Friday 4 March 2016

Wow! Can this be done in Health Care?!

I want to see a lot of changes in the healthcare systems. I like to think of breakthrough technology and facilities. But let me share with you what I was visualising today regarding healthcare operations. I will explain this with the help of two scenarios.

Scenario 1
The doctor is at the bedside of the patient. He checks the patient’s condition and wants to prescribe some medicines. He takes out his iPad and opens the hospital’s application. After a few touches on the screen he reaches the patient’s profile. He types the names of the medicines and prescribes the dosage. Once done he moves on.

The moment the doctor has completed his prescription, the information reaches many stakeholders, including the nursing team and the pharmacy. The pharmacy has robots that are synced with the application and the data fed into it. The medicines prescribed by the doctor are immediately picked up by the robot and placed into the tray. The medicines are then sucked into a chute system which are connected to all the beds. This one goes straight through and onto the medicine tray at the bedside of the patient who the doctor had just prescribed the medicine for.

The nursing team has immediately been notified of the medicine and dosage and also are notified when the medicines arrive in the medicine tray of the patient.

Scenario 2
Each person is wearing a smartwatch. The smartwatch has an application that is always live and monitoring the heart rate and other aspects of the person’s health.

Say a person has a heart attack. The application in the smartwatch picks it up and immediately sends a code blue. The nearest ambulance and hospital are notified. The ambulance can see the location of the person and the profile of the person – like name, address, health records, and such others. The ambulance moves to the location while the hospital prepares to receive the patient. The application also notifies the emergency contact people of the person who is having a heart attack. The ambulance begins the basic life support and takes the person to the hospital.

Scenario 3
The doctor hits “discharge” to let the patient go as she is fit to go back home. That triggers auto generation of bills at the billing counter. Payments can be made online through the application in the phone by the patient or her family immediately or cash deposited at the billing counter. The medication schedule to be followed after discharge is updated in the application as well as a printout goes with the discharge summary. In one step the patient has completed discharge formalities and can go home.

Imagine what else can be done. Believe me, all of this is possible with the technology that we already have. It just requires some innovation and building of modern infrastructure. What ideas do you have?

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