Increasing role of technology, artificial intelligence, data analytics and digitisation of healthcare in India, present a huge opportunity for collaboration between the United States and India, panelists deliberated in the US-India strategic partnership forum in New Delhi on Monday.

The panelists at the session -- Balancing Cost and Innovation in India’s Healthcare Market -- discussed how India’s health sector is evolving, and still very informal. “In urban areas, health care is very much private government’s role was in setting up in medical colleges. In rural areas, govt tried to set up clinics and infrastructures, but did not see much success," said Arvind Panagariya, professor of economic at Columbia University. “There is a really critical issue of lack of trained doctors and medical professionals, most people learn on the job and therefore unable to provide top-quality care."

The panelists deliberated on technology and innovation and how strong policies and infrastructure enabled with technology can help in achieving universal health coverage. “Out-of-pocket investment on health care is very high in India, and that leads to increasing poverty in people. Enabling conditions will be strong regulatory structure, and harmony between central and state governments policies," said Lynn Cinelli, executive director, Strategy and Operations, Global Policy, Strategic Communications, Population Health, Office of Chief Patent Officer, Merck & Co.

India last year launched an ambitious health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and efforts are on to scale up use of technology for its effective implementation.

“Technology has become the backbone for Ayushman Bharat as the entire system is cashless and paperless. It provides health insurance of 5 lakh per year to poor and vulnerable people identified as per the socio-economic caste census for secondary and tertiary care. With over 50 crore population entitled to this, technology is going to become an even bigger market," said Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer, AB-PMJAY and National Health Authority at the ministry of health and family welfare.

“In various areas such as fraud prevention, detection and claim approvals, the use of technology can help reduce the turnaround time and aid faster closure of processes," he said

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