Rethinking Healthcare Leveraging Technology With Human Touch

In conversation with Dileep Dileep Mangsuli, Head-Development Center, Siemens Healthineers

What Is The Prospective Of Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Industry?
Artificial Intelligence is not new to healthcare. However, what is new is the acceleration that AI got during the last two years. The pandemic accelerated digitalization across industries globally, including healthcare. AI provides the ability to enable faster decision-making capabilities for clinicians, which is even more impactful for the stretched healthcare systems during the pandemic.It is about looking at an X-ray or CT and predicting the possibility of the patient having COVID and the severity of it, aided by AI.

AI-based applications have enhanced affordability, accessibility, and accuracy in diagnosis and therapy. This is something that healthcare systems have been striving to achieve for decades. In 1970s, the World Health Organization had made a declaration of health for all by 2000. We are still far from achieving the vision in 2022. In this context, AI helps us to think in different dimensions. Research tells us that a large proportion of the global population have only a few minutes with their primary care physician. Such a short consultation length is likely to adversely affect patient healthcare and physician workload and stress. AI can mitigate this challenge by enhancing decision-making ability for better detection, treatment, and therapy.

The hospitals, universities, startups, and government together with clinicians, and academicians are bringing in affordability to healthcare and have been creating the new possibilities in the country

Bringing the wellness factor for a patient is going to stay. In the past, this was made possible through a family doctor, who knew the history of a patient which helped in better detecting conditions quickly. We are now trying to do this through AI. By combining the historic data spanning not just diagnostics, but also food habits, genomics, exercise routines, and others, we get an AI persona. Through this persona, we can try treating different diseases in different ways for patients. For a more accurate treatment, it’s essential to know the patient.

Elaborate More On Global Development Centres (Gdcs) And How Is Ai Reaping The Benefit Of Such Gdcs Across The Country And Do We Have Good Usage In The Nation?
India is lucky to have many GDCs in the country. According to NASSCOM there will be over 1900+ GCCs, with over two million professionals by 2025. Over the past 25-30 years, what started as the outsourcing of technologies, has now evolved to become global competency centres, also known as global development centres. These have become integral parts of the global companies. For example, Siemens Healthineers Development Center is an integral arm of Siemens Healthineers. We have individuals who have been with our organization for over 20 years and are best in their roles. And this is the scenario in other GDCs as well with individuals based in India, becoming global experts, and contributing intellectual inputs for the future of healthcare or any other sector.

The factor that has helped India, especially Bangalore, is the GDCs’ ability to nurture the talent. The city is blessed to have many educational institutions from IISc to other STEM universities. It has become a technology hub. The pharma and healthcare industry, along with the hub of hospitals, have also established a big base in Bengaluru. The hospitals, universities, startups, and government together with clinicians and academicians are bringing in afford ability to healthcare and have been creating the new possibilities in the country. India is now a growing market for healthcare, and with the focus given by the Government of India, especially with the National Digital Health Mission and the increased allocation for healthcare by the government. The government wants to bring in digital technologies to improve access and affordability. For GDCs it provides the opportunity to serve the customers next door. This creates more knowledge and better output globally. India has always been a place where affordable technologies got created that becomes global products. Recently we created a mobile C-arm, which went on to become a global product. These development centres are accelerating not only the global companies but also our country.

How Would You Connect Technology To Happiness Quotient Of The People With Healthcare As A Factor?
We pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare for everyone, everywhere. This is our new purpose. We are talking about creating breakthroughs which didn't exist in the past. We're talking about access for everyone, enhancing patient experience, clinician experience, investor experience, and for all the stakeholders in the value chain. The happiness quotient comes when a person is healthy. When a person is unhealthy, their entire lives get disturbed. Hence, the focus has always been on the treatment and diagnosis. Earlier, people delayed visiting the doctor but in the present times, with the help of technology like our wearables and phones, we are being monitored in various ways.

We are looking at detection before anything goes wrong. A happy mind is in a happy and healthy body. Hence for a healthy body, through the technologies available today, the reluctance to visit the hospital is being managed through telemedicine. Over the last two years, telemedicine grew by 3.5-4x times. The world has started accepting this as the possible future way of treating patients. Secondly, monitoring health through data like digital twins residing on the cloud by using the inputs and outputs, can make a huge difference in solving the problem at the lowest cost as we are treating the person before the severity of the disease. An OECD study estimates the social cost of patient harm due to healthcare errors is about $1 to 2 trillion a year globally. This leads to extended treatments to the loss of livelihood. If we can eliminate these, the happiness index will increase manifold.

Based On Your Experience And Expertise, What More Can The Healthcare Industry Expect From Technology In Future?
The future is exciting for Healthcare industry, wanting to make a difference to the lives of people. The healthcare revolution is going to be the one where AI will enable physicians in making accurate decisions. Access will enable the best care to reach the remotest of the places. The most complex surgeries can be accomplished remotely with surgeons sitting thousands of miles away. This will be exciting possibility for someone sitting in a small village in operating room working with the help of new technologies on remote management. The ability of AI to predict what could go wrong at a particular point in life, based on the data that’s gathered through analysis and measurement of vital parameters will provide an opportunity for disease to be treated even before it manifests itself into a serious condition. This will be beneficial for increasing lifespan, improving quality of life and engaging people into the happiness index. Happiness Index is going to grow.