5 home-grown healthcare technologies enabling doctors to treat patients better

M3 India Newsdesk Feb 11, 2020

The growing ecosystem of health-tech startups is expected to make a doctor's job and hospital operations smoother and quicker. In this article, we go over some of the technological innovations that are positively impacting healthcare in India.

Going digital the big way

Narayana Health, a chain of 21 medical centres in India, has taken to the digital world in a big way. They have developed an app, Kaizala, in partnership with Microsoft. About five years ago, they assembled a team of about 150 software engineers in Bengaluru to build an EMR and a hospital-management system.

“While I am sitting with you here, I can do the rounds in my ICU on Kaizala. It’s like a WhatsApp group. When you see a name in red, it means that the patient is in the ICU,” Dr. Devi Shetty, the chairman of the group, mentioned in a recent, detailed interview.

Dr. Shetty also said that if patient details are not digitised, they have to be fed into the system manually and this leaves scope for errors. Data analytics can be used to improve healthcare only if more and more hospitals bring their patient records online.

He said in the interview that data is used not only for treatment, monitoring and management of hospital operations but also to predict diseases. Using their data on heart surgeries, he claimed they can predict what the chances are that a patient who has had a surgery might face problems in the future too.

5C Network (Radiology)

The teleradiology network takes digital copies of radiology scans, uploads them to the cloud storage, AI performs data extraction, analysis by an expert among the network of radiologists, and curates the information. The system's auto-generated reports are faster, more accurate and consistent than the traditional ways of analysing a scan.

Niramai (breast cancer)

It uses an AI-based solution that interprets thermal images and generates breast health reports automatically. Its product Thermalytix is a radiation-free, non-contact, non-invasive, portable device, which ascertains the temperature of the chest and generates a report within 15 minutes. Niramai can prove to be particularly useful during large screening programs conducted in rural areas. 

Predible (lung, liver, radiology)

Developed in partnership with Radiologists and Oncologists, Predible has AI-based application for diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory conditions from computed tomography imaging. Its 3D interactive tools, like virtual resection, provide precise volumetry reports, reducing the effort that goes into surgery. The software also helps doctors make better treatment decisions with quantitative tracking of health parameters.

HealthPlix (digitisation of records) 

An Electronic Medical Records platform, HealthPlix helps doctors and hospitals/clinics by shifting manual tasks online, making them quicker and easier. It claims doctors can write prescriptions on it in 30 seconds. The app supports 22 Indian languages and so far, 60% of its prescriptions are issued in regional languages. Moreover, the software brings the entire workflow online, from prescriptions to lab reports to billing.

Immense scope & immense responsibility

Healthcare technology in India can be broadly divided into two categories- one that directly helps doctors in disease manaement and treatment and the other which lends support services to hospitals and doctors. Ideas and solutions are mushrooming under both categories, as technological advancements in the healthcare sector are aiming to ease the entire process of disease management- disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The sector is also attracting massive investment and is set to grow from strength to strength. However, the rapid growth also signals the need for specific regulations to govern online health-tech practices, as well as security and privacy in this space.


Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.

The author, Kapil Kajal is a Mumbai-based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.

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