Embracing emerging technologies

The development and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and digital health platforms are ongoing research interests for Sujoy Kar.

With a background in clinical microbiology, he subsequently went on to post graduations from the Indian Statistical Institute and MIT Sloan School. Dr Kay is currently an adjunct faculty member for healthcare analytics and management at IIM Calcutta and IIT Kharagpur.

Having previously served as medical director of Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in Kolkata, his current roles are chief medical information officer (CMIO) and vice-president of the Apollo Hospitals group.

The value of digital health

“Apollo Hospitals is working relentlessly to bring forth the value of digital health and clinical AI for its patients, their families, physicians, healthcare workers and all stakeholders in multiple ways,” Dr Kar tells Healthcare It News.

Its efforts include the creation of Apollo 247, India’s only comprehensive digital health solution with 24-hour physician consultations, an online pharmacy with home delivery, online ordering for diagnostic tests and a secure personal health record system.

Apollo Hospitals has also developed multiple clinical AI-based solutions in areas including cardiology, respiratory health, liver disease, antibiotic stewardship, breast cancer, COVID-19 scanners and predictors and prediabetes.

“The goal of these clinical AI tools is to predict different risks and stages of conditions and guide physicians and patients for better interventions,” Dr Kar explains.

The hospital group provides tele-medicine consultation, teleradiology and a tele–ICU services network. It has also taken up various projects aimed at using technology for patient monitoring using IoT devices. 

To deal with the ethical challenges associated with emerging technology, Apollo Hospitals have formulated a framework named EASE – ethics, adoption, suitability and explainability® to propagate practical approaches in clinical AI.

Getting personal with emerging tech

“Emerging technology can provide easy and affordable health through digital platforms and condition management programs which help in adherence, appointments, alerts and access,” says Dr Kar.

He believes it is essential to use patient reported outcomes to frame clinical pathways, algorithms and guidelines, therefore contributing to the triple aim of improving quality, reducing cost and increasing accessibility.

Apollo Hospitals is also embracing emerging technologies through the use of wearable devices to monitor patient health and lifestyle, through addressing clinical complexities and decision support with the AI–ML algorithm developed from millions of patients’ data tracking their longitudinal care processes, and by using simplistic application programming interfaces (API) to integrate with organisations’ electronic medicals records (EMRs).

The hospital group is also integrating the Apollo ProHealth program, which brings together predictive risk analysis, diagnostics and physician evaluation to create personalised health management programmes for patients.

“These algorithms streamline better clinical decision-making and appropriate and timely conversions to higher levels of care,” says Dr Kar.

Dr Kar is speaking at the HIMSS21 APAC Conference during the keynote session, Getting Personal with Emerging Tech. This fully digital event will take place on 18 & 19 October and is free for all healthcare providers. Register here.

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