24 Sept 2016 | GS 2 | The use of technology has the potential to revolutionize the health sector administration in India. Critically discuss giving appropriate examples.

GS II (Governance, Health sector) (Hattrick)

The use of technology has the potential to revolutionize the health sector administration in India. Discuss critically giving appropriate examples.

Best answer

Narayana Sarma wrote the best answer for this question and got a score of 5.5/10. The answer is being reproduced below for everyone’s convenience. Of course these answers can always be improved. (Best answer  of a particular only involves those given on that day, later answers may not have been checked)

The increased public spending on India’s health sector has seen no improved returns. This is due to the lack of wide-reaching and inefficient healthcare services. The infusion of technology in health sector administration could largely improve the present scenario. It is important, since improved healthcare implies a better economic growth and development. Some proposed technologies are as follows:
-Digitizing the medical records of patients to effectively track their health status
-Development of handheld devices or applications usable on them, which can perform multiple tests and provide results along with suggested treatments and information of suitable doctors Eg: 1). Swasthya plate, developed by an Indian, is a tablet which can measure and provide ECG results, urine protein level instantly 2). Installation of heart sensors in today’s premium mobiles.
-Applications which can provide alternative medicines with equivalent composition at lower prices instead of prescribed ones. Due to higher prices, patients often do not buy medicines
-Releasing a doctor-mapping tool, which could help patients in finding nearby doctors and thus fix appointment without going to hospital/clinic
-Establishment of a communication network for purposes like healthcare counselling, insurance claims and so on
-Globalized network of doctors/specialists, who can be contacted immediately in complex and special cases
However, there are some challenges in implementing technology in health sector as follows:
-Availing the technology is not possible without internet
-Security of patient’s digital record if compromised, could show his weakness
-The handheld devices and applications should be affordable so that poor patients are not left out
-The toll-free numbers for healthcare counselling is needed to encourage people to utilize it
However, despite such challenges, Government, is implementing the technology in healthcare sector in following ways:
-Kilkari, Mother Child Tracking System (MCTS) based on mobile, suggests appropriate measures for a pregnant woman at appropriate times
-Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTBCP) and an IT enabled tool to quit using tobacco (M-cessation), have a toll-free network to get health advices
-Transfer of technology from countries like Japan which have better supply chain management through programmes like Make in India
A required step is that there should be a focus on technology while preparing National Health Policy.
The above discussion shows that, technology, though has a potential to revolutionize the health sector administration, has to be affordable and accessible for an inclusive impact.

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