Digital adoption is no longer a need but a much awaited ‘priority’ in healthcare: Sayak Das, Airo Digital Labs – ET HealthWorld

Digital adoption is no longer a need but a much awaited 'priority' in healthcare: Sayak Das, Airo Digital LabsShahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Sayak Das, Chief Brand and Innovation officer, Airo Digital Labs, to know more about the lingering challenges in adoption of digital technology in healthcare.

Digital India in healthcare
Globally I would say, earlier priorities, were much different. Two years back people were thinking of digital implementation or digital intervention more as a cost optimization option or being more productive or improving their efficiency. But post covid, what we have seen is that customer retention being more resilient, figuring out new revenue channels, these are of higher priority today compared to just a cost optimization perspective. So organizations, across the globe and specifically in India, we have tested it out in covid vaccination rollout, how to be more regulatory compliant, how to reach out to people, how to manage these huge 1.3 billion people to get vaccinated, so managing those logistics perspective and other details. This is where the journey started; I would say for at least next 4 to 5 years, we would see more adoptions of digital in these particular segments. Traditionally, healthcare, pharma, biotech they are lagging digitally. They have never been the leaders because of the regulatory environment they work in. It’s not very easy to adopt new technologies.

We have helped these companies to make some progress to heap the stakeholders understand the need which I would say is now a necessity going forward. Companies like Pfizer, AstraZeneca in the US are successfully implementing these technologies in their pharma value chain. I see a lot of these being adopted within Indian market as well. So be it like a more personalized care perspective and preventive care perspective. So the entire value based care chain is changing into more of a preventive care chain. Standard policies, consumer policies are changing into individualized customised policies. Digital workforce
So now what we see a lot of acceptance towards digital. There was some distrust among the stakeholders about the technology itself, does it work? What kind of performance can we expect? Today we see that the adoption is much faster, almost 66 to 67% of the major organizations across the globe are adopting digital without any reservation they had earlier. But the important aspect of this entire digital adoption is to understand the digital culture. Traditionally the way we treat a human workforce, you have a particular skillset, you look for people in the market, you hire them and then you continue to build their career, through training programs and other policies that you have. Similarly, digital workforce has to be treated. It is not an implementation or threat for your human workforce that is actually going to augment your human workforce.

Everywhere we go, we see a lot of reservation and insecurity among the people which I feel needs to be taken care of through understanding or spreading the digital culture among the company. So a digital workforce must be treated similarly how you treat a human workforce, they are taking care of a particular business transformation and exactly the same way a human workforce is taking care of. That creates a new skillset that needs to be addressed, that organization needs to spend more in terms of change management, how to bring these changes, how to adopt these changes within the organization and let the employees know that they can continue to learn new skills and start helping the organization in a better way and let this automation led addition to the company take care of the rule based repetitive tasks.

Airo digital labs
So at AIRO we come across multiple different organizations, at different digital maturity levels, they are starting their digitalization journey, there are some others who have started this journey 2- 3 years back, are quite mature. How we are helping them in a way is basically the journey is very different in both the examples, in the first case they have not started their journey, they are looking into getting some advisory, some support in how to start. So we help them in the process, understanding where to start, the low hanging fruits, because the stakeholders need to be managed, their expectations needs to be met so we do realize that.

We start with the baby steps, doing some kind of education, doing what is expected out of this digitalization and identifying some small skill implementation. Once they start getting the benefits, the ROI is realised, we go for some bigger scale implementation. For more matured organizations, its very interesting that they are already with consultants like us and there is trend of implementing this digitization within the organization, they want to be more self-reliant but the problem here is with the talent, the digital or the technical talent. And at the same time there is a gap between the IT and digital stake holders. We came up with a unique platform, it is called Ohmi.

It is basically an intelligence automation coach and playground. You can create a corporate training programe where you can let your employees learn about digital technologies. But in order to deliver for them they need a playground where they can just jump in and start DIY ‘Do It Yourself’ Solutions. So that piece is more important and we call it a playground. That is what we have created in a SAS based platform. And there is a coaching aspect to it, 24×7 helpdesk, when anyone needs support they can get it from there. Over the last 3-4 years, we have built a library of digital assets, which we call Airo hub.

We have more than two hundred search pre built prototype. So that gives us a lot of understanding about what to automate, what are the best processes to start with. Nobody wants to reinvent the wheel, they want to see have you have done this before and what kinds of benefits do you get and then it seem okay to start with. All those prototypes are already available within this particular platform. In order to get to a state what we call the future state of automation, the intelligent enterprise, it has to be in house. No vendor can help you to get in that particular state. Helping the organization, for mature organization, to start the playground and build your own solutions towards the digital enterprise. Do it by yourself.



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