The missing step in a move to complete healthcare digitization - A market insight
3 min read

The missing step in a move to complete healthcare digitization - A market insight

The missing step in a move to complete healthcare digitization - A market insight

Here at Medblocks, we offer a wide variety of services, from an EHR platform to India's premier Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Gateway. Over the course of the past year we have serviced TPA's, healthcare consultancies, device vendors, and government organizations around the globe. The market here in India has evolved into complex market niches in a move towards complete digitization of healthcare, as was evident in the NHA Conclave (National Health Authority of India conclave was an event to discuss the directions and the achievements of the ABDM platform). This article represents the current state of Indian healthcare IT sector.

The Indian healthcare ecosystem as a whole is moving towards adopting clinical modelling and long-term health records. We have had a few requests from clients for a platform that can aid in manual digitization of written prescriptions, laboratory reports, and hospital documents (i.e., unstructured data). The surprise has been regarding the volume at which manual transcription and health coding are aimed.

Let's understand why this is:

  1. Skill gap
  2. The Inertia
  3. Lack of infrastructure

SKILL GAP

Most healthcare personnel in India and  South-East Asia are untrained in healthcare technologies, and most facilities do not implement them. This means there is a lack of exposure and training for professionals in the field.

The current medical curriculum does not have any training on healthcare data / healthcare IT / patient privacy / healthcare structured data. Computers and anything digital is completely kept out of curriculum completely - this results in healthcare providers that are not ready for a connected and digital world. Simple technologies aided benefits such as video consultations are not being provided by all doctors.

Hence, the need of the hour is to train our providers and educate them on the latest healthcare standards and how they can benefit patient outcomes.

THE INERTIA

The result of the skill gap is a huge group of practitioners who have no exposure to healthcare IT and its benefits. All the top-level decisions are made by them, and they see technology as an unnecessary cost that increases the work to be done. The ultimate effect of all of this is the slow evolution of the ecosystem as a whole. Despite this, we have enough reasons to believe that this is rapidly changing. A lot of healthcare centers are now increasingly going digital.

LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE

The current scenario of infra is that most of the healthcare data exists in a quasi-tech state, meaning information such as demographics, radiological imaging, laboratory results, and sometimes patient summaries are stored in digitized format, often as Word documents or PDFs, whereas other information that is inherently unstructured, such as patient histories, medication orders, and progress, is stored in a written format, often as paper files.

This lack of infrastructure means that  the providers have lesser exposure to the systems and feeds into the system of low adoption. The majority of active deployments in hospitals surveyed by Medblocks have been computer-only software used in specific use cases such as report writer for Colonoscopy usually supplied along with the medical equipment vendor.


THE SOLUTION

The market has converged on a solution for the above situation, MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION - this means that the handwritten unstructured data is structured and labelled by trained professionals. This solution is only temporary while the healthcare practitioners overall become skilled enough to use EHR's to the fullest potential.

Until then....


Medblocks digitization Platform: A unified platform for medical transcribers

Medblocks offers a turnkey digitization platform to convert all your PDFs/Images/DICOM compliant images into openEHR compliant format. Use the generated data to plugin to the whole Medblocks ecosystem of apps - EMR, EHR, ERP, Analytics and Clinical decision support. No more manual workflows using excel sheets or hiring health coders - Medblocks will handle and implement the end to end solution so you can focus on what you do best.

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