COVID19 caught us unaware but next time, we will be prepared, said Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman & Founder, Narayana Health, while presenting keynote address at two-hour virtual webconference on Combating COVID19 Through Technology organized by NASSCOM Center of Excellence IoT & AI’s flagship healthcare initiative LHIF & NASSCOM Product Council.
He further added, “District Administrative officers need to be empowered to administer as many tests as possible, track patients and quarantine them. My advice to entrepreneurs is to develop products beyond the scope of COVID19, identify large hospital chains for strategic and fruitful partnerships, and build products that doctors can advocate. The purpose of technology is to make healthcare safer, affordable and accessible for patients.”
Several industry leaders in healthcare converge at this virtual conference and addressed how this ongoing pandemic is a huge opportunity for India’s healthcare industry.“Healthcare systems, in India and across the world, are being pressure tested. At such a time, the critical role of technology in bolstering the system has never been more apparent. Technology can be used for a range of purposes such as manufacturing smart low-cost devices, remote consultation platforms, monitoring health wearables, democratizing diagnostics, enabling policy development and engineer ecosystems to calibrate collective efforts of governments,” said Rekha Menon, Vice Chairperson of NASSCOM, Chairman & Senior Managing Director of Accenture in India, in her opening address.
“TeleHealth made it to the Top of The Charts during this pandemic. It is not only addressing the non-COVID related healthcare needs of the public in this lock-down scenario, but it is going to significantly transform the way healthcare is delivered in the future. All new HealthTech innovators should be building solutions that work seamlessly with the TeleHealth Platforms,” said Raghuram Janapareddy, Director of Healthcare & Lifesciences, NASSCOM CoE and moderator of the webinar.
Technologies like Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track patients and help authorities plan for adequate quarantine and isolation measures have delivered results in other health crises like Ebola and malaria outbreaks, and is proving to be very useful during COVID19 too, said Agendra Kumar, President of Esri India Technologies. Speaking about enhancing India’s status as a medical device manufacturer, Nitesh Jangir, Director Coeo Labs, whose product VAPCare is protecting doctors from ventilated COVID19 patients, said, “The need is to scale up India’s ability to develop products in low-resource settings and it has to be deployed across geographies.”
Meanwhile, other speakers discussed at length about various products and solutions designed to help navigate a ‘new world order’.
Abhishek Shah, Co -Founder and CEO Wealthy Therapeutics shared his views on managing healthcare remotely through digital therapeutics.
Dr. Aravind Kasargod, Group Medical Director, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals,highlighted how this crisis has changed the perception towards government-run hospitals in India, emphasizing that it is time to reset the healthcare ecosystem in India by actively leveraging technologies like cloud computing and AI to build products and solutions that can be widely adopted.
The entire event was driven by a unique ‘UN-conference’ format, where participants got an opportunity to suggest conference topics and nominate speakers of their choice. There were nearly 100 speaker nominations, which were shortlisted to four based on a consensus of public votes and internal recommendations by an expert panel. Later the participants voted for the topics to be presented during the webinar.
The session featured Rekha M. Menon, Vice Chairperson of NASSCOM and Chairman & Senior Managing Director of Accenture in India who gave the opening address and Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman & Founder, Narayana Health who presented the keynote. Dr. Aravind Kasargod, Group Medical Director, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Agendra Kumar, President of Esri India Technologies, Abhishek Shah, Cofounder of WellThy Diagnostics and Nitesh Jangir, Cofounder of Ceoe Labswere the other speakers. The Whole event was very well moderated by Raghuram Janapareddy, who leads the Lifesciences & Healthcare Practice at NASSCOM.