Innovative start-ups can play a major role in the Indian healthcare system as the fourth industrial revolution is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological domains, according to Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Axilor Ventures Private Ltd, Bengaluru.
Delivering the 27th convocation address of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in Manipal on Friday, Gopalakrishnan, said that there is tremendous disruption at the edge and at the intersection of emerging technology domains and economic activity.
Stating that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming one of the most important technologies of all time, he said AI is now getting deeper into what were so far specialist human domains.
Referring to the example of a real-time image-guided and robot-assisted surgery where imaging coupled with robotic assistance helps in assessing the area of procedure, monitoring the tools in 3D, and updating patho-physiology knowledge of the targeted tissue in real-time, Gopalakrishnan said this innovation is at the intersection of AI, robotics, biotechnology, telecommunications and clinical domains.
Many more such innovations are emerging and defining the 21st Century, he said.
Stating that he is impressed with Indian start-ups working in the intersection of healthcare and new technology like AI, he said India has just 0.6 doctors per 1,000 population. The WHO recommended ratio is two doctors per 1,000.
“Reaching the WHO recommended ratio translates into creating 2 million more doctors assuming our population does not increase. India currently graduates about 70,000 doctors a year. We are running out of time. While India ramps up the number of doctors, we need to leverage technology to improve the throughput of doctor visits, medical tests, and medical procedures,” he said, adding that Indian AI and ML (machine learning) healthcare start-ups are solving important problems in healthcare that not only are relevant for India but also for the world at large.
He asked the graduating students to look at technology and industry shifts as opportunities to build their career.
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