HTM Speaks With Dr. Ruchi Dass, CEO, HealthCursor

Dr Ruchi Dass is an award winning Physician from India with a Post Graduate in Preventive and Promotional Healthcare and with medical technology applied expertise. She is a part of the ICT4D team India and is judging the most coveted “GSMA’s Best mHealth Innovation Awards” since its inception aimed at identifying the excellence and innovation in mobile communications that can be of significance to Healthcare.

Dr Dass serves on several Advocacy and Advisory Boards in Health Informatics, Telemedicine and eHealth associations

  • CuRE Expert Panel- Canada India Research Centre of Excellence (CIRCE), Quebec, Canada
  • Innovation Leader->UN Commission, Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, Washington DC,USA
  • Jury->GSMA's Best mHealth Innovation Awards, Barcelona, Spain
  • Advisor-> Commonwealth Connects Program, ICT4D- African, Asian, European, and Caribbean member states
  • IPIHD Member-Global Innovators (World Economic Forum + Duke University + McKinsey & Company), Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • HIMSS 2013 Innovation Community Member; Reviewer- Mobile Health Annual Conference Education, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Chair->Health on Mobiles Group, India

She has been featured in leading dailies like Financial Times, Business Weekly, Times of India and contributed to several Medical Journals listed with PubMed, IRMA, IGI Global etc. and has in particular worked, as an author, market researcher and business strategist on a large variety of projects and reports related to the deployment of ICT systems in emerging markets.

Prior to becoming a “Thought leader” for m-Health, She led the Business development and Operations of Lifetime Wellness (An Apollo Group Initiative). Apollo is the largest private Healthcare chain in Asia and third largest in the world. Specialties:Public Policy Government Liaison Mhealth, Ehealth, Healthcare IT, Wireless Healthcare, Telemedicine Pharmaceuticals -Competitive analysis, financing, franchising, mergers and acquisition Healthcare Business Consulting Healthcare Social Media Marketing Ministry of Health Regulations and Legislation Trade Organisations Medical Technology and Devices

Please introduce yourself, you current role in the healthcare IT marketplace, and your background and experience in healthcare information systems:

A big hello to all the readers of Healthcare Technology Magazine! My name is Dr Ruchi Dass and I have been working in the healthcare ICT space especially Telemedicine and mHealth across 53 Commonwealth Nations. Currently, I am an Advisor to the Commonwealth Connects Program and running a consortium called “HealthCursor” aimed to improve healthcare delivery and health outcomes for millions of people in the world using Information Technology.

What are the mobile and wireless applications in demand from the healthcare industry today and how will they develop in the next 5 years?

Mobile technology is being adopted in most countries at a very rapid pace. While the type of devices being sold and speed of cellular networks (2G vs 3G vs 4G) varies from market to market, the healthcare industry is leveraging the use of this pervasive technology. From a consumer’s perspective, health tips, find-a-doctor, wellness and disease management applications are popular. Providers on the other hand are making significant investments in technology in the hospitals/clinics – EHR/EMR, telehealth, remote patient monitoring and related solutions are in demand.

5 years ago it would have been hard to imagine that Facebook and Social media will be such an intricate part of our lives. With the increasing adoption of smartphones and leapfrogging cellular technology, it is quite conceivable that we will see a significant mobile revolution in the next 5 years. Every industry whether it is finance or retail or healthcare will jump on this mobile revolution to stay connected with their constituents. From paying for your groceries to speaking with a doctor, the phone will become indispensible more so than ever.

Changes in the delivery of healthcare, technology and public finances will have an impact on the shape of the healthcare market. What does the future hold and what will that mean to your organization?

As I mentioned above, we are yet to experience the full force of the mobile revolution. With the changing technology and healthcare landscape, significant investments will be made in the healthcare ICT that will take advantage of the mobile platform.

Governments, Providers, Telecom operators and other stakeholders will increase their investments and will look to leverage mobile platforms for healthcare delivery. The pace of adoption will directly depend on the cost of mobile devices, speed and coverage of high-speed mobile networks that will allow a broader population to use this technology.

As a healthcare services company, we have already invested in mHealth and ICT for the past few years and have deployed several solutions in 67 different countries. As the adoption of mHealth gains popularity and business start to realize revenue from their investments, we hope to grow with the rising tide and become part of several implementations around the world.

What has been the impact for healthcare providers, insurance underwriters and third party claims administrator’s who invest, harness, and adopt wireless and mobile technology and applications?

Providers are beginning to leverage tablets and mobile phones to share information between physicians, nurses and other medical professionals. Wireless tablet technologies are revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare - from looking up drug info, prescribing medication to reviewing EKG’s, iPads and smartphones are starting to play an integral role in healthcare. Healthcare organizations are also leveraging mobile technologies to help consumers stay healthy and manage their health better – prescription reminders, wellness tips, glucometers that connect to smartphones are becoming popular. As a result of technology, people are becoming more aware of their health and are able to manage their chronic conditions or diseases better due to the availability to reliable information at their fingertips. Healthier people mean more money for insurers and 3rd party claim administrators. Hence insurers are also investing and promoting the use of mobile technologies.

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