Mayank Bhargava,. Chief Information and Digital Of­fi­cer, Fortis Healthcare Limited

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the pedal for digitalisation in the healthcare sector, with India witnessing one of the highest adoptions of digital solutions by enterprises. Adequate government support, coupled with continuous technological advancements in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, blockchain and internet of things (IoT), continues to facilitate organisations in the healthcare space to provide a superlative patient experience in wider geographies. Industry leaders share their views on the emerging use cases of these technologies, the impact of 5G and the potential of metaverse…

What are the emerging use cases of techno­lo­gies such as AR, IoT, robotics and AI/ML in the sector? What other technologies do enterprises in the sector leverage?

IoT and robotics have been already making a positive impact on the sector for a while now, though these are now becoming more mainstream through better affordability and technology impro­vement. AI/ML is not being left behind and is creating value from the data being generated through different channels – be it semi-structured or unstructured. How­ever, there is still a lot that can be accomplished by leveraging these technologies in different ways and use cases.

How will the 5G roll-out in India impact tele­medicine and digitalisation of healthcare?

5G roll-out is expected to have a significant impact on telehealth and telemedicine by making the healthcare set-up geographically more mobile and increasing the overall accessibility to even the remote areas of the country. 5G has the potential to create virtual OPDs (outpatient departments) and getting the required information to clinicians in real time for their diagnosis and assessment.

What are the implementation and security ch­a­llenges while deploying these solutions?

Implementation would need to factor in the tenets of security (physical and cyber), alo­ng with affordability, for this to be sustainable and effective.

What is the potential of metaverse in the me­di­cal space? What other tech trends do you foresee in the coming years?

Metaverse has a good potential in healthcare with capabilities of AR possibly being used during surgeries, virtual reality being considered for medical training, etc. How­ever, all this would possibly complement or augment what is there in the real world and may not be its replacement, at least for now.