Healthcare is a necessary and never-ending service. As the pandemic clearly illustrated, new diseases and contagions always call for tech-driven innovation for better results. In the context of India, recent years have seen a greater emphasis on enhancing healthcare quality, affordability, and access, for which the universal health coverage has established the framework (UHC). The ultimate objective is to treat or prevent disease while keeping the patient at the center of everything. Future healthcare will be patient-centered, with technology and digitization acting as the pivot.
The altering client
The patient is the most significant stakeholder in healthcare. Therefore, everyone involved in the healthcare ecosystem must strive for their advantage and increase patient capacity so they can take care of their health without becoming bankrupt. In a nation like India, younger family members are typically expected to take care of the sick, elderly, and bedridden. This is where there has been a significant shift toward a patient-centric perspective.
Today’s patients are more knowledgeable about their health, illnesses and their effects, and the various diagnostic or therapeutic alternatives. They desire to participate in decision-making and learn how to enhance their results. Technology like wearables and at-home monitors for different illnesses, which enable patients to check their vitals and receive updates in real time, further encourage this behavior. They can then discuss these with the healthcare professional and determine what needs to be done to improve their overall results. Today, it is possible to guarantee that the patient will receive care in the comfort of their home, even for serious situations.
It is simple to understand how professional patient care provided at home can produce better results once emotional or societal biases have been overcome. For instance, younger family members must always take time off from work when they are necessary to care for bedridden family members or accompany them to hospitals or diagnostic facilities. This can be especially difficult given that the majority of healthcare costs must be paid for out of pocket. In order to address this issue, a patient-centric care model uses nurses and carers who have received specialized training to provide care at home. They have the infrastructure of telemedicine, e-pharmacies, remote patient vitals monitoring, delivery of services like home ICU or medical equipment on rent, on-call emergency support, etc. for further support.
The next step
Future patient-centered healthcare must be based on the principles of quality, affordability, and accessibility. A patient-centric approach to healthcare aims to improve access to high-quality care at scale as well as how treatment is delivered. Better healthcare should now be available anytime, anyplace for the patient. It should imply the ability for the healthcare professionals to deliver patient care without being swamped with paperwork.
Eliminating the need to go to institutional medical facilities will increase patient adherence and their propensity to seek treatment for minor ailments, advice for symptoms, etc. This makes it possible to provide preventative treatment, where diseases like cancer can be detected early and high-risk individuals can begin changing their lifestyles or receiving medical assistance to delay the onset of diseases like diabetes or heart issues. The pandemic has made this patient-centricity paradigm more widely accepted, and it is now expected to serve as the new standard for all providers of medical services in the years to come. This requires all of us, including the government, regulatory agencies, and healthcare delivery institutions, to rise to the occasion and reform healthcare.