According to him, people can be provided with a preventive and personalized approach to healthcare through the incorporation of technology, thus creating a system that aims at keeping people healthy instead of only treating them when they feel unwell.
The UAE has shown great promise with respect to the advancement in healthcare services. According to Sanjeev Nanda, the boom in the sector is evident from the number of medical tourists the emirates receive every year. However, within the UAE, the levels of lifestyle diseases continue to increase, placing an enormous burden on the healthcare infrastructure. This is what makes preventive healthcare through tech integration all the more important.
“Conventional management of chronic ailments consumes time, money and resources. It also lays an undue burden on the patient who has to physically move between primary treatments, specialty procedures and diagnostic centers.
Access to some of the world’s best healthcare facilities is great, but at the same time it adds pressure to the system as more and more people flock to healthcare centres to get lifestyle diseases treated,” said Nanda.
He also pointed out that at times, people go on to avail pricier and more advanced procedures even if they aren’t medically necessary.
For example, opting for an MRI where a simple X-Ray imaging could have sufficed. Such incidents only add to the problem. The solution? Disrupting the patient journey by offering preventive healthcare solutions through the amalgamation of tech and health.
“What we need today, and for the future, is a digitally driven healthcare ecosystem where the treatment is brought to the patient, instead of bringing the patient to the healthcare provider.
The pandemic situation accelerated this process by popularizing virtual consultations, online diagnostic service booking, test reports on emails, and so on. But all of this is just a small part of a very long journey,” said Sanjeev Nanda.
The UAE is home to not only the highest number of pharmacies per capita across the globe, but also to one of the highest mobile phone saturation rates. By investing in the development of health-tech services, a large portion of the healthcare system can be digitized further, relieving the patients of the cumbersome visits to health centers and diagnostic centers, and empowering them in the process.
Some regulatory changes on part of the government can ease down this process further. Support for integrated data sharing, health information exchange and e-consultation apps can deliver a better coordinated digital healthcare ecosystem to the patients.
A future-proof healthcare delivery model is one that takes into account not only the challenges in the present, but also the obstacles that may arise in the future. Digitization of healthcare delivery can be of great benefit in that respect.