The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the two most prominent gaps in the Indian healthcare sector – the abysmally low health insurance penetration rate at approximately [35%] and the fact that more than [60% of health expenditure is done out-of-pocket. According to a study conducted by Pristyn Care Data Labs, about 60% of Indians delay treatment or do not access care because of a lack of financial or health coverage.
In addition, due to the lack of insurance coverage for preventive care, lifestyle diseases now contribute to a quarter of the total disease burden in the country.
The pandemic has helped transform and reimagine how people approach and access healthcare. It has also acted as a catalyst for improved healthcare experiences and engagement. The physical and geographical barriers to accessing the best specialists and alternative types of treatment are solved by digital healthcare.
In the Indian context, access to care is not just access to a primary hospital or health clinic but to a provider that will 100% respect your privacy. In the land of “ family doctors”, patient-provider relationships are much more nuanced, and complete confidentiality is difficult to maintain. In such cases, it is difficult for one to find the space and autonomy to make individual medical decisions. Digital healthcare solves this barrier by connecting patients to medical professionals they can choose based on the doctor’s patient philosophy and not just because of physical proximity. Virtual consultations aim to provide one with a safe space to address their healthcare concerns without the risk of medical history being overheard or accidentally shared with someone they didn’t intend to.
Furthermore, the modern patient has more access to information about health and wellness than ever before. Well-informed patients use healthcare services more effectively and help healthcare professionals improve the quality of care. Health education helps arm today’s patients with the necessary tools to demand quality care. Health education gives patients the right tools to take ownership of their health and healthcare needs. It motivates proper patient behaviour, improves communication with the patient, and helps them understand their condition better. Health education is paramount in managing diseases.
Digital health tools incorporate patient education tools such as blogs, illustrations, videos, health quizzes, webinars, etc. Sharing any visual aid for aiding patient care dramatically improves the patient experience.
In addition to this. When it comes to lifestyle diseases and chronic conditions, medical professionals and patients often note that no uniform treatment plan works for every individual. To build a treatment plan that is sustainable and successful in managing symptoms, a medical professional needs to work collaboratively with patients to find a solution that works for them.
Digital healthcare has enhanced the quality of medical care available to everyone by encompassing health education, patient-driven approaches, accessibility, and evidence-based practices while bridging the physical and geographical gaps in care.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Carina Kohli is the CEO and Founder of Humm, a digital healthcare company that offers unlimited, affordable, and personal family healthcare, starting with a focus on postpartum, postnatal, and baby healthcare, for mothers, families, and organisations. The aim of HUMM is to provide comprehensive, affordable, and unlimited healthcare whilst overcoming the stigma around certain topics in women’s health, mental health, breastfeeding, intimacy and relationships, fatherhood, and women managing work life, and family life.
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The CSR Journal Team