I started to look around ideas in healthcare space and wrote my first article Can we look health, medical insurance and IT industry connected? Today in 2014, I read a software Start-up has created a Virtual Medical assistant and provides the software to the doctor and doctor can pay on annual basis. My family paediatrician who has been keeping charges at very low level, has increased the charge from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per visit. When enquired, he explains inflation effect and will add Rs 50 for that and other significant addition seems to be software and printer used in the clinic. Did a software start-up make my doctor to increase fees?
The start-up seems to give give 4 benefits to the doctor. What are the benefits of the patient and health-care in holistic manner. I hope the start-up talks of that too.The next start-up was family’s health check-up and could not see benefits they offer to their customers. Here is my take of the benefits proposed by software start-up.
- Schedule all appointments and reminders to patients. My family paediatrician had a good human agent system to perform the same In addition he had special morning and evening early hours to meet patients who are in emergency. then people come and take token and wait or call and put them in token register. At last, when there is emergency, the doctor’s schedule will go for a toss and software cannot control the same. If the patient does not come, possibly he has no issues any more.
- Electronic medical records: Do we really need them with the doctor? Will the doctor spend time with patient to understand illness and symptoms or not pay attention to patient looking at records. Why a patient should not bring his own records? There are times I want to take record and visit another doctor for cross reference without my doctor’s knowledge. Can the reports be reliable?
- Billing: I do not see it as important benefit. Doctors in India do not use Word or software to generate bills. They wrote in a receipt books and gave me.
- Analytics for the doctor : Keep the history of patients and also how many new patients have come and how many were examined, the money they have paid, how much has been expensed, what is the profit for the month. Here we want to make the doctor to focus on profit. Can there be a different analytics that can talk of patients are cured and the wellness of patients coming to the doctor?