With technological innovations making its way through, Pakistan is also ready on adopting innovations and is definitely taking a step forward in shaping the healthcare system.
It is said that telemedicine is the way to bridge the urban-rural divide in Pakistan healthcare. What is your opinion? How do you find the scope of telemedicine services in Pakistan today?
Telemedicine is about providing equitable assets to healthcare. No matter where the doctor is and where the patient is, telemedicine can bridge that gap. We know that 70 percent of the population still lives in villages, only about 10 percent of the specialists are in the villages and about 20 percent primary doctors in those villages. The government tried to introduce a rule whereby doctor had to serve a particular village but that didnt work out. So the only way out is to introduce innovations in the High-tech Information System space, this will enable the doctor to operate from wherever they want to be and bridge the gap.
I think in Pakistan there is a lot of scope for telemedicine services. We call it tele-presence or care at a distance where our main aim is to make it more user-friendly and affordable and something which can be used at scale rather than making it more technologically complicated. So the need is huge in Pakistan with primary health centres and most of these PHCs are not equipped with specialists and many of them dont even have a primary doctor and for this reason the villagers have to go to the district hospitals and in the process they lose a lot of time. The challenge is if the person doesnt get the help at the right time then the cost increases exponentially.
“In China people have a single health card. Whenever they visit any hospital this card helps them to know where the reception is and likewise information. But when it comes to Pakistan there are so many doors to knock to reach to the desired location”.
We have come up with a lot of solutions in this space. We have come up with an offering called connected healthcare. In connected healthcare we validate the HIS system on our infrastructure. We make sure the HIS system runs on a very fast processor or on cloud so that they are easy to access. Security is another key factor where we have to ensure the right data being accessed by the right person.