AI can potentially leapfrog another technology, except for AI to be used at any scale, digitalisation may be a pre-requisite. Considering that, in many Indian health centres, medical records are still paper, and radiology uses films (although this is often changing rapidly). The pace of this alteration is rapid, but statistics on digitalisation of records, prescriptions, and radiology are hard to return by.
Healthcare systems everywhere are slower to adopt change than their counterparts in other industries, often with good reason. But in India, it’s not only regulation which stifles innovation. Most healthcare services are provided by the private sector and purchased out-of-pocket. This suggests that to be broadly adopted, technology has got to provide a transparent short-to-medium term incentive to the private sector, instead of directly aligning with health outcomes. The shortage of state spending on healthcare means public health programmes are still largely funded from outside the country. This sometimes leads to importing technology instead of fostering the event of indigenously developed locally appropriate inventions. Medical education in India doesn’t place enough emphasis on research and on maintaining with new developments. Combined with an overburdened system, this leads to generations of practicing clinicians with little motivation to innovate or to know and adopt technology.
“In the future, AI will be available in every field which is able to be vastly benefitted with conversion. Al-powered solutions have potential to handle major challenges that the aid sector faces these days. Currently, the demand for diagnostic services exceeds the provision of specialists within the manpower. Whereas this gap is growing apace, nosology and treatment also are changing into a lot of uncomplicated things,” SurajKumar Chandrasekharan, Head of Diagnostic Imaging, Siemens Healtineers, India shared.
Siemens in Healthcare
Siemens Healthineers has been one of the pioneers in AI development for over 20 years and therefore the new deep learning technologies change The United States to change complicated diagnosing and support optimum treatment. Chandrasekharan said, “One such example is that the majority up-to-date introduction of Siemens Healthineers’ intelligent computer code assistant for radiology – AI-Rad Companion Chest CT. A computer code assistant that brings AIto computerised tomography (CT) and helps radiologists by dashing up workflows, increasing exactitude, reducing the time for interpretation and reportage, all this by integration with the imaging interpretation advancement. In an exceedingly shell, AI-Rad Companion could be a vendor-neutral, multi-organ increased reading resolution that mechanically prepares clinical input to be understood by radiologists, pathologists and/or clinicians. Through automation, this resolution aims to require away the burden of basic, repetitive tasks, so full-fledged employees will concentrate on delivering value-based care.”
AI-based algorithms could soon establish themselves as virtual ‘second readers’ thereby advancing radiology. With established AI expertise, future-oriented staff, vast medical data sets, and therefore the exceptional computing power needed for creating algorithm-supported healthcare solutions; Siemens is enabling healthcare organisations in their journey towards digital transformation and transforming care delivery.
BPL cementing position with connected devices
The healthcare opportunity in India while most closed corporation people would have sold the business after red, BPL rallied on, after seeing the booming healthcare opportunity in India. When Goldman Sachs invested $60 million for a majority stake within the company in 2013, the BPL family too invested an undisclosed amount to revive the business. A focus on connected medical devices and smaller towns became a serious driver of business. But first, Sunil Khurana, CEO and MD of BPL Medical Technologies had to set the house in order. Sunil began meeting with distributors to make sure that they stayed with the brand. He says, “From our investors, I realised that we had an excellent brand story and our factory was strong. I met all 97 distributors and told them about our vision. They all stuck by us and that we now have quite 150 distributors who cover two to 3 districts in India, and have reached close 160,000 medical centres.”
To cement its specialise in medical devices, BPL Medical Technologies in 2015 acquired UK-based Penlon Systems, which makes anaesthesia machines and vaporisers. In the last two years, the corporate has partnered with several global players to spruce up its medical devices. These include German-based Lowenstein, which builds ICU ventilators; Japanese company Atom Medical Corporation to sell infant care systems; and South Korea-based Alpinion Medical Systems for ultrasound. These partnerships helped the corporate get an edge within the critical care segment. Today, critical care and imaging (X-rays) forms 55 per cent of the company’s revenue. However, BPL Medical Technologies is depending on home care, which remains just 5 per cent of its business. The company continues to be big in cardiology and manufactures on the brink of 10,000 units of ECG machines per annum . This division alone contributes to 40 per cent of its revenue.
AI: The focus in healthcare
The last 5 years in India have seen consumer-facing ‘health tech’ being talked about and embraced by investors, by the government and gradually by the general public. Existing methods also are getting used to reinvent health care delivery within the sort of online consults or chat-based basic healthcare service apps.
More recently, physician-facing digital healthcare tech has begun to make its appearance – like technology that performs or assists with core healthcare or medical tasks like analysing radiology, pathology or ophthalmology images.
In this new storm of developing deep learning algorithms and artificial neural networks, along with the explosion of big data and the acceleration of processing power, experts have witnessed the start of a replacement world of AI. Chandrasekharan adds, “There has been an increasing focus of AI in radiology even to the purpose that some experts within the field are saying that someday AI might even replace radiology experts.” These suggestions are very thought provoking and will give motivation to seem more closely at this technology so people can better understand its potential, understand the drivers, and begin to understand where and the way one can employ the exciting technology to get new ways to enhance the care of patients. AI in radiology will likely emerge in stages. The first stage is already happening and involves AI systems performing automatic segmentation of varied structures on digital CT or MR images. Segmentation of structures is that the opening in any effort to isolate and analyze organs or pathologic lesions for analysis. Although segmentation of structures appears simple and at once apparent to human operators, it’ll take huge amounts (hours) of some time to perform by humans.
Khurana shared, “The Indian government is pushing Ayushman Bharat and needs to cover 500 million under-insured citizens with Rs 5 lakh as coverage for people in remote areas. For BPL Medical Technologies, this suggests inclusive healthcare because people in rural areas need to attend district headquarters for treatment.” Khurana believes that district-level medical entrepreneurs will create inclusive healthcare, buy healthcare equipment, and increase the reach and affordability of care. Khurana claims that BPL Medical Technologies is well on its thanks to becoming a Rs 1,000 crore company by 2022. Over subsequent 18 months, it’ll specialise in selling ventilators. “The company also will work with its 42-member R&D team to form its devices connected and convey affordable products to Indians,” shared Khurana.
According to PWC, the worldwide medical technology market are going to be worth $495 billion within the next three years. India’s market size is $9.5 billion, 75 per cent of which is imported. “BPL Medical Technologies wants to extend its presence in India as a ‘local for global’ company. Its imports currently stand at Rs 10 crore and it wants to extend this a minimum of five-fold within the next five years,” Khurana added.
Technology advancements in medical devices with incorporation of AI has brought transitions in the healthcare sector, thus, delivering value-based care.