Healthcare innovation has given a new edge to healthcare technology (health-tech) in India which plays a huge role in helping the Indian population get preventive care and in turn primary care. In the health-tech sequence, the emergence of the ‘Phygital’ ecosystem – easy-to-use seems quite promising to reach out to the lowest rung of Indian society.
Speaking about the role of technological intervention in preventive healthcare, and how the intervention in medical technology is turning out to be instrumental in preventive healthcare delivery and mitigating the burden of NCDs during Health4All episode-33, Dr Satyender Goel, Founder & CEO, India Health Link (IHL), said, “For the prevention of diseases, the foremost thing required is to create awareness in the Indian population about the preventive care, health and wellness, which, the Indian society is lacking. Health and wellness are not about clinical care as it starts much before that. We need to inculcate the habit of annual health check-ups among the masses, which will help prevent the diseases; and in this exercise, the role of health technology is pivotal because of its ‘Phygital’ model. The digital health devices like the Health Pod (‘hPod’) will pave the way to reach out to the people unreached.”
Throwing light on the essence of medical technology in preventive healthcare during Health4All episode-33, Dr Akash N Rajpal, Executive Vice President, Medikabazaar, said, “Preventive care is essential, and for this, we need not visit doctors; however, it can be done primarily at home by the help of Med-tech devices. One of such technological devices developed by India Health Link (IHL) is Health Pod – (‘hPod’), which is a wonderful device that should be available in every nook and corner of the country. After screening, it delivers an instant report that shows your health status whether you need to visit a doctor or not and gives you the pointer to take preventive measures! This machine will reduce the visit to the doctors and hospitals drastically. Health is not only the responsibility of the government, but it should be the responsibility of every individual. This is the time when private sector and NGOs should come forward and use such type of machines for screening in their corporate houses and community settings to mitigate the burden of Indian healthcare.”
Speaking further on the causes of the onset of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Dr Goel said, “90% of our major health problems start with obesity and hypertension. If people can curb the onset of these two problems, they would be able to resist most of the NCDs. And it can be done through prevention but for that, we need to spread awareness. Education and information about the causes of NCDs are very important as this will help people to adopt preventive care, which is readily available because of the innovation in medical technology. The intervention of healthcare technology is fast taking place. And, we believe that down the line in five years, India will be able to provide cost-effective solutions to preventive healthcare via digital technology. Our ‘hPod’ is a simple machine and a ‘phygital’ model, which needs zero paramedic assistance, and can reach the remotest of the areas.”
Insofar as the contribution of obesity and hypertension in creating the majority of the NCDs is concerned, a WHO estimate reveals that 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries. And another estimate says that there are more than 650 million people with obesity, globally. Likewise, one Lancet study brought out that obesity was associated with 21 non-overlapping cardiometabolic, digestive, respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal, and infectious diseases.
Revealing the causes of hypertension during Health4All episode-33, Dr Sadiq Azam, Cardiologist said, “Lack of physical activity and regular exercise are the leading causes of hypertension. Everyone should ensure to get the minimum regular screening done to mitigate the chances of increasing hypertension. And most importantly, it is essential to do regular physical exercise.”