Exploring the intersection of healthcare and technology with Santosh Patil of CitiusTech
At TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition, Santosh Patil, Senior Vice President and Technology Leader, CitiusTech, decoded the anatomy of a tech-enabled healthcare ecosystem.
The world is rapidly evolving, with technology at the forefront of the transformation. Every aspect of our lives is shaped and impacted by technology, and the healthcare sector is no exception. In recent years, the sector has witnessed a significant shift in how healthcare is delivered, managed, and consumed.
The need to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance the overall healthcare experience has led to a growing interest in the adoption of technology. This has resulted in the development of various technological tools and solutions aimed at improving the quality of care and making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all.
From the rise of telemedicine to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), technology has brought about significant changes in healthcare delivery and management. To discuss this and more, YourStory hosted a fireside chat titled ‘Tech meets health: A match made in digital heaven’ with Santosh Patil, Senior Vice President and Technology Leader, CitiusTech, at TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition.
The transformation of healthcare
Patil began the chat by giving a brief overview of how the healthcare industry has transformed in the last 15 years. He used three words to describe the tumultuous journey: evolution, growth, and integration.
He explained how times have changed, from paper-based patient records to electronic medical records. Diagnostic imaging technology has advanced from dark rooms with film X-rays to state-of-the-art setups with high-definition medical images and software that allow for easy manipulation and analysis, he said.
Responding to how CitiusTech has contributed to this transformation, Patil said the company is committed to driving transformation in the healthcare industry by partnering with some of the world's leading healthcare and life science organisations.
“Our goal is to help these organisations navigate the nuances and complexities of the industry and provide them with end-to-end consulting, engineering, and professional services. We've leaned heavily into technologies like AI and data analytics to help these organisations reinvent themselves and meet the demands of the industry,” he said.
Harnessing the power of AI & data analytics
One of the ways in which AI and data analytics is transforming the healthcare industry is by addressing the challenge of patient engagement and interoperability. “AI and data analytics combined, integrated with medical imaging data and clinical data, can help physicians provide significantly better patient services,” Patil said.
He elucidated with an example of how applying AI algorithms to interpret X-rays can quickly determine whether a patient has pneumonia or if their lung tissues are damaged. This information can then be used to prioritise patient care and potentially save lives. When this data is combined with a patient's medical records, including their EMR/EHR and medical allergies, physicians can provide more targeted and effective treatments.
What does the future look like?
Patil said the pandemic highlighted the importance of remote care and services in the healthcare industry. He pointed out how remote consultations and telemedicine have become increasingly popular, with even physiotherapy sessions being conducted online.
This trend is likely to continue, with patients seeking more convenient and accessible ways to access healthcare.
“To support this shift, a secure platform for exchange of personal health records and medical images must be created to allow patients to share information with healthcare providers around the world,” he emphasised.
Another trend in the healthcare industry is the increasing use of robotics and other automated instruments. AI is already helping robotic surgeons perform precise operations, a significant boon for physicians and patients alike. With the advancement of technology, Patil foresees even more automation in healthcare from remote-controlled robots performing surgeries to AI-powered chatbots providing basic medical advice.
In conclusion, the healthcare industry is undergoing a significant transformation, and technology is increasingly critical in driving this change. From AI and data analytics to robotics and remote care, the future of healthcare is likely to be more accessible, more personalised, and more effective than ever before.