67 per cent Indians comfortable with telemedicine, says new survey

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 29 August 2019

“We hope that the insights from this report will assist key stakeholders in designing and implementing robust and sustainable health systems in the country,” said Sathe.

PUNE: Around 67 per cent Indians either feel comfortable or are neutral about seeking medical advice from their doctor through a health application on their phone, suggesting high willingness and openness to further adopt telehealth and unlock its benefits, revealed a study by Royal Philips. 

The recently released Future Health Index (FHI) 2019 report on ‘Transforming healthcare experiences: Exploring the impact of digital health technology on healthcare professionals and patients’ was conducted in 15 countries, including India. 

It also reflected that 49 per cent of Indians know nothing at all about the benefits of digital health technology or mobile health apps in health care. Providing education and information around the benefits of these technologies will be key in taking Indians along this technological health care journey. 

The study reveals that India is a forerunner in the adoption of digital health technology. 76 per cent of healthcare professionals in the country are already using digital health records (DHRs) in their practice. Interestingly, India also meets the 15-country average when it comes to the usage of Adaptive Intelligence (AI) within healthcare at 46 per cent. 

Speaking about the report, Rohit Sathe, President, Philips Healthcare, Indian subcontinent, said the report confirms that digital health technology is a pivotal pillar in delivering value-based care across the healthcare continuum in India.

Tools, including telehealth and adaptive intelligence (AI) solutions, can help lower the barriers between hospitals and patients.

“We hope that the insights from this report will assist key stakeholders in designing and implementing robust and sustainable health systems in the country,” said Sathe.  

He said the report reveals that India is on par with the 15-country average, particularly digital health record (DHR) adoption and use of AI technologies. The report highlights that 76 per cent of Indian healthcare professionals and healthcare professionals in the 15-country average are using digital health records (DHRs) in their hospital or practice. Around 80 per cent of healthcare professionals in India have shared patient information with other professionals inside their health facility.

The report adds that a majority of Indian healthcare professionals, who use DHRs in their practice, report that DHRs have a positive impact on quality of care (90 pc), healthcare professional satisfaction (89 pc), and patient outcomes (70 pc) compared to the 15-country average of 69 pc, 64 pc and 59 pc respectively. 

Around 64 pc of Indian healthcare professionals agree that patients having access to their health data has positively impacted their patients’ experience.

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