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NEW DELHI: The National Digital Health Mission has the potential to unlock 1.5 trillion in incremental value for India's healthcare industry in about 10 years, a joint report by Ficci and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on Wednesday.

The report--Leapfrogging to a Digital Healthcare System: Reimaging Healthcare for Every Indian--highlighted that the adoption of an open digital health ecosystem will mark a fundamental shift in the way the healthcare market currently operates, and stakeholders interact.

“Just like the creation of shared digital infrastructure in the financial industry enabling UPI payments, the NDHM in the next few years, will catalyse a robust digital infrastructure for the Indian healthcare ecosystem," the report said.

The surveys conducted by BCG across doctors and patients highlight that 85% of the clinicians used digital platforms for patient interactions during the lockdown. About 50% of clinicians found these platforms effective while 60% patients across metros and tier 1 cities said they would continue using digital platforms for primary care in the post-covid world.

Also, the lockdown saw tele-consultation services being accessed in over 2,000 small towns, with 80% patients being first time users.

“With the guiding principles outlined in the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB), the government has laid out a comprehensive strategy to bring a fundamental transformation in healthcare and open a range of market opportunities for all stakeholders," Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO National Health authority (NHA) said.

In addition to upending lives, the pandemic has also exposed India’s weak healthcare system and reinforced the need to improve healthcare across levels, the report said, adding that as is inevitable in times of adversity, the pandemic has also inspired innovations, particularly in digital healthcare models.

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