India’s thriving start-up ecosystem, which is the third largest in the world, has an immense potential to tackle pressing healthcare challenges on a global scale, stated Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, at the Digital Health Summit 2023 being held in Mumbai today and tomorrow.
Speaking virtually at the summit, Goyal informed that the rise of digital healthcare holds the key to address healthcare accessibility issues—a mission that aligns seamlessly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of healthcare for all.
The minister also shed light on the potential of Machine Learning (ML) in revolutionising healthcare diagnostics, ensuring the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the last mile.
Dr Karen DeSalvo, Chief Health Officer, Google, stated that technology has made it possible for the healthcare system to meet the patients where they are.
“The benefits should not be limited to a select few who have the ability to access information and services. Equity by design, privacy by design, and security by design are some of the core values on which our systems are built,” she explained.
Dr DeSalvo also informed that almost one-third of the world population comes to Google asking questions every day. “Hundreds of millions of those are related to healthcare. Where we realise that some of the frequently searched information is not available, we work with the partners such as hospitals to create desired content on platforms including YouTube,” she added.
Dr DeSalvo also spoke of the opportunities that digital tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) are providing to healthcare companies to scale up their operations today. “Such tools are helping companies working with the ecosystem to spur innovation for companies and caregivers. These digital tools are also helping provide healthcare access to people on the phones,” she said.
She noted during her interaction that India has taken the lead in digitalisation and telemedicine. “Privacy and governance frameworks will have to be in place” for the systems to scale, she underlined.
Dr Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Chair, Global Digital Health Summit, Expo & Innovation Awards said, “We are shifting our focus from thought leadership to practical implementation, and medical science and technology will lead to healthcare space in the future.”
The conference would have a robot as a panellist for the first time in India, which is reflective of the future of medicine, he pointed out.