A robust digital healthcare ecosystem can help to address the challenges faced in implementation of healthcare schemes in India. Examine.

Healthcare schemes in India include insurance schemes like PM Jan Arogya Yojana and states’ own treatment schemes.

Challenges in Implementation:

  • Fiscal – Public spending on health is not adequate. The spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is very less, despite the huge population.
  • Manpower – India lacks an adequate number of trained doctors, and this problem is even more acute in rural areas.
  • Infrastructure – government hospitals and primary health care centres are facing infrastructure gaps.
  • Accountability – private hospitals oppose accountability as they opposed implementation of the clinical establishment act.
  • Service delivery – sometimes, insurance providers or negligent in releasing assured sums to beneficiaries.
  • Patient burden is greater for government hospitals, and managing patient flow is tough.
  • Quality of drugs procured under government schemes is sometimes substandard.

Importance of Digital Health Ecosystem:

  • Electronic health records can be created to reduce the need for unnecessary tests every time patients consult different doctors.
  • Mobile health applications can be used to promote preventive healthcare that reduces disease burden, e.g. by emphasizing hygiene.
  • Tele-medicine may be used to provide healthcare services in remote areas.
  • Combination of digital health technology with internet of things enables tele-robotic surgeries to be undertaken.
  • E-pharmacies will receive a boost and drug access in the rural areas can improve.
  • Hospitals can adopt enterprise resource planning systems to optimize patient flow.
  • Doctors can use artificial intelligence systems to easily find treatment plants for diseases like cancer.

Way forward:

Improving network connectivity in rural areas and introducing safeguards to protect patient privacy is needed.

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