Innovations & Technology
- A question of sustainability in Health Sector


By

Joe Marry George
Faculty of Commerce & Management
SEMCOM College
Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Anand
 


I had been thinking over a period of time whether technology was used in industry and educational institutions only.

Today I have got the answer.

Technology has been widely used in health sector also.

In recent times, healthcare sector has started using a number of electronic gadgets. The marketing professionals in healthcare sector have adopted different ways like the use of different innovations & technology to reach out to their patients. These innovations & technology include taking the blood count, keeping patients alive through heart-lung machines, telemedicine, internet marketing and calculating weight-based doses of medicines, sleep therapy devices, and what not!

Considering the innovation, the 1 st indigenous heart valve has been developed by an institute of national importance based in Trivandrum in Kerala.

Do we have ever thought of online marketing in healthcare sector. That's what today the healthcare sector is practicing. Internet marketing has also become popular among the people where the patients can locate physicians or sign up for health screening. Patients around the world can now seek information from the health experts sitting at any corner of the world and can improve their health or can take precautions.

Telemedicine

Arthur Clarke, an eminent science writer once prophesized that "Man will cease to commute, they will communicate" which has come true today. The word telemedicine had been derived from Greek and Latin word which means 'distance' and 'healing'.

In telemedicine, the expert physicians and surgeons will examine the scan images such as radiographs, computer Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) pictures, Ultrasound studies, and pathology reports, images of endoscopic of patients living thousands of miles away through telemedicine.

Telemedicine helps exchange of information across vast distance by utilizing telecom communication technology. It eliminates unnecessary traveling of patients.

Use of innovations and technology has helped the healthcare centers for quality improvement. With the help of information system healthcare sectors are striving for TQM & continuous Quality Improvement. (CQI)

We all are aware of 'NAAC' that all colleges would like to get. But now it's not only the educational institutions and other business units which will go for the accreditation but also the hospitals and healthcare centers. The health centers get the accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI) of United States. Getting accreditation is considered to be the gold seal of quality. 17 hospitals in Asia have won the gold seal in the past three years and around 25 hospitals are in the process of getting it.

It's not only the educational institutions and business units are also collaborating with other foreign institutions and business units. In healthcare sectors also the engineers and technologists are collaborating with biologists and medical personnel producing astonishing variety of medical instruments.

Examples: (1) Pacemaker, "a tiny, transistorized, battery powered radio oscillator, permanently implanted in the abdominal walls of patients suffering from heart block and connected by two fine electrodes directly into the heart muscle to keep it beating regularly.

(2) Radio pill, which, after being swallowed by the patient, transmits a running account of conditions within the gastrointestinal tract to an outside receiver.

Competition among healthcare sector:

There is an immense of competition going among the corporate hospitals in gaining the patients. Therefore the advertisement in this sector has also increased. Healthcare sector started bringing out advertisements highlighting the salient features of treatment and the gadgets used for healthcare. Corporate hospitals offer packages at reduced rates for different types of health check-ups.

Conclusion:

Lastly, what is the ultimate aim of innovations and technology in health sector?

Of course, it should be to make medical care affordable to the common man with cost effective. But then who will decide whether it is affordable to the common man?

For this answer we need to think it from the common man's point of view whether the prevailing cost of all the above said technology and innovations are affordable and cost effective. But then to get the accurate answer we need to meet those patients who knock at the doors of the healthcare centers or hospitals with a question and dream of sustaining in this world with their dear and near ones.

And for that we need to conduct a survey to check whether innovations and technology are really reaching and helping out the poor man in India.
 


Joe Marry George
Faculty of Commerce & Management
SEMCOM College
Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Anand
 

Source: E-mail March 9, 2008

          

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