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April 23, 2010

3G technology will change the state of Indian healthcare

The introduction of 3G technology will change the face of healthcare delivery & the huge wave of 3G licenses and its impact on healthcare will be exponential.
3G technologyThe availability of 3G bandwidth will enable video broadcast & data-intensive services telemedicine through wireless communications which will help accessibility of medical care to patients in far flung areas, said Vishal Bali, CEO Fortis Hospital.

Despite Indian healthcare foray into telemedicine through the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), there 've been issues of bandwidth that 've affected transmission of data & images for consultation. Now with the 3G services, issues of bandwidth will no longer be hassle.

“The 3G will help combat slow transfer of big files. Its high-end applications will take healthcare industry to the next level. High-speed internet, conferencing, content download, data sharing & transfer: all of this and more can be facilitated on the 3G platform,” said Bali in his keynote address at the seminar on ‘Healthcare & Emerging Technologies’ organized by Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce.

Enabling 3G will help implement electronic healthcare records & hospital information systems at a faster pace. This technology is set to substantially change the face of healthcare delivery, he added.

Indian healthcare’s application of information technology is minuscule. The healthcare space has not embraced IT solutions to its fullest extent. In terms of IT application, we are only at the tip of the ice berg. With Indian healthcare sector gaining popularity for its clinical acumen, IT applications will be the backbone of patient experience in terms of clinical outcomes & over all efficiency of the hospital environment, said Bali.

According to him, IT plays a big role in ensuring that medical errors are preventable. It is also the core of minimal invasive surgeries. IT helps is improving the accessibility and affordability for patients. Hospitals are creating large networks & IT is indispensable facet for connectivity as these medical centres cannot work in isolation.

"Although India has a young population yet there is a huge pool of old/geriatric patients who need intensive care. Using IT solutions as an integral part of our future, we need to create connectivity to doctors for the aged patients to 've quick access. India is a hub for innovation at low price points. Medical tourism has attracted 6,000 patients of which 50 percent are from the western world. Patients are constantly looking for alternate sites to access treatment in any country. This is where online or internet power has helped hospital like Fortis to attract a huge foreign patient pool," said Bali.

There is also the focus on regenerative and personalized medicine where use of chips will drive the diagnostic markets. Here IT again is the centrestage of healthcare. Mobile telephony is the baseline for healthcare in the sub-African region where alerts for HIV/AIDS diagnostics and drug administration have led to fall in incidence. Indian healthcare should also look IT and related technology to move forward.

It is IT which has given place for India on the global map. Our software development capability has been recognized globally & now IT industry should look at the opportunities to increase the efficiency of Indian healthcare targeting hospitals of all sizes to provide innovative & affordable solutions for India from India, said Bali.

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