Making data more accessible and including technology for efficient care delivery can help in the digital transformation of India’s healthcare industry, said former US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr David Shulkin.
Shulkin, who was on a week-long visit to this country, said the cooperation between New Delhi and Washington is “really critical” given the technological resources that India brings to the table.
In an interview with PTI, Shulkin said the Indian government, like the United States, has now set in place policies that are going to be extremely helpful in furthering the digital transformation of the industry.
Both India and the US can unleash the power of data which can provide citizens access to treatment, he said. “This is what I found in the Department of Veteran Affairs…We had all this data but it wasn’t always accessible.”
“Once we start allowing that data to be utilised, it is going to help accelerate research and discovery of new therapeutics and diagnostics. That could help hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Shulkin, who is presently an advisor to Indegene, a technology-led healthcare solutions provider.
“Each of us is embarking on the transformation of our healthcare systems to make it more digital and to include technology so that we can deliver care more efficiently and find new and better ways to treat patients. And that’s going to mean that we make our data more accessible,” he said.
He underlined the need to invest more in digital solutions and said the governments need to work with the private sector in this area. “I don’t think any government can do this alone. There have to be public-private partnerships.”
Some of the initiatives that India and the United States are carrying out in the artificial intelligence sector are important and going to be very meaningful in healthcare and life sciences as well, Shulkin said.
“So, I think that data sharing and data collaboration is certainly one thing that we’re starting to see many of the Indian technology resources turn towards healthcare. We’re going to see huge advances in things like artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics too,” he said.
Shulkin was the ninth Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs in the Trump Administration and Veterans Affairs’s Under Secretary of Health in the Barack Obama administration.