By Shashank ND
Healthcare is perhaps one of the few industries yet to be completely disrupted by technology. It bothers me that millions of people find it harder to find a great doctor than a movie hall.
It?s also easier to get a joke on your e-mail than to get your own healthcare records. Everyone says access to good healthcare is a fundamental right, yet billions around the world struggle with it every day.
Even if you look at people with access to healthcare, their experience isn?t much better. They have no way of finding the best doctors save for asking a few of their friends who may or may not know great doctors.
Their medical history (if they were diligent enough to actually have one) is stored in fat files that need to be lugged around every time they want to see a doctor. And when they do, it is so cumbersome for doctors to go through this fat file they simply order more tests which makes the file even fatter, and leaves their health not much better.
Why can?t your healthcare information and history work for your benefit? Surely, in an era where keyboards can predict your next word and cars are driving themselves, your healthcare data can (and should) do more than just sit in a file (fat or thin or digital) and twiddle its thumbs.
There has to be a better, easier way of doing this. I envision a world where technology will help consumers find the best doctors with a few clicks.
Generating, accessing, and storing health records would be entirely digital. Patients will have a single health account linked to their families that will store their health information securely, and provide helpful information in a timely manner (prescription reminders to take medicines, for example) to help people live healthier, longer lives.
This is the world we?re building at Practo. With Practo.com, millions of consumers find the best doctors every month. We?re also hard at work building the patient health account so you can securely store all your healthcare data. Our Practo Ray software automates and simplifies clinic management so doctors can focus on treating and caring for patients.
The possibilities from here on are endless. For example, if you could find the best doctor on Practo from hundreds of thousands of doctors we list across the various countries we operate in, and could securely share your health information with the doctor with a single click, wouldn?t that make it extremely easy (and for the first time practical) for you to do a consultation with that doctor ? no matter the actual distance between you both? This is when people in every corner of the world will be able to access the best healthcare they can. It will also make the healthcare industry a globally integrated entity working to improve patient care.
The good news is that things are changing rapidly. Doctors and healthcare providers want to improve patient healthcare experience but so far, all the technological change had been focused on large medical devices and creation of medicine (which is obviously important).
But the next phase of innovation will be centered around improving patient ability to make more informed healthcare decisions and making all the magic of modern medicine accessible to consumers easily, transparently, so they can live healthier, longer lives.
The author is the founder and CEO of Practo