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Adoption of Health IT Technologies in Rural Healthcare

Debanjan Purkayastha Sep 11, 2012

Mobile Health health device integration Healthcare rural healthcare programs healthcare applications Technology remote health monitoring

I have been interacting a lot with Healthcare IT Decision Makers and CIOs, following many news article in Healthcare segment and so I thought of sharing some of my experiences and findings in Rural Healthcare segment.

When the world around us is growing at a rapid pace, the challenge in such scenario is to bring the need of providing quality healthcare at subsidized price to all, irrespective of the fact you stay in downtown or countryside. Imagine a scenario, where your next door neighbor going to better places far off in some other states or countries in search of better healthcare, which actually increases the expenditure on travel, accommodation and of course healthcare which is provided. Everyone is not so fortunate to travel to better places for better healthcare.

As per the report in UN, On India -

“About 75% of health infrastructure, medical man power and other health resources are concentrated in urban areas where 27% of the population live.”

India is growing at a fast pace, however the need to provide affordable Healthcare in India and in growing countries like India is coming up rather slowly. However the innovation with technology that has started happening around us is amazing and certainly promises a great future ahead!

There are companies like Neurosynaptic, based in Bangalore, India working for the Rural segment and has shown the world how quickly innovation can bring change in the system. Similarly, companies like Verizon announcing their plans to take Hughes’ telematics technology to grow its capabilities in mobile health make a promising future for Rural Health Segment.

We in e-Zest are also fortunate to work a lot in this niche segment where concepts like Mobile Health in remote environment clubbed on cloud infrastructure are acting as a driving force. These days there are so many sensors that have come up with Bluetooth technology and pair well with iOS or Android based devices.

These devices which run these applications can quickly collect patient vital signs and send it to remote central servers for quick processing, which are then accessed by Doctors. Also, Quality Control measures focusing on data accuracy in such scenarios play a vital role along with backend decision making support for doctors in such scenarios. A quick turnaround to serve such patient requests will be vital.

To conclude, this segment has got immense potential to mature under Rural Healthcare Programs like National Rural Health Mission in India. Imagine a future with a National Rural Health Delivery Network that can bring potentially chain of different private and government hospitals tied together to deliver cost effective rural healthcare to remote locations.

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