Life in the 90s was simple. The solution to our problems was around the corner and we never had to worry about its authenticity. You want a phone? Go to nearby center. Want to sell furniture? Spread the word through friends and family. Want to eat fast-food? Drive straight to McDonald’s.
Life was that simple. However, by the time I joined university, we were already undergoing drastic revolution at all possible avenues. From the time, when every joke started or ended on Nokia Taytee Das (3310), now, we were more involved in what organ to sell to get a smartphone, as a joke of course. However, the influx of smartphones was intimidating and mesmerizing! The prospect of viewing videos and taking pictures with phones was suddenly a luxurious addition. From the small screens, we suddenly stepped into bigger and bigger LEDs with increased capacitance, color spectrum, slimmer phone bodies. And we adapted. Bought these phones and became smarter.
As of today, we cannot survive without a phone. If it goes out of our focus for a split second, we feel as if our life has just paused. Similarly, in few years’ time, if doctors don’t build their internet profiles, it will be as equivalent to erasing their existence.
Why is it important? Let me tell you exactly why?
While we were enjoying the facility to talk to a friend on text, including smileys of all kinds, IT was developing to provide for better services including internet calling and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Tango, Hangouts, LINE etc.
Therefore every day of our lives, in this rat-race of new initiatives and ideas, the Healthcare industry is not too far behind in this ‘foreign’ take-over strategy. In a simple case scenario, when we need to locate a particular specialist in our locality, it is hard to identify verified and accredited doctors near our home. We end up relying on word of mouth which isn’t the same or as good for everyone. Therefore, a great need rests in the area of creating online profiles of all doctors and devising ways of making appointments with them easier and more accessible. If we can order food with a few clicks, healthcare is the most important thing that deserves the same level of accessibility and spread in the market.
35% of the people, who die each year, lose their lives primarily due to lack of awareness and the inability to reach the right doctor, in time. New healthcare start-ups are trying to bridge the gaps between doctors and patients; also, they are helping doctors developing their internet profiles to mark their existence. Similarly, one such example is of ‘MARHAM – Find a Doctor’ is working on their vision of bringing the stakeholders of the health industry (health practitioners and the recipients of their services) together by using technology. It is an IT supported product in the form of a mobile/ website application and a toll free number.
MARHAM enables patients to pre-discuss their problems with doctors on the forum, locate the right doctors in their proximity and make an appointment. This also caters to the doctors who are struggling to reach out to patients and stay connected with them. The greatest benefit of such a revolution will greatly benefit the under-privileged regions with increasing child/maternal mortality and drug abuse. It has devised a mechanism of automated calls and is also setting up a toll free number for people who don’t have access to smart phones and computers.
The communication gap between the patients and the doctors is only going to get widened with the rapid advancement of Internet and Technology. We need to work on creating bridges where they really matter!
By Norin Chaudhry
-(The writer is a freelancer, an avid reader and a blogger)