As the lockdown restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic accelerated adoption of digital solutions, India has witnessed one of the highest adoptions of digital technologies by Health and Human Services (HHS) organizations out of the countries surveyed, according to a new survey from Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY) and Imperial College London’s Institute for Global Health Innovation.
The survey was titled ‘Embracing Digital: Is covid-19 the catalyst for lasting change?’. It revealed that since the pandemic outbreak, 51% of respondents in India had increased their use of digital technologies and data solutions. 75% of respondents in India reported that digital solutions have effectively delivered better outcomes for patients and service users, and 74% reported that digital technologies and data solutions had increased staff productivity.
The findings are based on a survey involving 359 respondents from India out of more than 2,000 global HHS professionals in India, Australia, Italy, UAE, the UK, and the US.
“The response to the covid-19 pandemic has shown that data and technology can make a real difference to the work of health and human services professionals in India, who have worked tirelessly and heroically in the face of this dreadful disease…The lessons learned during the pandemic must lead to continued technology investments in the healthcare sector,” said Gaurav Taneja, partner and leader, Government and Public Sector, EY India.
According to the survey, the greatest uptake across all technology solutions has been seen by phone and video consultations, with phone consultations offered by 39% of HHS organizations before the pandemic, now being offered by 81% of HHS organizations. Simultaneously, 71% of organizations offered video consultations, a steep rise from 22% before the pandemic.
Compared to this overall growth, India has seen a higher uptake, with 86% for a phone consultation (48% before pandemic) and 83% for video consultations (33% before pandemic). The public sector organizations in India preferred digital tools for self-help (92% organizations) and online self-assessment tools (89% organizations) over the phone consultation and video consultation.
Also, in India, almost 75% of the respondents reported positive digital technologies and data solutions. They believe it leads to better collaboration and efficiency in the operating model.
Ethics and privacy concerns were listed as one of the most prevalent barriers by nearly 40% of India’s respondents, significantly higher than other countries in the sample, with only 20% of US respondents and 11% of UK respondents, citing this as the main barrier.
From India, three fourth of the respondents indicated that over the next three years, they plan to further invest in digital solutions and technologies and that the level of investment will be more than 50% as compared to the previous three years.