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Making an Impact with Connected Technologies for Digital Healthcare

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Dr Rishi Bhatnagar
President – Aeris Communications

How Aeris is making an impact in digital healthcare and highlights its role in NABH?

As we experience a digital revolution in India, especially in the field of healthcare, we also witness that digital health is providing a network of quality care so that the maximum number of people can benefit across the country – irrespective of their geography.

Aeris brings to India the much needed expertise in advanced and connected technologies, being pioneers in M2M & IoT space since the last two decades. At Aeris, along with global support of major cellular technology standards, such as GSM, CDMA, and LTE, we can now empower our healthcare partners to offer their clients and users’ flexibility and growth throughout the world. We aim to provide the best connectivity for Telemedicine IoT cellular connectivity (outside India and China) that enables medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers to achieve the highest levels of patient engagement and medicinal adherence. With our new and enhanced Aeris Fusion IoT Network, frontline warriors can access advanced connectivity and monitor solutions to improve the quality of health. In addition, being chair of the IET Future Tech Panel, Broadband India Forum AI & IoT Committee among others, I feel proud to announce that efforts of Indian Think Tanks and technologist have successfully created a very strong IoT ecosystem in our country today, with special focus on key sectors, including healthcare.

As a member of the NABH, I am happy to share that we are making strides in creating relevant and effective standards for digital healthcare. The Digital Health Standards of NABH’s objective are to study all essential details of applying patient-interfacing technologies across the continuum of care applicable for outpatient, inpatient and remote patient monitoring. The focus is particularly on keeping the personal data confidential to ensure the safety of the patients’ healthcare records. Digital Health Standards will also include guidelines regarding legal obligations, interoperability and communication standards, data security, remote monitoring and mobile apps.

How is technology shaping the newly growing sector of ‘Telemedicine and Telehealth’ through a process of digital transformation?

Through ways of blending communications technology with medical science, technology is affecting the whole world even more positively by transcending the physical boundaries and reaching remote parts of world. The future of healthcare is looking brighter and more accessible with digital transformation, thanks to technological advancements in IoT, 5G, AI, ML, Robotics, Data science, and more. From simple ways such as the addressing patient’s questions remotely using teleconference, thus, reducing the need for physical consultations, and enabling rehabilitation at home; faster data collection, diagnosis and treatments of diseases are few yet efficient ways through which technology is refining the healthcare sector. In places where access to care is restricted, especially in rural settings, telemedicine can enable healthcare providers to bridge this farfetched gap. Therefore, depending on the need, telemedicine can offer simple solutions, such as two clinicians discussing a case over video conferencing, or more complex procedures, such as robotic surgery occurring through remote access.

The effectiveness of telemedicine depends on the extent and accuracy of the data being gathered. IoT-enabled remote diagnostic tools provide information about a patient’s condition and enable doctors and nurses to diagnose conditions wherever their patients are accurate. And with the emergence of 5G, these tools are becoming even better for healthcare professionals to detect severe conditions earlier and offer targeted treatments. Therefore, the significant increase in the quality of care is rightly possible with telemedicine.

What do you think is the future of telemedicine and elaborate on some of its growing initiatives?

Telemedicine is indeed a safety valve for our strained healthcare system. Setting up telecom infrastructure in rural areas to increase reach of doctors using technology is easier than making available medical specialists physically at a given location. With 1 bn plus mobile phone connections, mBanking, mEntertainment, mCommerce and mGovernance are becoming a reality. This indicates huge potential of telemedicine in the healthcare sector too. Pilots and proof of concept studies in various sections of mHealth are abounding in India. The a positive outlook for the telemedicine market here is also reflected in an market research which predicts that the telemedicine market in India is expected to reach US$5.4 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 31 percent. Its future will not be limited to remote consulting, as its deployment will aim at a variety of applications such as patient care, education, research, public health, etc. The government’s National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 defined the vision of ‘health and well-being for all at all ages. Therefore, citizen‐centricity, quality of care, universal health coverage, and inclusiveness are fundamental principles for NHP. Therefore, with an increased focus on digitization and healthcare in the post-pandemic world, we now have the political will and resources to expand the benefits of digital healthcare pan-India. All these aspirations can be realized principally by leveraging the power of digital technologies.

How is Aeris going to include solutions and learnings from NABH’s initiative towards telemedicine?

Growing through a correct path of progress, Aeris provides unparalleled connectivity for telemedicine – through reliable IoT connectivity anywhere in the world. We help healthcare providers increase patient wellness and reduce risk by delivering reliable IoT connectivity anywhere. Through the Aeris Fusion IoT Network, patients have access to improved health outcomes and a higher quality of life with real-time support and interventions. As advanced IoT healthcare devices improve medical adherence and patient care oversight, they lower the overall price of care. With our unparalleled IoT infrastructure, Aeris enables providers to expand their reach into underpopulated rural areas, address medical compliance issues for insurance companies, and gather data to produce life-saving medicinal adherence insights.

NABH’s vision is to reach out to more population with telehealth solutions. Today, we have solutions for the healthcare for asset monitoring for hospitals and remote temperature monitoring for humans and more. Aeris will learn from NABH guidelines and will incorporate them in the best way possible. With our portfolio of being the leading solution providers of IoT solutions and services, we are glad to be able to help achieve NABH goals.

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