Digital technologies are an essential component and an enabler of sustainable health systems and universal health coverage, says, Raghavendra Prasad T.S., Founder, StepOne.
The pandemic has been the defining movement for digital health in the world people call demonetization as a time when the Indian Finance industry from being mostly offline or very slow adaptor of technology to fintech and it has become a very big industry in the country and financial services has greatly improved because of the demonetization and people call the pandemic as demonetization movement for digital health in sense this pandemic has brought changes across and first change it bought was telemedicine didn’t have a legal framework in the country even now it lacks the legal framework and it should have in compare to other legal framework in some of more developed country which has adopted the telemedicine but pandemic forced government and government body to at least issue the guidelines and encouraging telemedicine and it had to happen also it has forced to certain extent all the government missionaries to move fast in adopting technology and PM himself announcing Digital Health Mission is due to fact that they were forced by pandemic to move forward in the direction of digitization. Healthcare has one of the slowest adapter of technology in general and that is because the doctor themselves not thinking of technology as something that is useful and from consumer’s point of view consumers adopt easily and somehow doctors are very slow adopters of technology and thanks to pandemic only way they could still be in touch with patients and earn living was by adopting technology and telemedicine and adopting more and more technology tools using which they can continue their practice. A key difference is also the fact that government is also encouraging the use of technology and to elaborate more on that what Project StepOne does is Project StepOne non for profit volunteer led organization which came into being when the pandemic was starting around March because we knew that there is going to be a widespread pandemic and lot of people will need access to doctors and telemedicine and we came up with this idea that we will built a technology framework as well as food,volunteer of doctors and medical professionals who will help people who are affected by Covid and if you think about the situation before pandemic the project like this could have taken year to establish we were able not only to build technology very quickly but we also called volunteers, we have more than 7000 doctors who are volunteering with us and we are currently live in 16 states in the country and every day we are handling 15,000 tele-consultation mostly by Covid 19 patients and we have done more than 2 Million consultation and for organization which is non-profit and mostly surviving on volunteers we can’t imagine something like this getting such widespread adoption, so pandemic has certainly from government standpoint also opened up the channel for government to work with startups with digital solutions to problem and that is a great advantage.
The entire ecosystem of healthcare and public health and government has changed due to the pandemic and fast response that is needed in pandemic has forced everyone in the ecosystem as well as citizens are changed, they are okay to use digital channels.