Globally Healthcare system has seen many reforms over the past few years, changes have been witnessed in public as well as private sector. Landscape of healthcare is evolving continuously; industry experts are looking forward to having a value-based care model. New technologies are playing a key role in fulfilling the value-based care model, this model will not only lower the treatment cost but also increase the adherence to chronic therapies. Innovative ways are explored by healthcare system to reach out to patients and provide quality of life. Virtual care is today’s discussion and tomorrow’s real-life scenario same as few years back tele-medicine. As per the axis of responsible innovation, Today Healthcare industry is exploring the possible pros and cons while implementing virtual care (Figure. 1). Virtual care is in conversation at various levels, and it will be the future of healthcare.
Figure – 1
Adoption to the new technology is always a challenge. Situations make things roll out quickly, like in the COVID 19 most of the communication is virtual, worldwide health care physicians are addressing the queries of the patients virtually. Mobile Apps and programs run based on Artificial Intelligence do the diagnosis of the possible disease condition. Today technology enable individual to stay updated with his/her own health condition, wearable devices like FitBit and smart watches gives the fitness status of individual every hour. Virtual care is the integration of physiological condition of the person seeking the aid, disease condition and algorithm to advise way forward, its way more than just a video call and telemedicine. In a digital age, patients are much less dependent on their doctors for advice, increasingly able and willing to take greater control of their own health. (Champagne D., et.al, 2015)
Clinical advice offered through the system or application is a designed protocol made possible because of various database and lots of interviews with clinicians, researchers and patients. It helps in arriving on conclusion and system able to give a response within no time limit. Virtual care helps in connecting patient with clinic in no time. Everybody everywhere is adopting to this new virtual treatment options, Virtual care is fulfilling the existing need of the market.
Amazon is developing an application in this area, Amazon’s Echo, it is an Audio-Visual application to monitor health condition at home (Figure-2), still it’s in trial basis needed many of approvals
Amazon’s Echo featured to monitor the medication log to see the adherence to therapy, it also gives information about medicines like side effects, adverse effect and dose of medicine. Echo has patented technology which monitors blood pressure and heart rate with the help of the camera. Amazon also has an Alexa; it is a platform which shows optimum mix of various healthcare application from various healthcare providers such as a Mayo clinic. It can answer various medical questions, keep records, and send SOS on emergency situations which will help in emergency conditions. Amazon is trying best to integrate Alexa and Echo model in reaching out to masses and utilising these spaces in the healthcare optimally.
Virtual care is a forward thinking in healthcare, it connects existing healthcare framework and elevate the overall experience of the patient. medication management services can improve care and reduce total health care costs. (Schnur E.S. et.al, 2014).
“virtual healthcare” as a new term to reflect the integration of rapidly diversifying uses and forms of technology that focus specifically on the ‘care component’ of healthcare. (Wilson, L. et.al, 2016). Virtual Clinics are safe, effective and provide convenience to the users. The primary challenge which needs to be overcome is public-private partnership in this area which will fetch results soon and it need to start the first virtual clinic with all approvals and further it can be scale up to other locations too.
As per the dimension of responsible innovation, four integrated dimensions like anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion, and responsiveness can be evaluated (Figure- 3)
GP at hand is one of the virtual platforms in London, Babylon Health has partnered with a primary care organisation in London to provide NHS services through its app and a local clinic. (Best, J., 2020.) New private sector partners coming to the forward, including telcos, training institutes, life science firms and multinational provider chains (Box, A., 2020) The GP at Hand is disruptive, it is bringing paradigm shift in today’s model of healthcare and bridging the relation of patient and doctor to next level
Full spectrum of virtual care is still hard to predict, but the transformation is on its way and complete healthcare/Life science industry will be affected with that.
(Author of the article is Nikhil Nadarkhani, a pharmaceutical brand management & marketing professional. The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author in his private capacity)
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