Healthcare@home

 




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Medical revolution in India

Digital has the potential to bring about a medical revolution in India

 

Enough has been talked about how India is a country of diaspora. It’s emerging to be a global hub for advanced research across industries, home to some of the leading companies in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, connected solutions and medical services. We have increasingly seen an influx of medical tourist not only coming to India for comparatively lower costs of treatment but also feeling assured of benefiting from best in class treatment.

 

 

Yet we continue to be a country which fails to provide adequate medical treatment to a vast majority of its population.

 

  • We underestimate the paucity of medical services and adequate medical treatments when we say 70% of India’s rural population has limited medical access. Multi-specialty hospitals and specialist doctors are restricted to Metros and Tier 1 towns, with a handful of GPs/ retired doctors spread through rest of the cities.
  • Within cities public hospitals are overcrowded with limited beds catering to population flowing in from rural/ smaller towns to city dwellers- those who can afford the commute and to an extent cost of subsidized treatment
  • Private hospitals with limited capacities often have to turn away patients due to shortage of beds, or simply have long waiting even for critical interventions.

 

Yet there is hope. There is hope if we embrace new delivery models in medical care and embrace technology to lower cost of medical care and rapidly expand medical reach.

 

eICU: A platform to enable remote monitoring and care of critical patients miles away has been in existence for years; and is being used in US/ Australia and many more countries- in fact we have some over sees hospitals tapping into the skills of our intensivists based in India. A strong PPP model – which leverages this technology to reach out to thousands of government healthcare centers across the country can help quickly upgrade those centers- as first level critical care centers; providing needed life saving treatment.

 

Connected Devices and Monitoring Systems: These devices record patient vitals and relay them to a physician who can be based anywhere in the country- enabling e consulting. Patients don’t need to then travel or que up in larger cities, and more than 70% of the population then gets access to doctors across specialties in larger cities.

 

Portable devices: Globally patients are benefiting due to speed and lower costs brought in by portable devices- on spot laboratory tests, ultrasounds , X rays , and much more- costs and availability of these devices continues to be high or restricted with high duties and regulations.

 

Healthcare@home or simply medical treatment away from hospitals under set protocols and care plans would ease the load on doctors, hospitals and significantly reduces costs.

 

The above advancements reduce infrastructure and capital costs, and limit the need for physical proximity of a physician- at least for a vast majority of frequent ailments.

 

– “ Richa Singh” CEO, Philips Healthcare@home

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Innovation and Analytics

Philips is rapidly evolving fuelled by innovation and analytics

 

Innovation , change and evolution with time are just among the many things Philips has been consistent with over the decades . Starting its journey with a light bulb, and then having lead markets with its audio visual products while it internally reengineered it self to emerge as a health systems provider , Philips is now foraying into health services with its recent launch of Philips Healthcare@home; an internally funded start up that its attracting industry wide attention, not because of any funding arsenal but because of technology ,processes and medical innovation it brings with it or might quickly build to deliver cutting edge medical solutions for patients at home.

 

 

Like anything to do with Philips, it’s start up baby Philips Healthcare@home is all about quality and service superiority albeit at a cost ; though this time the onus of quality and service is not only with the front line medical team but is being shouldered equally by its seasoned IT, data analytics and operations teams . The venture is being supported by a team of seasoned healthcare -IT professionals working out of its Innovation campus in Bangalore; and a young team of data analysts working closely with IT, medical and operations team to ensure laser like focus on medical solutions and services being provided at homes.

 

While most players have entered the market with basic healthcare services at home, Philips Healthcare@home braved the way by entering the market with ICU@home, a critical care hospital like set up done at patient’s home and has helped several patients recover and stabilize since then. It wasn’t just access to high end devices and installation capabilities that made this possible . Success and increased incidence of patient recovery is being backed by years of research and development and quick customization of Philips’s patient monitoring systems which enable remote access and real time interventions by paramedics and doctors . Devices are running on a strong internally developed and customized platform that talk to each other on a real time basis. Through embedded clinical decision support this platform processes clinical data into actionable information for increased diagnostic confidence; and its data analytics interfaces support operations teams in seamless scheduling and delivery of devices, paramedics and patient care.

 

– “ Richa Singh” CEO, Philips Healthcare@home

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Healthcare at home

Healthcare at Home - Why should hospitals partner with Philips?

 

Home healthcare is a very new industry in India. Surprisingly so, considering the severe shortage of hospital beds that the Indian population faces. Our healthcare delivery system is broken. The number of hospital beds per thousand population is far away from the WHO guideline. The government hospitals have been ineffective in providing quality healthcare. The conditions in government hospitals, the long waiting periods, the average quality of care, etc. make the affording patients seek services elsewhere. A lot of the population's healthcare needs are catered to by a fast-growing private healthcare industry. This opportunity has garnered interest among a lot of corporate groups which have ventured into the healthcare business and set up state of the art hospitals across India.

 

 

There is a general feeling among people that the hospital business should be more focused on the patient and his care with the intention of providing care sustainably and making normal profits enabling the hospital to run successfully. But as with any business, the desire to break even faster is always there. The recent negative news around hospitals overcharging patients brought a lot of hospitals under the scanner. Under such circumstances, it would seem counter-intuitive that a hospital partner with a home healthcare provider to shift the patient from hospital to home. 

Even though it may not be obvious at first, partnering for home healthcare has a lot of benefits for a hospital. 

 

  1. With an ever-increasing need for quality healthcare, there is always a pressure on the number of beds in hospitals, with a lot of patients waiting for a bed to be vacated at the hospital. In such cases, patients who are in a condition to be shifted home with adequate home healthcare provided in through a specialized home healthcare company can be discharged and a more critical patient be given that bed.
  2. This becomes even more important in case of an ICU bed. After the initial few days in the ICU, patients requiring longer-term ICU care can be shifted to an iCU@Home, while a more critical patient is provided the same hospital ICU bed.
  3. There are a lot of medical procedures which can be easily and effectively completed at home. Going to the hospital for such procedures not only inconveniences the patient but also crowds the hospital straining its resources and shifting focus from the critical patients.
  4. Hospital-acquired infections is another serious problem that treating physicians want to avoid for their patients. Hence, the sooner they can shift a patient out of the hospital, the better it is from a infections threat perspective.

 

These examples show areas where a home healthcare company and a hospital can work together to complement their services towards the benefit of each with the patient at the centre. This is the future, clearly obvious in the more advanced healthcare markets, and taking shape as the home healthcare industry grows larger in India. Philips Healthcare@home has a large role to play in this in 2018. 

 

–  Asik Das, GM – Marketing, Philips Healthcare@home

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Disclaimer : The views and opinion expressed in these articles are solely personal views. These views should not be treated as a substitute for informed medical advice by a Medical practitioner. We strongly recommend to consult a Medical practitioner for all/ any medical assistance at all times.