The Future of Virtual Health

How do healthcare leaders see it? 

We all have seen virtual health gaining momentum in the last few years. During this time we’ve experienced it becoming a core component in helping consumers improve or maintain their well-being. However, it has also raised a number of concerns regarding Adaptability, Accessibility, Security and Sustainability. 

This article will give you a little sneak peek into healthcare leaders’ perspectives about virtual health and its future in India. 

Let’s dive right in! 

Did you know – In 2019, India’s telemedicine industry was around 829 million U.S. dollars. This market size is forecast to elevate significantly in the coming years, reaching approximately 5.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

The probable reason behind this expansion is empowered consumers, radically interoperable data, and scientific & technological advances. Which has given a chance to care professionals to connect with the consumers while:

  • Making the care accessible 
  • Reducing the cost of the care 
  • Speeding up the care process

However, the pre-existing Indian healthcare system needs a little something extra to thrive under these technological advancements. And here the assisted care module comes in! 

The maximum Indian population resides in rural areas that have a literacy rate of 68.91 and in order to enhance the accessibility of care virtually, they need assisted-telehealth modules. Or else, healthtech companies merely be introducing ‘smart applications’ with a limited consumer base. 

With virtual care modules, stakeholders are also looking forward to reducing medical costs while providing competent care in a more efficient way. 

But, can virtual care really save money? 

Yes! A telehealth consultation is typically less expensive than an in-person visit to a doctor’s office. Virtual consultation is witnessing action-packed years enabling care providers to connect with their patients anytime and from anywhere. 

Also, to this effect, In India – healthcare kiosks can ensure deeper penetration in remote areas while efficiently running healthcare campaigns. The most amazing aspect of such a module is the doctor’s convenience of consulting patients directly from his clinic. Such facilities can be efficiently managed by local/regional care practitioners on a daily basis under the supervision of a specialist. 

This way virtual health reduces multiple visits to the doctor’s clinic. Moreso, it also reduces the average wait time. 

Fun Fact: You know the prospects of cost reduction with virtual care looks so promising that even the tech giant Amazon jumped in the fray with Amazon Care. 

According to the renowned leaders of the industry, virtual health is a key component of our future of an ideal healthcare vision. The growing popularity of virtual care has created more entrepreneurial opportunities, but such systems have also seen healthtech platforms utilising patient data under the pretext of “Smart Applications”. The only way forward in virtual care is to understand the sensitivity of this aspect instead of selling the medical data to the highest bidder! 

Virtual health can allow high-quality access to care that can enhance provider-patient interactions, yet patient data safety has become one of the major concerns. Although putting an end to breaching is not humanly possible, integrated access-based control systems with secured data policy can maximize patient data security. 

Healthcare disparities and virtual care! 

The conventional Indian healthcare system is dealing with health disparities for a very long time. Virtual healthcare platforms can not only assist care professionals to address disparities in access to healthcare services but, also derive better health outcomes. 

According to National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, several remote locations in India have seen a decline in healthcare disparities, especially for poor and uninsured population areas. 

HArbor Says: The health care system we know today is progressing towards change embracing technology. However, technology can only be a medium for providing optimum care. Ideal virtual healthcare for the future must overcome the pre-existing challenges in the healthcare system while overcoming the limitations of its own. 

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