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Healthcare workers need a better lifeline with technology – ET HealthWorld



by Sameer Raje The United Nations World Population Prospects-2022 has indicated that by 2030, the number of elderly people in India will nearly double to 192 million. As we mark World Health Day this April, it is both an opportunity to reflect on key public health successes and to begin tackling tomorrow’s health challenges. For India, the next big dilemma is clear: its rapidly aging population.

Coping with this will mean an increase in the demand for labor in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and active aging community centers, among others. While the 2023-24 Union budget shows the government’s focus on transforming the healthcare sector by first ensuring there are enough frontline medical professionals in hospitals, the pressure on healthcare workers will continue to mount as the demand for your services far exceeds the supply.


Taking lessons learned from past crises could be the answer. We know virtual consultations it had been a shot to the arm when the pandemic hit. Telehealth became a key element of the Indian healthcare system at that time.

Technology in healthcare can no longer be seen as a stopgap measure when needs arise, but as a way to future-proof against the challenges ahead. As such, addressing the unprecedented increase in the nation’s aging population requires a two-pronged approach, beginning with optimizing the existing healthcare workforce. With the union ministry of health telemedicine platform eSanjeevani recording over Rs 10 crore in teleconsultations by February 2023, continuing to increase the use of teleconsultation is a step in the right direction, beyond saving time and costs to patients. virtual consultations make care delivery more productive for providers. Doctors can not only see more patients, but also prioritize in-person visits for those who require more critical care.

  Advancement of technology to tackle clinical limitations in healthcare, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Patient care is at the heart of the health care business, but it is only one part of the equation. Digitizing essential administrative functions, such as patient data collection and archiving, billing, provider meetings, and employee relations, can make these tasks easier and less time consuming. This helps healthcare providers be more efficient overall and save costs.
This also means healthcare workers can focus on what matters most: improving care outcomes throughout the patient journey.

As India’s population ages, health institutions need to be more forward-thinking. This includes investing in technology to reduce reliance on human labor. Simple tasks such as non-intrusive measurement of vital signs, medication delivery, and even follow-up consultations can be automated using telerobotics, supervised by human professionals. Enabled for artificial intelligence characteristics such as automatic transcription and translation on teleconsultation platforms, ease concerns about hiring dialect-speaking staff, which are already in short supply. Meanwhile, virtual receptionists can greet patients in the lobby and direct them to the appropriate appointment rooms.

This could be a game changer for these frontline workers, who can now enjoy the flexibility of managing some of their tasks remotely. Plus, they can spend their limited work hours on higher-value functions, such as those that require a personalized touch or are best delivered through a face-to-face touchpoint. These may include discharge planning, care coordination, nutrition, and disease prevention efforts, which may be more effective with personalization.

As healthcare institutions in India continue to decentralize, automation is key to ensuring the workforce keeps up. Technology can do more to support this essential group of workers, already facing widespread burnout amid the protracted pandemic. Flexibility will become central to this vision, helping healthcare institutions meet patients where they are and collaborate anywhere.

  Understanding the regulations and risks of AI - ET HealthWorld

Consider this: an accident involving an elderly person occurs near a doctor who works at a community clinic. The doctor puts on a pair of hands-free smart glasses to examine the patient, who may have underlying conditions due to his age. The patient does not need to travel to other healthcare facilities, which will delay critical treatment. Instead, the data is seamlessly transmitted in real time to the nearest hospital via high-quality video on your glasses, where a team of experts can meet virtually to provide the information necessary for the physician to manage immediate care.

India’s aging population could be the next hurdle for the country’s healthcare system, but it won’t be the last. Instead of replacing the need for health workers, technology must serve as a catalyst from which to build a sustainable system.

Ultimately this means enabling healthcare professionals to be more efficient, effective and in a way that helps them do their best work, scaling towards the goal of continuously improving care outcomes for patients in India.

Sameer RajeGeneral Manager and Chief, Indian Region and SAARC, Zoom Video CommunicationsINC.

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by ETHealthworld. ETHealthworld.com shall not be liable for any damage caused to any person or organization directly or indirectly.)


  • Updated On May 19, 2023 at 07:45 AM IST
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  • Posted on May 19, 2023 at 06:32am IST
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  • 4 min read
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