Eye-care Specialities: Tech, Set, Go
By: Mr. Rajat Goel, CEO and Co-Founder, Eye-Q Super Speciality Eye Hospitals
Technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. From the phones we use, to the cars we drive right up to healthcare, technology has been transforming and changing the world. Introduction of improved technology in therapeutic and diagnostic treatment and doctor-patient interaction has revolutionized the way healthcare is being delivered today.
Upuntil the last decade only metro cities in India had ample access to new technology in the healthcare sector, with barely any infiltration in tier 2 and 3 cities. This changed with the entry of single speciality hospitals in the Indian Healthcare system.
Single speciality hospitals have made a huge impact on the delivery of healthcarein the country. They offer end-to-end services and personalized care to single therapeutic areas such as eye-care, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, urology etc. They are focused in their specialization and hence demonstrate superior performance both therapeutically and financially. A speciality hospital model reduces the cost of hospitalization and provides the best care at the lowest cost, which is why their entry in the tier2 and 3 cities of India has been successful.
Single specialty hospitals have more flexibility in allocation of their funds. For example some single specialty chains such as eye-care do not require patients to be admitted; hence investment in beds is limited. Therefore the funds can be optimally utilized in bringing superior technology to the patients and improving the service delivery to them.
When working with Bausch and Lomb, I along with My Partner Dr Ajay Sharma who is an acknowledged & reputed ophthalmologist noticed that good eye-care treatment in tier 2 and 3 cities in India was scarce. The aim was to offer these cities eye-care facilities and treatment equivalent to those in metro cities and at affordable rates. EyeQ was born with this vision. In our due course technology has enabled us to make available our facilities in all such cities via mobility of doctors and machines in various locations so that every region is able to get the expert touch.
An implementation that can be used as an example is the Forus Fund us photography technology. This is of help as a person from a small place doesn’t have to travel to get an important surgery done from a renowned doctor. This photography documents the retina and the neurosensory tissue of a patient. These details can be sent to any location to a doctor of choice of the patient, who then guides the doctor in the patient’s local branch to perform the operation in the best manner possible. Such technological advancements and computerized facilities in remote areas now cover large tracts of the eye checkup field and are reducing the risk of any eye problems in the future.
Technology has also been transforming the service delivery in single specialty hospitals. The introduction of cloud based server in several centers has helped bridge the gap between patients and doctors. There is an ease in access of files and data, and patients are assured of treatment no matter which center they go to.
The medical technology introduced in the centers complements the existing non-medical facilities to give the patients the best treatment. The use of advanced robotic assisted technology for treatment of cataract has helped our surgeons deliver predictability and quality in their outcome. This has ensured that every one of our patients receives safe, accurate and superior treatment.
Conclusively, even analysts are of the opinion that ophthalmology is a single specialty space that will see many path breaking developments. From development of low cost applications, to retinal photography, to surgeons wearing Google Glass to perform surgeries, to other “virtual reality augmentation tools”, the potential this offers is astounding.
It is essential that such potentials are tapped. Now that technology has entered the cities belonging to the lower rung of the ladder, it must be made a focal point in the healthcare delivery there and not stagnate at what it is. For, if one is to consider other aspects of the importance of technology for single speciality hospitals in India, then we must consider problems such as the scarcity of doctors when compared to the number of patients being served. Optimization of time becomes easy with technology such that fewer doctors can serve many patients. And it is in insidious ways such as these that single specialties along with technology are aiding in keeping the nation healthy from its very grassroots.