Prem Sharma, Founder and CEO of DayToDay Health, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Patient experience is crucial in defining 21st century healthcare: Prem Sharma, Founder and CEO of Day to HealthShahid Akhtar, Editor, ET talks to Healthworld Prem Sharma, The founder and CEO of DayToDay Health (DTDHI), to learn more about the growing importance of the patient experience that is set to define the 21st century healthcare.

India has launched the world’s largest vaccine drive for Kovid. What will digital health contribute to this large vaccine drive?
It is a fact that vaccine administration to 1.3 billion people in India is a huge task and technologies play an important role during the entire process. Digital support will be required for registration, vaccination center selection, slot booking, beneficiary profile, vaccination certification and e-health records. Through digital intervention, we will be able to manage adverse effects, response and complaint redress mechanisms. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be helpful in real-time data mining to assess the safety and efficacy of Kovid-19 vaccines and adverse patient monitoring.

Realizing the importance of digital interruption in the vaccination program, India developed an Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) in 2015. eVIN digitizes the vaccine shares and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. It supports better vaccine logistics management in cold chain points. Therefore, digital devices can support the Central Government’s Universal Immunization Program by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flow and storage temperature at all cold chain points in the states and union territories. For the Kovid vaccine, the center has launched CO-Win, another digital platform for the planning, implementation and monitoring of drives. The digital platform provides real-time information on vaccine stocks, storage temperatures, and individual tracing of beneficiaries. Digital health also supports providers to better manage post-vaccination events. Therefore, not only vaccination, but digital health will strengthen the entire continuum of care in the post-COVID period.

Global patient-consumerism and patient-centered approaches are increasing. Do you think the patient experience is important in defining 21st century healthcare?

The journey of healthcare is complex and full of challenges for every patient. I firmly believe that patient experience is important in defining 21st century healthcare. Outcomes, experiences, expectations and support are important components in context. All of these components of the patient experience need to operate at their highest level to be successful. However, a difference exists in this system. Digital health plays an important role in bridging the gap in these areas. To guarantee good patient outcomes, hospitals need to consider everything that can be done before the procedure, how the patient is cared for in the hospital, and what was done after that. Digital healthcare providers have taken up the task of providing support and care to patients throughout the process, which is available to the doctor to explain the patient’s care journey. A case in point is DTDHI which provides a care coaching team that explains everything in clear language to the patient, and the time it takes for the patient to fully understand their care plan.Healthcare is completely different from the hospitality sector. So, how does the patient experience affect the delivery system?
Hospital staff are largely focused on medically correcting everything, which may lead them to neglect their expressions and modalities. Some hospitals recognized the issue and, as a result, began hiring employees from the hospitality sector. He quickly found that this was not the right solution. The hospitality experience is very different from the healthcare experience. This difference stems from the basic structure of healthcare. Healthcare was not designed for overreaching. If a patient has two different problems, they are directed to go to two different locations and see two different doctors. Health-care here also assumes that patients are often extremely anxious after leaving the hospital, and they work almost exclusively with caring managers or coaches to reduce patient anxiety.

Walking through the patient’s post-op care instructions requires reducing anxiety in family members, teaching them how to monitor the patient, and so on. Digital healthcare providers can help care for patients and their families, even when there are no doctors around. Keeping a patient informed is not just about educating patients on what they should do; It is also about enabling them to go the extra mile with their healthcare so that they can get the best possible results. In some ways, an informed patient is better than a good doctor.

How do digital healthcare providers address the needs of acute patients?

For patients with more serious health problems such as cancer, many different care cases are ignored in the current health system – from socio-economic issues that may appear during the health care journey, to patients’ primary caregivers. For, to navigate the complexity of cancer. regimens, and so on. In addition, there are care transitions that are unaccounted for, such as care coordination, patient navigation, and return to normal life after recovery. Patients and their caregivers are currently overloaded with information, and have some very complex and technical understanding on their own. Health tech companies can help get help in all these areas, from initial preparation to aftercare and post-care rehabilitation. They create a customized communication plan for each patient that guides them through their needs and engages them and their caregivers every day, rather than just checking on symptoms during scheduled visits. They provide complete transparency to give patients on-demand access to their health plan as well as help them understand every stage of their care journey.

How appropriate is digital healthcare in times of epidemics?
Health care systems in India and around the world are in dire need of support for the management of asymptomatic and non-critical coronovirus patients. During the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare technology service providers created a virtual health system for patients. Remote healthcare is an ideal solution for approximately 80% of COVID-19 patients presenting with non-critical symptoms. It reduces stress on hospital facilities and risks for front-line doctors, nurses and health professionals.

What were the two main expectations from the Health Tech segment?
Digital health in the country is mainly operated by health-tech companies and startups. A right policy push with greater spending will pave the way for a new and stronger ecosystem. The health tech community was expecting a rational policy framework to develop a sustainable business model. If I have to mention only two wishes I would say that setting up an Innovation Fund for the segment and slab lowering on products, services and solutions would really be a big push to digital health. It is expected that the government will take such measures in the coming times.

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