Leveraging Innovative Technologies To Overcome Geographical Barriers In India: Dr. Sangita Reddy Apollo Hospitals is committed to bridging the healthcare gap in rural areas by implementing strategic initiatives aimed at bringing advanced healthcare services closer to people in remote and underserved regions, says, Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals

By Shrabona Ghosh

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India's healthcare services' average and per-unit costs are increasing over time, in 2022, the country's medical inflation stood at 14 per cent. Reports suggest that use of high end technology, rising service costs, post-pandemic effect and high demand has led to inflation. However, integrating cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Robotics has become an integral part to enhance patient care and outcomes of the healthcare services. Innovations in technology also help in bridging the rural-urban geographical divide in Indian health care. Healthcare giant Apollo Hospitals has been at the forefront of integrating such technologies.

One notable initiative is the Clinical Intelligence Engine (CIE), a robust clinical decision support tool available on Apollo 24*7's platform, developed with state-of-the-art AI and ML techniques, CIE aims to revolutionize diagnostic accuracy, boost doctor productivity and elevate patient satisfaction. With a vast vocabulary covering over 1,300 conditions and 800 symptoms, CIE analyzes extensive datasets, helping healthcare professionals identify nuanced patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. Additionally, the Apollo Institute of Robotic Surgery aims to exemplify commitment to advancing healthcare through robotics. "Apollo is recognized as the premier center for robotic surgery in India, our state-of-the-art operating theaters are equipped with the da Vinci surgical system — a groundbreaking platform for minimally invasive surgery. This four-armed surgical robotic system is employed across various specialties such as Urology, Gynecology, Cardiac, Gastrointestinal surgery, Bariatrics, and Paediatrics," said Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals.

"Furthermore, Apollo Hospitals embraces Renaissance Robotic Technology, a pioneering solution designed explicitly for spine surgery. As the first institution in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt this surgical guidance system, we provide patients with a minimally invasive robotic-guided approach to spine surgery. This underscores our commitment to leveraging innovative technologies to deliver world-class healthcare services and ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients," she added.

Apollo Hospitals is committed to bridging the healthcare gap in rural areas by implementing strategic initiatives aimed at bringing advanced healthcare services closer to people in remote and underserved regions. One key approach involves the establishment of rural hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and staffed by experienced healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses. These rural hospitals serve as vital healthcare hubs, ensuring that residents in these areas have access to high-quality medical care. "To further enhance accessibility, Apollo Hospitals is actively expanding its telemedicine network. Through telemedicine, rural patients gain access to the expertise of top specialists without the need to travel long distances. This is particularly significant given the stark rural-urban healthcare divide in India, where over 60% of the population resides in rural areas, yet they have access to less than 30% of the doctors. By leveraging technology-driven healthcare, Apollo aims to overcome geographical barriers, this not only helps in providing timely medical care but also contributes to empowering and improving the overall health and well-being of communities in underserved regions," she explained.

India has already begun to set the tone for global healthcare. Accessibility is both financial as well as geographic, "Not only do we offer high quality advanced care at one 10th of global prices, but we are doing so much innovation to make that affordable and accessible to everybody. In this case, we currently have over 50 crore people who are covered by insurance and this is the step towards accessibility and affordability."

Health insurance, high-end care available in private and in the public sector at one 10th of global prices, health insurance, preventive healthcare, coupled with skill training, accomplished doctors and nurses are the pillars which has helped India set the global tone for healthcare.

For Apollo Hospitals, 2023, is a momentous year as it turned 40. In 1983 the first 150-bed Apollo Hospital was opened on Greams Road in Chennai, which went on to redefine Indian healthcare.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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