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OpinionsEnsuring Patient-Centric healthcare with high-tech is imperative

Ensuring Patient-Centric healthcare with high-tech is imperative


India may witness big technological advancement in treatment in 2024

By Arun Kumar Shrivastav

India, on its ambitious journey to achieve a Rs 5 trillion-dollar by 2024-25, places healthcare at the forefront of growth. As the country undergoes rapid transformations, 2024 is poised to witness groundbreaking developments in preventive care, wearable technologies, and the integration of IoT, ML, and AI in healthcare.

Despite these positive shifts, persistent challenges in hospital bed shortages, quality control in medical colleges, and expanding health insurance penetration demand focused attention for the healthcare sector to fulfill its potential in contributing to India's economic milestone. For example, according to a recent study conducted by Knight Frank, India needs an extra 2.4 million hospital beds to meet the suggested ratio of 3 beds per 1,000 individuals.

Meanwhile, known for its spa resorts and golf courses, the desert city of Scottsdale in Arizona east of state capital Phoenix hosted the 2024 Health Leadership Conference, organized by The National Health Council (NHC). Titled “The Urgency of Now: Think Patient,” the conference has brought together CEOs, senior executives, and Board leaders from the nation's top Patient Organizations and Partners of Patient Organizations, aiming to facilitate discussions and evaluations of emerging issues in health care policy.

Jeff Todd, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness and Chair of the National Health Council Board of Directors, underscored the NHC's mission to forge consensus and drive patient-centred health policy. He highlighted collaborative efforts to shape the next generation of patient-centred care, focusing on crucial topics such as artificial intelligence and navigating the evolving landscape of health care.

One of the speakers at the event was Sunita Mishra, Chief Medical Officer, Amazon Health Services. The business model of Amazon is characterized by a relentless focus on the quality of customer experience. As the company turns its attention to the health care market, that focus translates to new and different ways of addressing the needs of patients. Dr. Mishra will explore the company's vision for its place in the health care market – as a leader and a collaborator,” a pre-event press note says in its introduction of Dr Mishra.

If you remember, Amazon, in an important announcement in early November 2023, revealed plans to offer a low-cost annual membership to One Medical, a primary-care business it acquired for $3.9 billion earlier the same year. Amazon Prime subscribers were invited to become One Medical members for $9 a month or $99 a year, a substantial reduction from the typical $199 annual membership fee.

Neil Lindsay, the company's Senior Vice President of Health Services, stated, “What we're doing is applying our skill sets, our fundamentals, in a different industry,” emphasizing Amazon's commitment to creating diverse paths for customers to access primary care.

This move represents Amazon's ongoing effort to disrupt the healthcare industry, including primary care, pharmacy services, and medical drone deliveries. Despite past unsuccessful attempts to crack the market, Amazon's executives, including CEO Andy Jassy, have identified healthcare as a potential pillar for the company's future.

While Amazon's ultimate ambition in the healthcare sector remains uncertain, the One Medical membership provides patients with access to virtual-care services included in the annual fee, as well as in-person visits at clinics across the U.S. requiring additional payments. The membership could potentially lay the foundation for an extensive healthcare offering that competes with traditional primary care and employee medical plans.

The lower membership fee for Prime members, combined with Amazon's previous efforts like offering unlimited access to commonly prescribed generic medications, signals the company's strategy to leverage its vast Prime subscriber base in scaling up its health ambitions.

In an era where medical permeates various aspects of patient care, from the convenience of online scheduling and the efficiency of electronic health records to the integration of health tracker apps, wearables, surgical robots, and AI diagnostics, its impact is indisputable. A session by Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator, tried to is to understand how the incorporation of patient viewpoints can be prioritized and integrated into the development of medical technologies.

On the mental health front, a recent report titled Mental Health Treatment Market Report by Expert Market Research says the mental health treatment market reached an approximate value of $416.98 billion in 2023 and is expected to maintain a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2024 to 2032. Projections suggest a staggering market value of about $738.76 billion by 2032, emphasizing the critical importance and expanding scope of mental health treatment globally.

Shifting societal attitudes towards mental health, combined with favourable government initiatives and policies, foster an conducive to market expansion. Additionally, technological advancements and the advent of telemedicine have revolutionized the delivery of mental health services, making treatment more accessible and convenient for patients irrespective of geographical barriers.

(IPA Service)


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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