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Bengaluru: As the covid-19 pandemic accelerated adoption of digital solutions, India has witnessed one of the highest adoptions of digital technologies by health and human services (HHS) organizations among the countries surveyed, according to a new survey from EY and Imperial College London’s Institute for Global Health Innovation.

The survey titled ‘Embracing Digital: Is covid-19 the catalyst for lasting change?’ revealed that 51% of respondents in India have increased their use of digital technologies and data solutions since the outbreak of the pandemic. While 74% of respondents in India reported that digital technologies and data solutions have increased staff productivity, 75% reported that digital solutions have been effective in delivering better outcomes for patients and service users.

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The findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 global HHS professionals in India, Australia, Italy, UAE, the UK and the US, and includes 359 respondents from India

“The response to the covid-19 pandemic has shown that data and technology can make a real difference to the work of health and human services professionals in India, who have worked tirelessly and heroically in the face of this dreadful disease…The lessons learned during the pandemic must lead to continued technology investments in the healthcare sector," said Gaurav Taneja, partner and leader, Government and Public Sector, EY India.

According to the survey, phone and video consultations have seen the greatest uptake across all technology solutions, with phone consultations being offered by 81% of HHS organizations (up from 39% before the pandemic) and video consultations available from 71% of organizations (up from 22% before the pandemic).

Compared to this, the uptake has been higher in India at 86% for phone consultation (up from 48% before pandemic) and at 83% for video consultations (up from 33% before pandemic). The public sector organizations in India preferred digital tools for self-help (92% organizations) and online self-assessment tools (89% organizations) over phone consultation and video consultation.

Also, in India, about three fourth of the respondents reported positive experiences with digital technologies and data solutions, leading to better collaboration and efficiency in the operating model.

Nearly 40% of the respondents from India listed ethics and privacy concerns as one of the most prevalent barriers significantly higher than other countries in our sample, with only 11% of UK respondents and 20% of US respondents, respectively, citing this as a main barrier.

From India, 75% of respondents indicated that they plan to further invest in digital solutions and technologies over the next three years and that the level of investment will be more than 50% as compared to the previous three years.

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