Narayana Health, a multispeciality tertiary level healthcare service provider in India today announced their alliance with Cisco to help deliver affordable specialty healthcare services remotely using Cisco’s Virtual Expertise Digital Solution. Based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Narayana Health (NH) and Cisco, the highly secure medical-grade network with an enhanced visual experience / high-definition two-way video was launched in the presence of Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health and Mr. VC Gopalratnam, CIO, APJC, President, IT and Chief of Strategy, Planning and Operations, Cisco India. The association will enable NH to offer diagnostic services for various specialities at a cost that’s affordable with a high-quality, high-value patient experience in the areas of Neurology (Brain & Nervous System), Nephrology (Kidney & Renal Disease), Oncology (all types of Cancers) and Cardiology (heart related ailments) to patients remotely in various parts of the country.
Cisco will also implement modifications to hospital infrastructure enabling healthcare delivery at district centers and multi-specialty hospitals of Narayana Health Group across the country, creating a truly mobile and digital hospital experience. Narayana Health will work together with Cisco to integrate and set up advanced telemedicine solutions across 3 centres in India – Sirsi and Bellary in Karnataka and Rajarhat in Bengal via the main centre at Narayana Health City located in Bommasandra, Bangalore, Karnataka.
Healthcare providers face many challenges in the delivery of healthcare services. The doctor–patient ratio in India is 1:1,674 against the World Health Organization (WHO) norm of 1:1,000. Nearly 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas, but 80% of the total available doctors live in urban areas and patients often have to travel long distances at great cost to get quality healthcare. This gap poses a huge challenge for the delivery of healthcare to rural areas. The lack of overall healthcare infrastructure offering specialised diagnostics is another major concern.
According to International Agency for Research (IARC), a World Health Organization entity in 2014, India had 1,000 trained oncologists in the country and the ratio of oncologists to cancer patients was about 1:2,000; 40,000 cardiologists against a patient population of 45 million – a doctor-patient ratio of 1:1,125; and 1,500 nephrologists in the country – a doctor-patient ratio of about 1:8,000.
The Cisco Virtual Expertise Digital solution will help connect patients with NH specialists conveniently and efficiently, regardless of distance. The solution brings voice, video and data to wherever patients are located and demonstrates how tele-health and sensors within medical devices can create new opportunities for innovation. The solution enables real time telemetry of medical device data, audio, high-definition two way video, ECG, other vitals and radiology, analytics of medical reports and a web-based portal which supports mobile end points. A detailed ‘clinical examination’ and review of all investigations are now possible in a seamless manner with the option of recording the entire interaction This solution will allow doctors from NH to conduct highly critical diagnostics such as Diacom viewing and detection of Thrombolysis in cardiac care. The collaboration will help NH empower care teams so they can help provide more proactive and predictive care for their patients.
The Cisco Virtual Expertise Digital solution is encrypted to provide NH a highly secure platform for the safety and privacy of the patient record system to ensure the data is available when needed and that information is not used, disclosed, accessed, altered, or deleted inappropriately while being stored or transmitted while using this solution.
Increasingly there is a shift in consumer attitudes toward remote consultation, sharing of personal data, telemedicine and access to medical information in the healthcare industry. As per a Cisco Customer Experience Report focused on health carestudy in 2013, 74% of consumers are open to a virtual doctor visit. The results of the report demonstrate that as information, technology, bandwidth, and integration of the network become the center of the “new world,” both human and digital aspects are key parts to the overall patient experience. These components lead to more real-time, meaningful patient and doctor interactions. The report findings highlight that while consumers still depend heavily on in person medical treatments, given a choice between virtual access to care and human contact, three quarters of patients and citizens would choose access to care and are comfortable with the use of technology for the clinician interaction.
“Healthcare and its inaccessibility is a persistent concern in India. We are in an era of digital transformation, and as hospitals begin this transition, we need to create infrastructure that is agile and adds value to patient care,” said Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health. “Our association with Cisco will help Narayana Health to move closer to realize its vision of becoming a digital hospital and deliver advanced specialized healthcare to both rural as well as urban populations. We are looking forward to further deepening and leveraging this relationship in future”, he added.
Speaking on the occasion VC Gopalratnam, CIO, APJC, President, IT and Chief of Strategy, Planning and Operations, Cisco India, said, “Narayana Health has redefined how super-specialty healthcare is delivered. Using highly secure medical-grade networks with immersive visual experiences we can virtualize scarce resources including doctors, nurses and paramedics and provide access to specialist consultants remotely. We are excited that our collaboration with Narayana Health demonstrates the future of health and healthcare in India.”
Speaking on the occasion, Debashish Sen, IAS, Chairman, West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) said, “Rajarhat New Town is using ICT as a strategic differentiator at the foundation of its expansive community. We set out from the beginning to create a community that be a stage for the best thinking in terms of design, construction and livability. We will leverage technology to create an enhanced quality of local living – be it delivery of specialized healthcare or other citizen services, which will facilitate a higher quality of life for the residents. We look forward to the Cisco – NH initiative to provide remote specialized healthcare and revolutionize the delivery of health care in India.