Remote or virtual care emerges as a top priority
In the second wave of the pandemic, the reported number of Covid19 cases grew significantly in India, thereby increasing the burden on national healthcare system. Indian healthcare leaders’ top priorities reflect these challenges as 75% of them state that facilitating a shift to remote or virtual care is a top priority today. 26% of the healthcare leaders also highlight that technology infrastructure limitations such as slow internet and connectivity issues impede their ability to plan for the future, which might make shifting to remote or virtual care challenging.
Majority of healthcare leaders in India are also either currently pursuing a shift toward value-based care (20%) or are planning to do so in the future (73%), and in greater numbers than those across most of the other countries surveyed.
Three-step approach to digital transformation of healthcare
Indian healthcare leaders appear to be adopting a three-step approach to achieve digital transformation in healthcare. The pillars of this approach include investing in telehealth in the short term to ensure access to care, future investment in AI to drive operational efficiencies and partnerships with other hospitals or healthcare facilities to facilitate the use of these technologies.
79% of healthcare leaders in India say that telehealth is one of the digital health technologies they are most heavily investing in today. These rates exceed those in many other countries surveyed (64% 14-country average) as a part of the report.
94% of Indian healthcare leaders would most like their hospital or healthcare facility to invest in AI technologies in near future – making them among the most likely of those surveyed to plan future investment in this advanced technology (74% 14-country average). Indian healthcare leaders understand the benefits AI can offer healthcare and are planning to invest in the technology primarily to optimize operational efficiency, integrate diagnostics and predict patient outcomes.
To drive forward digital transformation, 41% of Indian healthcare leaders express a desire to collaborate with other hospitals and healthcare facilities from the private sector against the 14-country average of 29%.
Difficulties with data management (65%) and lack of interoperability across technological systems (55%) are seen as top barriers to the adoption of digital technologies. These challenges risk delaying the adoption of digital healthcare technologies that could alleviate pressure on healthcare professionals' workloads and improve access to care.
Push towards sustainability
The report also highlights that while implementing sustainability practices is not a current concern for many, it is set to become one of the top priorities for Indian healthcare leaders (78%) three years from now. Indian healthcare leaders are increasingly recognizing the role healthcare plays in improving environmental sustainability and are set to make implementing sustainable practices a top priority for the future.
Since 2016, Philips has conducted original research to help determine the readiness of countries to address global health challenges and build efficient and effective health systems. For details on the Future Health methodology and to access the Future Health Index 2021 report in its entirety, visit: https://www.philips.com/a-w/about/news/future-health-index.