While the Covid pandemic wreaked havoc on the Indian healthcare system, for some health and medical care technology startups, it served as an opportunity to drive innovation and societal impact.
In India, the crumbling healthcare infrastructure was laid bare — poor hospital infrastructure, acute shortage of doctors, nursing staff and equipment, specialised treatment facilities particularly in primary healthcare centres in rural areas.
In such a scenario, Dozee, which is India’s first contactless remote patient monitor and early warning system, delivered timely alerts by sensing anomalies in trends using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Bengaluru-based startup converts any bed into a step-down ICU at a fraction of cost.
Gaurav Parchani, CTO and Co-Founder, Dozee, told IANS that Cloud technology is at the heart of remote patient monitoring and has helped their AI-based solution remove boundaries of the rooms and the wards.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
Q. While the Covid pandemic exposed India’s fragile healthcare infrastructure, one silver lining was that it accelerated the digital transformation journeys of many industries, including healthcare. Tell us more about how your technology supported critical care by converting regular hospital beds into step-down ICUs, saving nursing hours and providing AI-powered alerts, etc.
A. Dozee is India’s first contactless remote patient monitor and early warning system that automates and digitizes patient monitoring and delivers timely alerts by sensing anomalies in trends using Artificial Intelligence.
While India was struggling with the lack of ICU resources and healthcare staff we launched the MillionICU initiative which focused on transforming the public healthcare infrastructure in the country. Through the campaign, we upgraded over 2500 public hospital beds across 50+ public hospitals in India – helping healthcare providers monitor over 85,000 patients and deliver 2000+ timely alerts.
Q. Give us a sense of the scale of your operations. How many clinics/hospitals are you partnering up with currently and what is the goal by the end of 2022?
A. Currently, we have partnered with 300+ hospitals across India upgrading over 7700+ hospital beds with Connected Health. This has benefitted over 1,25,000 critical and sub-critical patients, saved 200,000+ nursing hours and effected over 2,000 lifesaving timely alerts. By the end of 2022, we are targeting to partner with 1000+ hospitals to upgrade 30,000 beds with Connected Health.
Q. What are some of the emerging technologies that you are most excited about over the medium term (3-5 years) in the Indian healthtech ecosystem?
A. The combination of Sensing technology, Communications, Cloud Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics together are redefining healthcare in almost all the verticals right from molecule testing, imaging, remote patient monitoring, diagnostics, surgeries and treatment globally as well as in India.
In some sectors like Pharma and Medical Services, India has established itself as a prominent player. However, in the sector of Medical Devices, India’s dependence on imports is 85 per cent.
There is a definite and proactive push already by the government and industry towards making India self-dependent and over time even establish us as an exporter and provider. As a technologist I am excited to be part of this revolution and to be present in this time & industry.
Q. Healthtech is one of the more heavily-regulated industries. In your view, what are the key policy enablers which can contribute towards a robust digital healthcare ecosystem in India over the long run?
A. In healthcare, a small glitch can be disastrous and life-threatening. Hence, healthcare providers do not want to change anything that can jeopardize patient safety. Also, medico-legal liabilities inhibit the healthcare ecosystem to try out new advancements even in a controlled environment.
To fast track the adoption of indigenous technology in healthcare there is a need for improvement in Medico-legal frameworks and protection, Interoperability protocols, Security framework, Authentication, Artificial Intelligence framework and Regulatory framework for algorithms. India has perfected the model of public infrastructure and private innovation — UPI, and Aadhaar are some of the transformational examples. Bharat’s Healthcare needs exactly such a booster.
Q. What has cloud technology enabled you to do better?
A. Cloud technology is at the heart of remote patient monitoring. Right from connecting the healthcare provider to the patient’s data to driving interventions based on real-time alerts, cloud technology has helped our solution remove boundaries of the rooms and the wards.
Hosting our solutions and AI/ML algorithms on cloud have also enabled us to deploy upgrades and new features with ease as compared to offline devices or even over-the-air updates.
Cloud connectivity also gives us the ability to build for visibility at scale. Bed availability and hospital efficiency metrics tracked on a district, state or even the national level enables policy makers like never before. In a country where we have 1 specialist for over 5000 people, we cannot take the specialist to everyone but with cloud, we can take everyone to the specialist.
AWS cloud solutions help companies focus on their core solutions by taking away the burden of developing & maintaining server infrastructure. The solution is significantly stable, secure and scalable as compared to building a team to develop, maintain and deploy servers on bare metal at a fraction of the cost. AWS security features also help with ensuring adherence to global guidelines and certifications on information security.
Additionally, the option of managed services right from object store to serverless databases give a tremendous advantage on time to market.
A large number of data centers in different parts of the world along with modern containerization helps in deploying servers anywhere in just a few days. In the age of assembly, a focus on the core and a stable cloud provider for the rest is the way to go.
This enabled us to quickly build a stable scalable solution and timely launch it in the market. While building a solution in healthcare there are lots of things to worry about, it helps when there is one less.