‘Googli­sa­tion’ of Health­care: Driv­ing Bet­ter So­lu­tions

FICCI Business Digest - - Features -

The use of the In­ter­net as a source of med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar as more pa­tients are be­com­ing tech­nol­ogy savvy and 'go on­line' or 'google' their health con­cerns. With the In­ter­net eas­ily reach­ing the smaller towns and vil­lages, use of smart­phones for on­line search and in­crease in the aware­ness lev­els of the ci­ti­zens, 'googli­sa­tion' of health­care is bound to grow. Although this trend is help­ing pa­tients to de­ter­mine their own choice of treat­ment, it is lead­ing to a change in provider-pa­tient re­la­tion­ships. Med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als to­day are fac­ing new chal­lenges of tack­ling their 'web-in­formed' pa­tients, since all in­for­ma­tion pro­vided on the web may not be rel­e­vant or ap­pro­pri­ate. Hence, it is crit­i­cal for the health­care sec­tor to evolve a health-spe­cific knowl­edge plat­form, which can have val­i­dated data and in­for­ma­tion that can be used by the con­sumers. It is also im­por­tant for all providers to un­der­stand the chang­ing in­for­ma­tion seek­ing trends and mod­ify their pa­tient in­ter­ac­tions ac­cord­ingly. Fur­ther, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for the clin­i­cians to keep pace with the enor­mous amount of clin­i­cal data, re­search pa­pers and sci­en­tific stud­ies avail­able to­day. Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence and Ma­chine Learn­ing are help­ing us not only in data anal­y­sis and ap­pli­ca­tion but also in clin­i­cal de­ci­sion mak­ing. How­ever, for AI to be able to use the data ef­fec­tively and ap­pro­pri­ately, it is im­por­tant to struc­ture the data in a way that the ma­chines can make the best use of it. Reg­u­la­tion through ev­i­dence­based guidelines and qual­ity stan­dards will play an in­creas­ingly sig­nif­i­cant role in ob­tain­ing struc­tured and rel­e­vant data for fu­ture anal­y­sis and for use in per­son­alised pre­ci­sion medicine.

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