Digitization can strengthen the foundation of a healthy India.
It’s 2021! The New Year has commenced bringing in new hope, light and, positivity in our lives. The past year has been extremely turbulent as the pandemic hit our lives. At WISH, as we step back to analyze the year gone by, it reaffirms our belief that we are going in the right direction. Things that we were professing for the last five years have started gaining momentum, started gaining cognizance, and the desired push within the larger primary healthcare ecosystem.
WISH has always been innovation-driven though no one was ready to believe that innovations can happen. What changed when the pandemic hit was the understanding of the global scenario. Primary healthcare is the first and foremost aspect of healthcare. That makes it critical to building a resilient primary healthcare facility to manage such pandemics and epidemics. Keeping in mind containment and infection prevention requirements, going digital was the best possible option and solution.
WISH has always been digital and has been advocating for the digitization of primary healthcare. Despite that, it has taken a pandemic to give it the required impetus. A simple example is that telemedicine has been in India for a very long time. On 25th March 2020, the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India and the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare came up with the guidelines resting all concerns about telemedicine. That shows what WISH has been professing became the perspective of the larger ecosystem. On 15th August 2020, the Prime Minister of India declared the National Digital Health Mission, comprising portability of data, and health information. That gave our work a significant push within the healthcare ecosystem and acceptance from the government. In the states where we have our interventions, the state governments asked us to scale up our telehealth interventions.
During the unprecedented Covid 19 pandemic, the virtual extension of health services was robust, comprising preventive, promotive, and curative services. WISH also ensured regular capacity building of the health service providers. The organization further expanded the horizons of digital health by creating learning platforms. Keeping the dynamic scenario of Covid in mind was an important area to work upon. The organization created self-learning modules, virtual modules for health service providers, firstly for Covid, and then beyond. The organization has diversified and expanded its digital health horizons by creating a data repository and then analytics leading to meaningful usage of data.
A critical game-changer for everyone in the medical world has been the digitization of health records.
Electronic Health Records replace outdated paper records. That helps the treating physician giving the complete medical history of the patient. Though, more technological advancements are required in ICT-based diagnostics to aid medical practitioners.
Medical technology is a broad field where innovation plays a crucial role in sustaining health.
Digitization of Primary Health Centers can help extend reach to remote locations, to an underserved population, and also reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Integration of Information and Communication Technologies with Medical Sciences is the need of the hour coupled with collaboration. And it is the collaboration of various agencies, partners, innovators, service providers who can turn around the vision of the National Digital Health Mission.
With hope and faith,
Rajesh Ranjan Singh
Chief Executive Officer