Problems of the Healthcare Industry and a Paramount Necessity to Create Technology Driven Solutions

Although, we have seen an increase in the Public health expenditure and emergence of many health-tech startups in past couple of years, but the overall progress in improving the healthcare is still between average to poor.The sheer absurdity that 930 million Indians own cell phones, but the majority of them have no access to clean water is bizarre. Statistically, in order for our country to catch up to the standards of many developed countries, our country needs to shell out about as much as $50 billion just on hospital beds, and that’s just the beginning!

Apart than this, there are various problems that need an immediate attention, like the ridiculous urban versus rural divide of healthcare standards, effective payment mechanisms in almost 70% of India’s healthcare landscape. And one of the most detrimental problems that haunt the industry is the threatening lack of basic healthcare and infrastructure.

As the expenditure on health by Government continues to be low amongst most of the countries around the world. More than 30 per cent of Indians lack the access to the basic healthcare services.

The ratio of doctor to patients in the Rural India is dismal one doctor to 5000 patients, its way below the bare minimum standards recommended by WHO. To top this, the Government infrastructure in the rural areas are in a deplorable condition. It’s certain that even with new Government’s promise to revamp the healthcare infrastructure, it’s not going to happen overnight. And there is no the doubt that the private sector will play a major role in leveraging the technology, and providing healthcare solutions for filling in the gaps caused by the poor healthcare infrastructure.

For instance, lack of healthcare professionals can be solved by video consultations, cost effective devices or asset-light models focused on tech solutions to resolve basic health issues. Basic indicators like, blood pressure, sugar levels, etc can be consolidated and recorded in a data format and then send to doctors in real time which can help doctors focus more on severe medical cases.

Today smartphones have more computing juice than most of the computers, this can be leveraged to revolutionalize the diagnostics. Considering the level of penetration these smartphones enjoy, it can have an immense potential to streamline various challenges incurred due to lack of healthcare infrastructure.

It’s without a shadow of a doubt that the Healthcare industry of our country is complex in nature, but it also has a mammoth sized opportunity. Another problem that affects the healthcare industry may comprise a smaller chunk of the entire Indian healthcare landscape, but it’s one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, its the medical devices sector. The Medical Device Sector of our country is undeveloped. In past, we have faced a number of regulatory challenges which has prevented its growth, but with the new government’s positive stance on eliminating regulatory hurdles has made the medical devices sector a promising area for future development.

A 23-year-old graduate of integrated electronics and biosciences program from BITS, Goa has come up with two life-saving medical devices. Vibhav Joshi, a son to proud doctor parents from Pune has created a device that could prevent the global problem of pneumonia among patients on ventilators and another device that keeps the lungs of newborn babies open during periods of troubled breathing. His startup Coeo Labs is developing innovative medical devices with a focus on Emergency, Trauma, and Critical Care.

A Bangalore-based accelerator InnAccel which is focussed on Healthcare innovations and startups have taken Coeo Labs under their acceleration program. InnAccel has also created a program where potential innovators undertake a six-month long affordable innovation in Medtech training program that includes extensive hours at hospitals to evaluate unmet needs. It’s clear that private sector will be the key to accel in technology-based solutions in the Indian healthcare sector. It is the union of healthcare with emerging technologies which can improve the accessibility and meet the challenges occurred due to shortage of manpower.

In the coming years, there should be a strong focus in innovation and adoption of these technology-based solutions in the healthcare segment. India is in the dire need of more accelerators and incubators in Mumbai,Delhi, Hyderabad, etc. Which are focused on Healthcare sector. The entry of more accelerators and incubators in the healthcare space can augment various healthcare startupsin India to create innovative tech-based assistant applications. These applications can bridge the regular requirements of healthcare and enhance the hospital information and management systems, etc.

01 Jun 2016

How Technology Can Enhance a Restaurant Experience

It is common to hear about the importance of putting mobile devices down during dinnertime to enable diners to enjoy the company of companions. While this is useful advice, there are advantages to using technology before eating. So go ahead, grab a phone or a tablet, and use your gadget to enhance your next restaurant experience.

Find Nearby Locations

Whether you have plenty of options or only a few, it can streamline your decision-making process to search the web for nearby establishments. Narrow your selection by searching for eateries that match your preferences such as budget, style, and theme. Searching by location is especially helpful if you are on vacation and want to eat out.

Read Reviews

Consumer reviews are a great resource for anyone exploring places to eat. A simple Internet search might provide you with details about potential places to dine. With this information, you can choose to skip some establishments that might have questionable service or food. You could also zero in on other places that have positive reviews by other patrons. Social media websites are common places to find reviews by other consumers.

Make a Reservation

Instead of putting your name in for a table when you walk in the door, make a reservation ahead of time with a mobile device. On top of calling, you can secure a reservation by using certain websites or even the restaurant’s website. This can be an extremely convenient option for anyone on-the-go who does not want to wait to eat.

Read the Menu Online

Instead of guessing or hoping that you will like the fare offered in a restaurant, look up the menu before you arrive. Check pricing and daily specials, too. If you have special dietary needs, you may even be able to check menus to help you choose a venue that matches your needs. Special symbols may designate which dishes are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.

Search for Discounts

Saving money on your lunch or dinner is never a bad thing. Search the Internet for specials or coupon codes that you can use to receive a discount on your final tab. Social media websites are a typical place to find discount codes. Many establishments post them to attract patrons.

Preorder Before Arriving

Save time by preordering your meal before you arrive. After reading the menu, check the website to see if preordering is an option. If so, simply enter your menu selections into an online order form. You may even be able to schedule the food to be prepared for a reservation that you have already made at the restaurant.

Share Your Experience

After dining, share your own experience with other consumers. Use a restaurant’s social media web page to tell the world about your meal. You might also upload a comment on a blog to share positive or a negative feedback.

01 Jun 2016

Dual Use Technologies for the Future of National Security and Military Tech

Our Military and National Security research agencies like DARPA and IARPA get a good amount of their technology from the private sector as hand-me-downs, and although you might think such technology as second rate, often the security or military application solves real problems when it comes to “dual-use” innovative technology. Indeed, I’ve written a great deal on this topic and often see other uses for technology that even those doing the research may not have considered. Let’s talk and let me give you an example.

There was an interesting article recently on Kurzweil “Accelerating Intelligence” website titled; “Detecting heartbeats remotely with millimeter-wave radar may replace electrocardiograph devices, allowing for freedom of movement and use by patients,” on January 22, 2016. Indeed this is nothing short of an incredible technology, and it will be too advanced and alluring for DARPA or IARPA to pass up, thus, I’d suggest we see this new concept in the future in areas such as National Security and Police Technologies.

The article stated: The researchers say this new approach will allow for developing long-term monitoring and ‘casual sensing'” – taking measurements as people go about their daily activities, without having to attach uncomfortable electrodes or sensors to the patient’s body. People will also be able to monitor their cardio health status themselves. The remote sensing system transmits and receives radar signals in the 24 GHz band using ‘ultra-wideband’ (UWB) modulation, which is known for its ability to detect specific signals in a noisy radio-frequency environment. A unique signal analysis algorithm extracts data from radar signals reflected from the body to detect heart rate and heart-rate variability (time derivative). Future use for detection of breathing, body movement, and other data from the body is also possible, the researchers suggest.

Now then, let’s say you want to release someone from Jail or Prison but put them under house arrest? This is a perfect technology, just put a repeater on the telephone pole outside their house, which will contact the satellite if anything is a miss – or, let’s say you want to let a prisoner go from Gitmo, another good use for this technology. How about restricted zones for top secret research facilities or at military installations, etc., well it would also be perfect for that.

How about an elite Navy Seal Team, each member would know where the others are so there wouldn’t be any friendly-fire mishaps, are you beginning to see some of the great military applications for such technology? Please consider all this.

01 Jun 2016