Chennai-headquartered Apollo Hospitals has achieved Stage 6 accreditations for three HIMSS digital maturity models – the Digital Imaging Adoption Model, the Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, and the Infrastructure Adoption Model.
DIAM assesses the secure delivery of medical imaging and its associated processes, O-EMRAM gauges the maturity of EMR technology in outpatient facilities, while INFRAM measures IT infrastructure maturity across five areas – mobility, security, collaboration, transport and data centre.
WHY IT MATTERS
Apollo Hospitals, which operates over 70 private hospitals with more than 12,000 beds across Asia, recognises the “severe” shortage of healthcare delivery infrastructure worldwide. Joint Managing Director Dr Sangita Reddy said the only way to meet this need is through deploying “effective technology” for healthcare delivery.
“We strongly [believe] that the effective deployment of technology in healthcare delivery is a force multiplier to boost our capabilities,” she said.
The organisation says it has made significant progress in deploying cognitive algorithms in its care protocol and pathways; augmented reality and virtual reality in its patient communication and clinical upskilling; and coupling medical technology with IT to achieve better clinical outcomes.
During its DIAM validation, Apollo Hospitals was commended for its use of biomarkers, molecular imaging, and mapping software. It also showed finesse in using graphs and dashboards to understand and manipulate data.
Meanwhile, the group’s patient portal was found to be “one of the finest examples of patient communication” during its O-EMRAM validation. Its patient app features multiple functionalities, including payment options, appointment setting, health monitoring and device integration capability.
Additionally, its PRISMA 247 hospital information system was deemed intuitive and easy to use. Assessors found that the organisation has good examples of device integrations for vital signs monitoring.
Apollo Hospitals also reported no unplanned downtime in the past five years; HIMSS noted that this demonstrates the effort they put into IT security.
Commenting on the group’s INFRAM achievement, Philip Bradley, Digital Health Strategist at HIMSS said, “Apollo Hospitals’ goal, ‘Making Digital our DNA’, is evident with their Stage 6 achievement on the INFRAM. This achievement puts Apollo among an elite group of organisations globally to achieve this level of infrastructure maturity. The benefit of building a standardised, highly converged infrastructure across such a large organisation offers measurable efficiency gains in IT Security, Maintenance, Standard Delivery of Services and many more. An unexpected benefit was their ability to quickly and seamlessly transition to virtual care at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Moving forward, this infrastructure provides Apollo [with] the ability to collect data from patient wearable devices, turning the vast amount of data into information for the clinical team. As Apollo continues to progress on to INFRAM Stage 7, it will further these capabilities by levering the ‘cloud concept’ across their multiple data centres.”
THE LARGER TREND
Apollo Hospitals has now become the second healthcare provider in the world to achieve Stage 6 DIAM, following Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Florida, USA. It is also the third organisation in the region to attain Stage 6 INFRAM accreditation, following Tu Ora Compass Health in New Zealand and Samsung Medical Center in South Korea.
In March, Apollo Hospitals introduced a mixed reality programme called ProHealthDeepX, which uses the Microsoft HoloLens 2 to show how a patient’s risk factors for cardiovascular disease affect their heart.
This came after the launch of its AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease Risk tool last year. Trained using data from over 400,000 Indian patients, the AI tool renders a patient’s risk score, taking into account their various lifestyle attributes and vital signs.
ON THE RECORD
“Apollo has continued to show commitment and consistency in advancing their digital health capabilities to ensure that they can leverage the full potential of digital technology to continue driving optimal patient outcomes. Having already achieved Stage 6 in both the O-EMRAM and INFRAM, Apollo has now become the first in the APAC region and second in the world to achieve DIAM Stage 6, which is truly an amazing feat and a testament to Apollo’s commitment. A hearty congratulations to Arvind and team for this milestone and for setting an example for the rest of the world. We are truly excited to see what’s next,” Simon Lin, HIMSS VP and Executive Director for Asia-Pacific, said.
Committed to having “pristine” quality of healthcare delivery, Apollo Hospitals said it went through the HIMSS digital maturity assessments as it provided them with a framework to ensure its digital backbone is top-notch and guided by global best practices.
Dr Reddy, however, emphasised that “this is not just about the maturity of the digital backbone but also the model of effective adoption of the solutions, and thereby demonstrating that an organisation can be effectively managed and sustained by consistent and well-coordinated consumption of digital solutions”.
“We are striving to ensure that we can provide personalised care to every individual guided by technology that ensures that we are operationally effective, sharply focused on quality of service, and non-compromising on achieving the highest standards of clinical outcomes bundled with the hallmark of Apollo’s tender loving care,” she added.