The ‘Science of Life’ or Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing sciences according to scholars. It is also considered the ‘Mother of all Healing’ as it is a science that originated in the Indian subcontinent more than 5000 years ago.
It is believed that the Gods themselves passed on information to sages who further spread the knowledge among the masses. It was taught to the disciples by their masters usually in the oral form many thousand years ago. Later the written versions of this science were discovered but much of which was inaccessible.
However today, the government of India has commissioned an entire ministry for Ayurveda and traditional medicine (Ministry of AYUSH which includes, Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) with a purpose of developing research and education in the age-old alternate science practices of India.
Ayurveda and its Reach
Though Ayurveda originated in India and is most widely used in the country, the efficient use of the science can produce results where modern medicine might fail. Therefore, not only is the Ayurveda market size growing rapidly in the country, it is witnessing massive demand in the western world as well. Technology is acting as a potent enabler of Ayurveda for the market to meet the growing consumer demand.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has also recognized the importance of Ayurveda and offers a consultation in one.
Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz in his book, ‘Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian Medicine’ which opened in the Wellcome Collection in London, talks in great lengths about practice of Ayurveda in India.
In recent years the global west has expressed greater interest in ancient practices originating in the east which include Yoga, Unani, Naturopathy, Homeopathy as well as Ayurveda.
Such practices seem to have produced better results than many modern medical practices and with the renewed ardor expressed by the Indian government in promoting such ancient practices, it is predicted that the Ayurveda market will witness massive expansion by 2023.
Technology in Ayurveda
Modern medicine has been extraordinarily developed with the amalgamation of technology in the field of diagnostic, prognostic, and curative procedures.
Everything can be made possible within minutes at a remote location by the use of information technology, now. The integration of technologies (For example, telemedicine and webinars) has made this difference in the field of medicine too.
Efforts are being made to update the age-old scientific wisdom in various aspects by focusing on its pharmacologic and therapeutic potential. Although the principles of Ayurveda are called immortal, there is a need for it to be contemporary with the current scientific trends for the benefit of the society and for nurturing Ayurveda.
We need to make sure that Ayurveda is at par with other medicine sciences when it comes to the use of technology.
Telemedicine is one such advancement in the field of healthcare that should be preferred by Ayurvedic hospitals and doctors. There have been studies which state that the telemedicine market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent for the period 2020–25 and reach USD 5.5 billion.
In March 2020 new guidelines of telemedicine were released by the government of India.
Many renowned Ayurvedic hospital chains in India have already made telemedicine a part of their patient management regimen. Private clinics are also joining the trend by adapting to telemedicine.
The use of technology in Ayurveda will be beneficial for not only patient but also the healthcare professional. It is both convenient and accessible. The demographic placement of the specialist plays a minimal role while treating the patient.
Daily wage workers don’t have to skip their workdays and consult doctors online. Easy prescribing of medication and introducing an online pharmacy can be done by the specialists.
The use of technology in Ayurveda will be beneficial for not only patient but also the healthcare professional. It is both convenient and accessible.
The demographic placement of the specialist plays a minimal role while treating the patient. Daily wage workers don’t have to skip their workdays and consult doctors online. Easy prescribing of medication and introducing an online pharmacy can be done by the specialists.
Technology can help this indigenous science to be recognized world-wide.
To read more on the benefits of tele-medicine in healthcare, head to our blog: Tele-Medicine in India: Benefits, Future, Setup Cost and How To Begin!
Chatbots are being used by different sectors in health care. Be it Ayurveda or renowned allopathic hospital chains, almost everyone is shifting towards chatbot based tele-medicine. Chatbots are software applications that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to understand what a human wants and guides them to their desired outcome with as little work for the end user as possible.
Apart from improving the patient experience, chatbots also offer hospitals and clinics new opportunities to improve the patient engagement process and operational efficiency by reducing the typical cost of customer service.
To read more about the benefits of chatbot in healthcare, head to our blog: Chatbot based Tele-Medicine
Digitization of records is another aspect being adapted by healthcare professionals worldwide. Since Ayurvedic appointments require regular follow-ups that can extend for years, digitizing the patient’s case histories and other treatment related details will be helpful for the healthcare professionals to retrieve data at a later date.
The cumbersome load of paperwork can be reduced to a great extent.
To read more about the benefits of electronic medical records in healthcare, head to our blog: Electronic Health Record and Digital Prescription – Everything you need to know!
With the incorporation of technology, Ayurvedic drugs can now become evidence based with more scope of research. Ayurveda can also reduce the incidence of quackery and other illegal practices by having standardized digitization.
Fresh Ayurvedic healthcare professionals can make use of machine learning models by expert vaidyas which can suggest probable diagnosis based on the symptoms.
A recent paper by Narang S, et al a new model has been proposed that uses artificial neural networks and decision trees to create a tool that can take the pulse readings using optical sensors so as to detect the prakriti of the patient.
Inclusion of technology in Ayurveda has been a long-awaited shift and now, is finally the time to incorporate it completely. A closer scientific look at Ayurvedic medicine using modern technologies should be in the interest of the patients, physicians and other stakeholders to improve quality of health across the life span.
Health-tech solution for Ayurvedic Hospitals and Clinics
India now has a plethora of telemedicine solutions at the healthcare industry’s disposal.
One of such software suites is PRESCRIBE, trusted by some of India’s largest hospital chains, such as, AyurVAID, India’s first NABH accredited Ayurvedic hospital and Kottakkal AVS.
Prescribe, an IIT-M and IIM-C backed health-tech startup is a WhatsApp based tele consultation and chatbot service for hospitals and healthcare professionals in India.
Keeping in mind the reach of Ayurveda in the grass root level, Prescribe offers a WhatsApp chatbot based solution in vernacular languages. The patient can have a 24×7 virtual assistance and get a digital prescription generated. With one click the doctor and patient can connect over a secure video call.
Patients can even upload their prescriptions on WhatsApp and get medicines home delivered from the hospitall’s pharmacy using the pharmacy module.
With so many features under the same umbrella, Prescribe has shown to increase patient follow-up by 20%. There has been a sharp increase in patient inflow and thus revenue.