“The next ‘big thing’ in healthcare . . . . is IT, which will dramatically change the way health professionals interact with patients. Every step of a patient’s care will be determined by protocols on a hand-held device. This will make healthcare safer and shift many hospital activities into the home,” says Dr Devi Shetty, world-renowned heart surgeon, founder and chairman of Narayana Health, India’s largest multi-purpose hospital group and the person said to have, “the biggest impact on healthcare on the 21st century”.
Shetty also warns that, “Despite the advantages of such technologies, the medical community is reluctant to accept them.”
Although doctors and patients have iPads and smartphones and use social networks, the healthcare community, “fights like mad to resist change”, and fails to embrace life-saving technologies, which would improve patient care and reduce costs.
Patients want health information in ways that doctors are not providing.
Patients want reliable answers to simple questions about the presentation, diagnosis, treatment options, side effects, and aftercare of their conditions. They want answers at speed, and increasingly delivered to their smartphones in video formats.
With difficulties gaining face-time with doctors, patients turn to the Internet. Worldwide, some three billion health-related Internet searches are made each year.