Technology Development in Healthcare in Rural India During COVID-19

The COVID-19 has impacted the whole world more than expected. In all the discussions on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Indian economy, little attention has been paid to India's rural areas and their potential for revitalization at a difficult time. In the past, it allowed Indian unemployed populations from villages to migrate to urban areas to find work allowing the country to largely ignore the acute challenges and problems of rural India. This is not the case now, issues for people in India have become more as migrants have returned home for their safety from COVID-19. As the pandemic should last between six months and one year, it is now even more urgent to face the challenges of India's rural sector and come up with the same possible solutions.

As per the reports of Economic Observatory's (CMIE) website, rural unemployment has risen in June & July 2020. Here, the aim of this article is to focus on the rural areas of India where technology is helping them to survive. The return of Indians from urban to rural areas has been a major factor in the rise in rural unemployment. The unpredictability of the pandemic has helped migrants create uncertainty about when they can return to urban areas to continue their work. This uncertainty is precisely why more attention should be paid to governments and civil society organizations in order to create jobs and create opportunities in rural areas.

Technology in Rural Healthcare 

Mostly seen, only 36% of the Indian population has internet access which is mostly in rural areas. All that has been said is that it is not easy to provide health care in rural areas. For some patients, the nearest doctor may be a four-hour drive; Patients seeking expert advice may not be able to find a suitable specialist within a 100-kilometer radius - such long distances can significantly impair care outcomes. This is exactly what happened to Kam Agong from Long Semadoh in rural Sarawak, who was bleeding in 2002 after giving birth in the C-section of the nearest maternity hospital, Lawas District Hospital. Such cases are common in rural areas; therefore, there is a need to use technology that supports high-speed communication and connectivity and reduces dependence on urban facilities. From artificial intelligence-based medical imaging, which allows physicians to identify specific rural models, to ATMs that provide timely prescribing and dispensing to patients, the technology is making a paradigm shift in clinics while making healthcare affordable and accessible rural population.

Technology Can Play a Major Role in Rural Health:

Health Records: As rural people often have to spend time and money traveling long distances to get specialist care in cities, this is a huge waste of time and energy for bad people and their families. Electronic health records or electronic health records can make rural health reactivity proactive; this allows healthcare professionals to view a patient's medical history, regardless of their location, and address potential problems long before they become a risk.

Telehealth: When specialist support is needed, telemedicine systems can play a crucial role in facilitating remote consultation and diagnosis for both patients and physicians. Devices such as sports straps, blood pressure monitors, and other portable devices can constantly monitor both daily health and medication adherence - and transmit this health data to a smartphone application for quick analysis. In the long run, such data can shed light on rural lifestyles and habits and allow the population to make appropriate changes to improve their daily health.

Specialized Training through Virtual Reality: Although health care has reached rural areas, one of the main problems for rural communities is the lack of health knowledge. Communities rarely have access to specialist training because it is extremely difficult to attract trained health professionals and it is more difficult to detain them for long periods of time when they are there. Virtual reality can be used to bring special training to the landscape through training simulations that take professionals to a real healthcare environment.

There are Many Opportunities in the Future

There are many technological opportunities to increase rural health. Although many rural areas today desperately need basic health care, technology can improve care and enable a much more efficient and accurate diagnosis. By reducing the need for rural residents to travel to large cities for routine tests, technology can provide rural residents with easy and quick access to quality care. Technologies such as EHR, television health, and specialist training enable rural care systems to consolidate specialist care services and provide rural people with easy and affordable access to health care. Only when the healthcare industry puts patients, their families and the rural community at the heart of care can really change and prosperity is achieved.

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