If you look at hospitals across the world today, they all require a patient to be present for their treatment, no matter how trivial the ailment.
So, if a patient with tummy ache comes to the hospital, he or she will start at the registration disk.
The registration desk directs the patient to the doctor who would attend to the problem. The doctor performs an initial diagnosis and usually recommends a few tests, for which the patient needs to go to another section of the hospital. The patient then takes the reports back to the doctor.
In smaller towns and tier II cities, these facilities might be quite far apart. let’s the testing facility is 5 km (or even 30 km) away from the doctor’s chamber. If there’s back and forth, a lot of time is spent in travelling from place A to B and back.
What if, instead of making the patient run between different buildings in your hospital or around town, the entire process was digital?
The doctor and patient could interact via video conferencing and decide whether the doctor even needed to see the patient in person. The sample collection can be done remotely using some logistics support, as many labs do these days. The labs can simply upload the test results on some digital infrastructure where the doctor can have a look at them.
A junior doctor might assist the senior doctors remotely.
The samples, medical equipment and medicine can also be transported via drones, where you can actually take samples from one location, let’s say in a small town in Karnataka, and it can be sent to the closest laboratory with the best possible infrastructure.
In short, the various parts of the hospitals can actually be accommodated in a mobile app. And this mobile app actually functions as your hospital and you can dynamically allocate different different doctors and different laboratories.
In Rwanda, for example, they use drones to transport blood from blood banks to hospitals for transfusion!
Another such idea could be having a centralized testing centre (let’s say for Covid) that receives samples from all over the city. So, the hospitals and labs serve as the collection centre, who could transport the samples using drones. That enables people living away from rural areas to receive the same care as people living close to these facilities.
What are your thoughts? How else can technology help in healthcare?