As healthcare costs continue to soar, a digitized ecosystem is being seen by industry pioneers as a more cohesive way forward. Pharm Aid MD Sanjeev Nanda belongs to the same league.
According to him, people can be provided with a preventive and personalized approach to healthcare by incorporating technology, thus creating a system that aims at keeping people healthy instead of only treating them when they feel unwell.
The UAE has shown great promise concerning the advancement in healthcare services. According to Sanjeev Nanda, the boom in the sector is evident from the number of medical tourists the Emirates receives every year. However, within the UAE, the levels of lifestyle diseases continue to increase, placing an enormous burden on the healthcare infrastructure. This is what makes preventive healthcare through tech integration all the more important.
“Conventional management of chronic ailments consumes time, money, and resources. It also burdens the patient, who has to physically move between primary treatments, speciality procedures, and diagnostic centres.
Access to some of the world’s best healthcare facilities is great, but at the same time, it adds pressure to the system as more and more people flock to healthcare centres to treat lifestyle diseases,” said Nanda.
He also pointed out that, at times, people go on to avail of pricier and more advanced procedures even if they aren’t medically necessary.
For example, they are opting for an MRI where a simple X-Ray imaging could have sufficed. Such incidents only add to the problem. The solution? Disrupting the patient journey by offering preventive healthcare solutions through the amalgamation of tech and health.
“What we need today, and for the future, is a digitally driven healthcare ecosystem where the treatment is brought to the patient instead of the patient to the healthcare provider.
The pandemic situation accelerated this process by popularizing virtual consultations, online diagnostic service booking, test reports on emails, and so on. But all of this is just a small part of a very long journey,” said Sanjeev Nanda.
The UAE is home to the highest number of pharmacies per capita across the globe and one of the highest mobile phone saturation rates. By investing in the development of health-tech services, a large portion of the healthcare system can be digitized further, relieving the patients of cumbersome visits to health centres and diagnostic centres and empowering them.
Some regulatory changes on the part of the government can ease this process further. Support for integrated data sharing, health information exchange, and e-consultation apps can deliver patients a better coordinated digital healthcare ecosystem.
A future-proof healthcare delivery model considers not only the challenges in the present but also the obstacles that may arise in the future. Digitization of healthcare delivery can be of great benefit in that respect.