors as a community. He warned that doctors would stick to their imperious positions at their own peril.
The first two day digital India Summit, starting from August 5 in Leela Ambience in Gurgaon was inaugurated by Shripad Yasso Naik, Minister of State, Government of India, saying that the new health policy soon to be unveiled has included amply the role of digital technology in fulfilling the avowed aim of Universal health coverage. Mr. Naik added that IT is all set to change the face of Indian healthcare in times to come.
High profile leaders from industry and mandarins unveiled their roadmap for the role of IT in India’s future healthcare. The panel discussions focused on various ways IT would transform healthcare. The event saw participation of start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, angel investors, et al.
The various topics discussed at the event included ‘Future of Healthcare IT in India’; ‘Cloud & Big data’; ‘Universal Health Coverage’; ‘mHealth & Predictive Analytics in Healthcare’; ‘Rural Health’; ‘Smart Cities & HCIT’; ‘Chronic Disease Management’; ‘Clinicians and Small Hospitals’; ‘Medical Education, Skills Development & Training’; ‘Pharmaceuticals.
The notable presence in the galaxy of delegates were that of Phaneesh Murthy, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, PM Health & Life Care; Nikunja Dhal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW; Dr Neena Pahuja, Director General, ERNET, Ministry of Commerce & IT, Government of India; Dr KK Aggarwal, Secretary General, IMA; and Dr Sanjeev Kumar, Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Centre.