The global Covid-19 outbreak has brought to the fore several challenges faced by the healthcare sector – legacy infrastructure, lack of preparedness, accessibility, inadequate medical care, paucity of trained healthcare professionals, and affordability for underprivileged population. With increasing usage of modern and digital technologies, the focus is now shifting towards building a more resilient healthcare ecosystem across the country, allowing patients to obtain high-quality and cost-effective care. Healthcare in India today is undergoing a digital revolution. Leading this revolution are several health-tech companies that are laser-focused on helping healthcare providers – hospitals, diagnostic clinics, pathology labs etc – improve their operations and enhance the quality of care delivery, while driving costs down – all while delivering a superior, friction-less experience to patients.
In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Shabeer Mohamed, Senior Director, Oracle Digital, explains how the global pandemic has opened up new opportunities in healthcare tech in India, tech innovations in healthcare and how Oracle Cloud is supporting health-tech innovators. Excerpts.
In what ways do you see the global pandemic opening up new opportunities in healthcare tech? What’s driving the growth of this sector, especially in India?
A key challenge in India continues to be the concentration of quality healthcare facilities in the urban areas.Owing to this, millions of people who live in rural India still lack access to quality healthcare infrastructure.To narrow this healthcare divide, health-tech is going to play a major role, paving the way for more inclusive, accessible and affordable quality healthcare to become a reality even in the remotest of areas. And there are a number of innovative health-tech companies that are tackling this challenge head-on. Amidst unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, quite a few health-tech organizations were agile enough to identify opportunities for innovation by harnessing cloud. Many health-tech companies are developing solutions to treat patients better and help drive greater access to quality healthcare across India. For instance, Tele-health has seen much greater adoption in the last 12-18 months, as contactless care delivery emerged as the new norm for non-critical care.
What is the importance of cloud in aiding health-tech innovation at scale?
I believe cloud is central to realizing an equitable, accessible, state-of-the-art healthcare system. From helping modernize, digitalize and scale public health systems; to helping healthcare providers improve treatment; to even helping health insurance providers simplify members’ experience, increase transparency and business efficiency, while speeding up processes. And last but not the least, cloud is helping drive healthcare innovation at scale, at pace.
How is Oracle Cloud supporting health-tech innovators?
We are seeing many health-tech companies turning to our secure, next-generation cloud infrastructure for faster innovation and growth. Effective healthcare outcomes are easier to obtain when providers are able to collaborate and gain insights across systems, data, and application siloes. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is built to run every healthcare workload, from legacy application systems to data-science driven and modern machine-learning enabled services, to deliver more informed care choices, predict patient risk factors, and deliver a better, patient-focused healthcare experience. Further, as a HITRUST- and HIPAA-certified cloud, OCI is committed to the highest levels of security and privacy, offering services that can simplify compliance efforts of our healthcare customers.
Can you give a few recent examples of Oracle’s association with health-tech companies, and how the latter have benefited?
Aindra Systems, a neo-digital health-tech start-up,is focused on making early detection of cervical cancer (which accounts for almost 20% of all cancers in women) possible, at a low cost, with the help of AI and cloud solutions.Part of the Oracle for Startups program, they are using OCI for better, faster and deeper analytics leading to quicker diagnosis. They have also witnessed a 2X improvement in their network model training time.
Another customer transforming healthcare is BioCliq. Their medical image analytics platform: Radwiz, enables collaboration among clinicians, patients, pharmacists, and OEMs. This platform provides image administrators with smart imaging workflows, including smart reporting built using advanced AI, which helps them support their patients better and faster.
Medexpert is another good example. They assist healthcare delivery organizations -covering super speciality hospitals to neighbourhood clinics-with business modernizationvia digitalization, freeing healthcare providers from ‘IT management’ and instead devote most of their focus and time towards their core healthcare business. Given their business model, their platform needs to be available 24*7 for hospitals, which is the reason behind them needing a reliable cloud partner.Also, by partnering with Oracle, Medexpert is able to acquire more trust and thereforeexpand business.
Soham ERP is yet another niche pharma-tech company; they help pharma companies improve operational efficiencies and deliver products faster to the market. Using OCI, Soham witnessed 30% improvement in application performance and reduced costs by 40%.
How can tech such as AI, robotics, blockchain and cloud be game changers for healthcare providers?
All these technologies help healthcare providers use data to deliver patient-centered care to create better patient experiences, reduce per capita cost, increase clinician satisfaction, and improve population heath. When used in the right combination, these technologies can help healthcare providers plan and operate their business better, and more easily meet healthcare compliance requirements with a single view of inter-departmental data.