Future Health Index India 2022 report, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Telehealth, AI top priorities for Indian Healthcare Leaders: Future Health Index India 2022 report

New Delhi: The Future Health Index India 2022 report provides a detailed picture of the most pressing priorities for Indian healthcare leaders and highlights their plan of action to address them. Some of the top priorities for Indian healthcare leaders include staff satisfaction and retention, extending care delivery beyond hospital walls, and unlocking the power of big data and predictive analytics.

Royal Philips announced the India findings of its flagship Future Health Index (FHI) India 2022 report titled ‘Healthcare hits reset: Priorities shift as healthcare leaders navigate a changed world’. Now in its seventh year, the Future Health Index 2022 report, based on proprietary research from almost 3,000 respondents conducted across 15 countries, explores how healthcare leaders are harnessing the power of data and digital technology as they look to address their key challenges coming out of the pandemic.

From an Indian perspective, the findings highlight that healthcare leaders are now more focused on offering their staff better support by addressing issues such as wellbeing and satisfaction. 31 per cent of Indian healthcare leaders said that they are prioritising staff satisfaction and retention, which is a significant increase from the previous year when only 17 per cent did so. Further, extended care delivery has emerged as a key focus area for Indian healthcare leaders as 26 per cent of them said that they are prioritising it currently, while 32 per cent expect it to remain a top priority in three years.

Commenting on the launch of the report Chhitiz Kumar, Head of Sales and Service, Health Systems, Philips Indian Subcontinent said, “The pressure exerted on the Indian healthcare industry during the pandemic was unrelenting. However, it provided the much-needed impetus to the adoption of digital technologies in healthcare and increased its accessibility. The Philips Future Health Index India 2022 report explores a resetting of priorities and of care delivery itself, as Indian healthcare leaders navigate a fundamentally changed world. We hope that the insights from our report will aid key stakeholders in empowering Indian healthcare leaders to work towards building healthcare systems that are sustainable, adaptable and resilient.”

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Read more: Doctors riding the wave of telemedicine

Telehealth and artificial intelligence (AI) emerge as top priorities

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth and enhanced the accessibility of treatment for people in rural areas. Indian healthcare leaders are also currently overwhelmingly supportive of the adoption of remote care solutions as 33 per cent state that a shift to virtual care is among their key priorities while 51 per cent say that telehealth is currently a top investment area for them.

Investments in telehealth have also been accompanied by the accelerated adoption of digital health records (DHR), a necessary foundation for delivering remote care. The government’s efforts to make healthcare data-driven are reflected in the investment priorities among Indian healthcare leaders, with half (49 per cent) citing digital health records as a top investment.

To create a more resilient, future-ready healthcare service, leaders are looking at new, technology-driven ways of improving care. While Indian healthcare leaders anticipate that investments in telehealth will decline 12 percentage points over the next three years, in the same time frame they expect the current level of investment in AI to double – an increase of 28 percentage points.

Focus on staff satisfaction and retention

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed healthcare systems across the world and unveiled the existing challenges of shortages in equipment, beds and staff. Aware of these challenges, Indian healthcare leaders are prioritising staff satisfaction and retention by addressing issues such as their wellbeing. More than a quarter (28 per cent) of the leaders highlighted that they expect to continue placing staff needs at the top of their agenda three years from now.

Indian healthcare leaders look to unlock the power of data and predictive analytics

Indian healthcare leaders are confident that an integrated infrastructure of data and predictive analytics will enhance utilisation of digital healthcare resources. They have faith in their capacity to make use of the data at their disposal as 78 per cent think their organisation is capable of extracting useful insights, and 77 per cent say they have the requisite technology to do so. The majority (76 per cent) are also confident in the accuracy of the data that their facility has access to.

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Leaders in Indian healthcare are also working to enhance data utilisation in their facilities even as they face infrastructure challenges. To address these challenges, one of their key priorities is to raise the level of knowledge and proficiency among hospital employees. Currently, 62 per cent of hospital leaders concur that their organisation has part of the knowledge required to properly utilise data, but only 9 per cent think they have all the necessary skills. This suggests that there is room for improvement – 37 per cent of leaders say more overall internal staff expertise is needed and would support their facility in making more comprehensive use of their data, while 20 per cent want to see their staff trained in data usage.