Explore the unfolding healthcare technology landscape in India for 2024, where AI, robotics, and cutting-edge solutions redefine patient care. Leading hospital CIOs, Prashant Singh and JP Dwivedi highlight the trends shaping the industry. From robotic surgeries in public hospitals to the continuous rise of generative AI, advancements promise improved efficiency. Radiology and Pathology witness AI integration, streamlining diagnoses. Novel technologies like Radiofrequency Ablation and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound expand therapeutic options in oncology. The aftermath of COVID-19 accelerates EHR adoption, with the coming year poised for breakthroughs in handwriting and voice recognition. Budgets align with hospitals eager to be technology champions, ushering in a new era of patient-focused, tech-enhanced healthcare.
The year 2024 unfolds as a pivotal chapter in India’s healthcare transformation, marked by the convergence of artificial intelligence, robotics, and innovative technologies. In the spotlight are Max Hospitals’ CIO, Prashant Singh, and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute’s CIO, JP Dwivedi. Together, they unravel the dynamic trends shaping health IT, from the widespread integration of robotic solutions in surgeries to the persistent demand for generative AI. Radiology and Pathology undergo a revolution, propelled by AI, while therapeutic interventions in oncology witness rapid expansion. The aftermath of the pandemic propels hospitals towards embracing Electronic Health Records (EHR) and novel technologies, setting the stage for a future where patient-centric care meets cutting-edge innovation.
As the healthcare landscape in India continues to evolve, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) of leading hospitals shed light on the pivotal role of technology in championing health IT in 2024.
In addition to the widespread integration of AI into healthcare, with applications ranging from clinical decision support to personalized medicine, Indian hospitals are exploring diverse emerging technologies this year. Prashant Singh, CIO of Max Hospitals, and JP Dwivedi, CIO of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, share their insights on the current and upcoming trends in health IT.
Robotic solutions for surgeries are anticipated to gain prominence not only in large private hospital chains but also in smaller public hospitals, thanks to increasing cost competitiveness with the introduction of domestic alternatives.
Q: In the realm of health technology in India, which trends do you foresee continuing in 2024? Are there any novel trends on the horizon?
Dwivedi, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute: The momentum in adopting medical technology has been ongoing, especially in Radiology. The integration of digital X-rays, filmless images, and high-precision CT, MRI, and PET-CT has been transformative. Laboratories in Haematology and Biochemistry are now seamlessly integrated into Hospital Information Systems. Automation has extended to Microbiology and Histopathology, with a surge in investments in molecular laboratories and genome sequencing. The trend of incorporating AI in both Radiology and Pathology is set to persist in 2024.
The increasing complexity of Radiology modalities and the growing demand for radiologists necessitate a triage system to identify images requiring professional attention. AI/ML-enabled products have proven effective in sorting images, presenting only abnormal or potentially abnormal ones to radiologists. This not only saves time but also enhances precision. Similar advancements are expected in Pathology, where digital images, analyzed by AI/ML, will replace traditional glass slides.
Our institute has made significant strides in digital pathology and the application of AI/ML in detecting prostate cancer, with promising results. The next frontier is therapeutic use, expanding the scope of technology interventions like Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), Trans Arterial Chemo Embolization (TACE), Trans Arterial Radiation Embolization (TARE), and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) in oncology.
The traditional reluctance towards IT in hospitals shifted dramatically during the onset of COVID-19. The shift to telemedicine and Electronic Health Records (EHR) gained traction, and patients now appreciate the convenience of online appointments and accessing complete medical histories through apps. Despite challenges in EHR adoption, the year 2024 is anticipated to bring promising developments, potentially leveraging handwriting or voice recognition technologies.
As patient data becomes increasingly available online, cybersecurity is a growing concern. The field is evolving, and 2024 is expected to witness marked improvements in cybersecurity technology to safeguard patient information.
Singh, Max Hospitals: From my perspective, the prevalence of AI and generative AI will persist in 2024, with applications focusing on case summarization and disease prediction.
Q: How willing are hospitals in India to embrace new technologies available in the market? Do you observe a substantial allocation of budgets toward testing and implementing new technologies in 2024?
Dwivedi, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute: Hospitals, traditionally embracing medical technologies, are now opening up to the realm of IT. Government initiatives actively encourage the integration of IT in healthcare. Patients are increasingly aware of the benefits of digital health records, telemedicine, and online appointments facilitated by IT. This awareness drives hospitals to align budgets not only for testing new technologies but also for their effective implementation. Hospitals aspire to be recognized as technology champions, emphasizing patient safety, cost reduction, and an enhanced overall patient experience through advanced technologies.