Healthcare professional Himachal Mukhopadhyay keeps up to date with medical trends and new technologies, giving readers an inside perspective to the turbulent world of healthcare. Below, he helps readers understand how the internet is influencing major changes in healthcare and what providers must do to stay current.
Himachal Mukhopadhyay remembers a time when the internet was just in its infancy stage and didn’t hold much sway over people when it came to choosing healthcare providers. Today, however, people use the internet to determine which restaurant they want to eat at, which product they should buy or avoid, and what other people think in general.
The internet has also had a huge impact on the way people interact with their healthcare providers, and it can mean the difference between bankruptcy and being an industry-leader for physicians.
“Both physician offices and patients now use the internet in various ways during the healthcare process,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “Many offices are employing online interfaces to connect with their patients, and many patients use a range of online tools to determine which office or provider is the right choice for them.”
Across the board, online scheduling seems to be one of the most attractive features for healthcare offices. Instead of waiting weeks for an appointment, online scheduling allows patients to book or cancel an appointment at any time without them having to hang around for hours in the waiting room.
In addition, offices can use the internet to remind their patients about appointments or checkups, alert patients of test results, and monitor those patients with severe illnesses from afar.
“The internet is beginning to change how patients and providers interact on all levels,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “With its speedy communication, the internet is eliminating the need for patients to drive over and talk with receptionists or make calls to determine scheduling and procedures.”
A great majority of people begin their hunt for a healthcare provider by performing quick Google searches and will be influenced by whether offices have a strong online presence or not. To keep up, providers must create relevant, resourceful content and fine-tune the user experience of their websites.
While referrals are still a valid way of finding a physician, most people will still look to online reviews of doctors and their offices before ever calling or scheduling an appointment. These online reviews can mean all the difference to practices; they directly influence credibility and authority and help patients validate their physician choices. This is why practices must take care that their online presence is in the best state it can be and that they encourage patients to leave positive reviews of their offices.
“The internet is here to stay, and all medical practices will have to up their online game to attract and retain patients long-term,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay.
Himachal Mukhopadhyay has spent decades keeping current with advances in technology and medicine to provide the highest quality healthcare and educate patients on growing trends. Here, he discusses the rise in both aging population and cost of healthcare, and how the industry will have to adjust to compensate.
As medicine and technology continue to develop and improve, Himachal Mukhopadhyay wonders how the future of healthcare will cope with people living into their 100s or 150s. Already, medicine is allowing many patients to either surpass their illnesses or learn to cope and live with symptoms. This is having a broad-reaching effect on the total healthcare industry and will continue to do so for decades or generations to come.
“Technological growth has been exponential in the past two decades––thanks in part to the large sums of money being poured into the healthcare industry to provide more effective treatments,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “As a result, people are living longer and will need more specialized healthcare to continue living.”
Because there’s such a steep rise in the international aging population, healthcare costs are climbing higher and healthcare systems are reevaluating quality management to meet new needs. However, because the cost of healthcare is going up, it also negatively affects the performance of healthcare providers in developing or underdeveloped countries.
“The number of people aged 65 and older is expected to double by the year 2050, which means our healthcare industry must quickly grow to accommodate new common health threats,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay.
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that the rapid increase in the number of elderly patients worldwide is attributed to modern medicine defeating the leading causes of death. More often, death was due to infections or chronic noncommunicable diseases that today’s medicine and vaccines can now treat. As healthcare professionals learn to defeat things like congestive heart failure, dementia, and cancer, the elderly population becomes more susceptible to things like injuries from falls and health threats associated with obesity (because of lowered metabolism).
One of the major new concerns that doctors are uncovering is the prevalence of disabilities as life expectancy increases. Modern medicine slows down the progression of diseases so that many people can live alongside their symptoms. However, chronic diseases evolving into common disabilities means they will be more widespread, and the healthcare industry will have to come up with new solutions to help patients sustain a happy life.
“Defeating diseases is a wonderful thing and allows so many people to live truly happier lives,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “The problem is, the number of people living with disabilities will ultimately increase as patients live longer, and new challenges arise.”
Already, the healthcare industry is tackling these concerns and aims to provide real sustaining solutions for those living with disabilities in the next couple of decades.
As a healthcare professional, Himachal Mukhopadhyay stays up-to-date with evolving trends in healthcare and the advancing technologies that enhance medical capability.
For decades, Himachal Mukhopadhyay has watched technology develop alongside specialized healthcare solutions to provide patients better and more optimistic results. With advancements across the board, he thinks genetic testing will be our greatest ally in improving patient care even further.
“Genetic testing is becoming much more common, especially with the emerging consumer products that give people access to their genetic health results,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “Overall, genetic testing allows medical professionals to peer inside basic individual genes to determine what illnesses or diseases patients are more susceptible to.”
Genetic testing helps physicians craft better preventative care for diseases and sickness. Regardless if results come back negative or positive for a specific gene mutation, they still give doctors critical insight into patient health. Because of these tests, many individuals gain a sense a relief since the results clarify health uncertainties and help them manage their health more accurately moving forward.
Through genetic tests, patients can rule out the likelihood of certain illnesses and can devote their time spent on checkups and screening tests in a more appropriate direction. Test results help prevent or monitor certain illnesses, which will assist medical professionals create more personalized treatment options.
“Genetic tests have proved to be useful in helping couples make more informed decisions about having babies, too,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “They can enlighten potential parents of the genetics they’re likely to pass onto their kids and can help identify genetic disorders early on so treatment can begin as soon as possible.”
Genetic testing works by collecting a small sample of blood, hair, skin, amniotic fluid, or other tissue and identifying changes in genes, chromosomes, or proteins. After collection, samples are sent off to a laboratory where specialized technicians look for key indicators. They may study short lengths of DNA or single genes to pick up on mutations; they also may analyze chromosomes and long lengths of DNA to identify major genetic changes that could lead to severe health conditions.
Currently, there are hundreds of available genetic tests that can pry into our genetic code and help us understand our specific health standing (and the likelihood that it will be passed onto children) so that we can better take care of ourselves.
“When a person undergoes a genetic test, it’s always best for them to talk with their doctor first to understand the scope and limitations,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “While it’s not an exact blueprint to perfect health, the test will improve each patient’s chances at warding off serious health issues for years to come.”
Himachal Mukhopadhyay stays on top of growing trends in the healthcare industry and shares his decades of insights with readers to help convey how breakthroughs affect them. In addition to AI and robotics taking the industry by storm, he comments on the up-and-coming connectivity that the digital therapeutics industry provides.
When Himachal Mukhopadhyay entered the healthcare industry years ago, consumer technology was only just beginning to blossom. Today, professionals are using consumer and advanced technology together to connect healthcare patients and medical practitioners better than ever. One subset of this advanced use of technology is called digital therapeutics, which is proving to have profound benefits for both sides.
The emerging digital therapeutics industry is largely used to augment (and, in some scenarios, replace) drugs in the treatment of disease and illness. More and more companies are producing hardware and software to help integrate better connections between patients and physicians, with billions of dollars being poured into research and development each year.
“As more distributors and healthcare providers jump on board with digital therapeutics, the opportunities continue expanding,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “This means more device approvals and upgrades in regulatory structures, which in turn make digital therapeutics even more common, widespread, and hopefully affordable.”
In digital therapeutics, technology is leveraged to help patients make changes in behavior, provide medical professionals with real-time insights and diagnostics, and give employers novel tools that more effectively manage beneficiaries’ health. Connected devices act as nurses, remote monitors, and more to help treat diabetes, illnesses, central nervous system disorders and plenty of other conditions.
“With digital therapeutic technology, physicians get updated models on their patients’ health which, combined with existing data, can result in faster and more improved solutions,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “This essential upgrade is helping us make more educated remedies and more specialized solutions in real-time without having to wait for years of trials and research. It’s much more than remote monitoring through smartphones, though that seems to be what most people think of.”
Digital therapeutics is unlike traditional wellness apps or devices that prompt users to take their medications. They require rigorous clinical evidence to substantiate their use and the intended impact they have on patient health. Many times, they come as a preventative measure for patients who may be at risk of developing more harmful conditions. For example, doctors may prescribe diabetes patients with digital therapeutics technology to alter their behavior or diet which, if left unchecked, could lead to a diabetes diagnosis.
A range of devices and software are used in conjunction to monitor at-risk patients and manage their symptoms, helping to avoid major illnesses. Digital therapeutics may employ computers, smartphones, sensors, applications, and various IoT devices to create a stronger connection between patients and healthcare providers.
“We’re only just scratching the surface on how advances in tech can create more personal and specialized care to patients around the world,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “But this is undoubtedly the next big thing in healthcare.”
As a professional in the healthcare industry with decades of experience to his name, Himachal Mukhopadhyay stays on top of new healthcare trends to provide the most up-to-date strategies to his clients. Below, he explains how AI is proving to be a major facet of the healthcare industry now and in the future.
Himachal Mukhopadhyay has assumed roles in Operations, Delivery, Engineering, and Sales/Business Development and more. Today, he serves as a knowledgeable strategic advisor using healthcare trends to advise his clients on best practices.
“The healthcare industry is changing drastically with the advent of new technologies, more powerful computers, and the growing artificial intelligence market,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “AI can be implemented into a range of healthcare applications that enhance the overall process for patients and practitioners alike.”
One such AI advancement is in diagnostics where the technology helps comb through and pick out intricate results from huge sets of data. Humans have learned that AI is highly useful for categorizing data, especially once it has a large data set to work and learn from. This means enhancement for patients’ medical records, for biometric and vital processing, genetics and more. The intuitive thinking on the part of AI can improve diagnostic outcomes and allow physicians to spend more time with patients. AI can even offer treatment advice to doctors after comparing and analyzing countless medical records.
“While medical professionals store endless documentation on all their patients, AI can quickly examine multiple sets to provide accurate query results for whatever’s needed,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “AI can function like a personal Google engine for doctors and their records.”
Today, AI is being paired more frequently with robotics to perform specialized tasks normally reserved for people. Through robotic surgeries, medical professionals can employ smaller, more precise tools to accomplish new feats. With AI, robots learn from past surgeries of the same type and can draw on data to improve their process even further, ultimately benefiting both surgeons and the patients in their care. Within the next ten years, certain predictions estimate that AI and robotics will save the healthcare industry tens of billions of dollars each year.
Artificial intelligence is even being used to record vitals and act as a bedside companion to certain patients. Through their interactions, AI technologies can replicate the responsibilities of nurses by encouraging patients to follow through with their daily routines, remind them to take medication, answer questions and more. Additionally, the technology can be used to streamline the office workflow by processing and digitizing forms and paperwork required from patients, saving assistants and office personnel hours in their day.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds for AI, as it proves to be a handy resource for a number of professions,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “For the medical industry, it will save us time, money, and enhance our interactions with patients.”
Healthcare professional Himachal Mukhopadhyay has studied developing trends of biosimilars for decades. He helps shed light on FDA-approved biosimilar medications and their implications for patients now and in the future.
Himachal Mukhopadhyay has over 20 years in the healthcare industry, where he’s taken on roles in Operations, Delivery, Engineering, and Sales/Business Development. As a leader and strategic advisor, he studies ongoing healthcare trends to provide in-depth research and creative solutions to his clients. Below, he remarks on the recent advancements in biological medicine and the increase of FDA-approved biosimilars, which have major implications for healthcare patients around the world.
“Last year, the number of FDA-approved biosimilars nearly doubled thanks to advancements in technology and research,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “Because of these approvals, patients everywhere can have access to specialized biological treatments at a much lower cost.”
Biological Medicine vs. Conventional Medication
Biological products are advanced scientific discoveries that encompass products like vaccines, gene therapy, blood components, and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Biologics are composed of a range of substances and often include living entities like tissues and cells to deliver effective treatment results where no other treatments may be available.
Conventional medication is largely made up of chemically-synthesized ingredients whose structures are well known after years of study and development. Biological medicine, on the other hand, is made up of complex biological mixtures that implement cutting-edge biomedical research to treat illnesses and conditions. In addition, these medications are more susceptible to damage from heat and microbial contamination. This tends to drive up the cost for healthcare patients as do the patented ingredients, processes, and price of past research.
Biosimilars Offer Nearly-Identical Alternatives
Himachal Mukhopadhyay notes that because biologics are so complex and specialized, they tend to be highly expensive and not a valid option for many patients whose illnesses or conditions could otherwise benefit from them. Biosimilars are copycat formulas of approved biologic medicine. The effectiveness of a biosimilar medication is tested against the effectiveness of the reference product in extensive laboratory and clinical research to determine if it’s a viable option for healthcare patients.
Before a biosimilar can be released for public use, it first must prove that it produces no meaningful differences from the product it imitates in terms of effectiveness and safety. Recently, the FDA has approved more biosimilars than ever, creating generic alternatives for patients around the world.
Biosimilars Mean Cheaper Treatment Options for Many
The biggest benefit of biosimilars for patients is the difference in cost. Patented formulas allow manufacturers to control pricing as they see fit, but biosimilars give competitors and secondary manufacturers the opportunity to provide similar medication at a fraction of the cost (similar to brand name medications and their generic counterparts).
“As the FDA approves more and more biosimilars, healthcare patients can expect to encounter more specialized treatment and care at much more affordable pricing,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “In the future, this will mean greater access to complex medicine for international patients and ultimately a much healthier populace as a result.”
Wondering which state has the best healthcare? Himachal Mukhopadhyay has got you covered in this comprehensive guide below.
Healthcare is a complex issue in the United States and one that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
On top of the monetary cost of healthcare, it’s also extremely time-consuming and regularly causes politicians to have to negotiate hurdles and complicated policy in order to deliver the very best in healthcare services available.
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, it’s for this very reason that healthcare differs from state to state. While 88.1 percent of the population have access to regular medical care, the quality of the care that they receive fluctuates depending on the state they reside in.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the states with the best and most comprehensive healthcare in the United States.
Bordering Canada and Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes, Minnesota is situated squarely in the northwest of the States, and not somewhere that you would expect to top the list as one of the best US States for healthcare.
That’s an incredible 94% of citizens who enjoy regular and quality healthcare, a milestone for such a small state.
While Maryland is famous for its numerous canals and beaches, not to mention the lobster out of Baltimore (and who could forget the fact that it is the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner), it’s also one of the best states to live in if you’re after quality healthcare services.
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, it ranks number six out of all of the other states, which just 8% of the entire population uninsured, Maryland enjoys a higher overall quality of healthcare than most.
Perched next to its big brother, New York, New Jersey is often overshadowed and underappreciated.
However, as a state, it enjoys some of the best healthcare on this side of the Atlantic.
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, it has a slighter higher uninsured population than the rest of the United States, currently sitting at around 11%, but that being said, the quality of the healthcare provided still supersedes many surrounding states.
2018 was a huge year for healthcare. The trends continue in 2019. Himachal Mukhopadhyay discusses.
Healthcare is without a doubt one of the most important industries in the country. For the United States, the healthcare industry has been at the center of economical and social discussions for the better part of a decade, and it all came to a head in 2018 with a series of announcements of massive changes which shook the healthcare industry from the core upwards. This trend has continued into 2019, and we’re now seeing the effects of these trends coming into effect. Below, with the help of Himachal Mukhopadhyay, we’re going to discuss what these trends are and what both patients and payers can expect as the year progresses.
Digital adoption and robotic process automation
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, robotic process automation and digital adaptation are changing the landscape of healthcare across the board. The reason for this has to do with the fact that robotic process automation allows professionals to automate low-level tasks so that they can reserve their concentration for higher-level, more complex tasks. These tasks include inputting data and other monotonous, routine jobs. It is hoped that this will allow doctors and other medical professionals to free up their time for more pressing, engaging and intellectually heavier work.
Electronic medical records
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, electronic medical records of EMRs, have been quite widespread and available for sometime now, so the acquisition and introduction of them is nothing new. However, throughout 2019 we’re going to start seeing some of the benefits of having EMRs around. This means that doctors will instantly have access to a patient’s medical history at the touch of the finger, enabling them to provide better, more-informed healthcare than they would have been previously been able to.
AI is the buzzword on everyone’s lips, and that includes the healthcare industry. According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, recent progressions in artificial intelligence are set to have a massive impact on the healthcare industry. For example, in countries where doctors aren’t readily available, artificial intelligence will be able to be used in order to accurately diagnose patients in the absence of trained professionals.
Enhanced focus on security and compliance
As with many other processes in 2019, there has been an increased focus on enhancing security and compliance throughout the healthcare industry. As data becomes an evermore valuable commodity, pains must be taken to keep this data safe. This is especially true for doctors who wish to communicate swiftly and securely while still adhering to compliance. Because compromised systems can also cause a complete failure of a healthcare electronic records system, it’s imperative that security and compliance to regulations are the strongest they can possibly be.
Healthcare mergers are becoming ever more popular. Himachal Mukhopadhyay discusses some of the top mergers of 2018.
While we might one quarter of the way through the new year already, it’s important to acknowledge all that happened in the previous year with regards to healthcare mergers. Throughout the whole of 2018, the healthcare industry – in particular the finance sector – saw a hefty increase in mergers as both insurers and providers sought to pool resources in order to achieve greater scale and provide more cost-effective treatment across the board. And while this strategy is set to continue across the board in 2018, we, with the help of industry expert Himachal Mukhopadhyay wanted to highlight some of the biggest and move pertinent mergers of 2018.
Advocate Health Care and Aurora Medical Health Care
Two giants of the midwestern healthcare system, Advocate and Aurora made plans to merge in late 2017, and in the spring of 2018 the merger was complete. According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay this merger has created a new system which now employs over 70,000 people and has generated huge amounts of new revenue. One of the aspects which streamlined the process was the two giants agreeing to use the electronic health record system, allowing both healthcare systems to easily share information.
CVS and AETNA
While this particular deal hasn’t gone through yet, it’s currently waiting for the go-ahead from a federal judge. After months of reviews from relevant agencies and state bodies, the pharmacy chain and the insurance company finally got the green light and closed on the merger. According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, this merger is a landmark in healthcare – the reason being the enormous $70 billion price tag attached to it, as well as the significant impact which it is going to have on healthcare. It’s expected that the scope of the merger will influence other companies to consider similar integrations.
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health
Both based in Massachusetts, these two healthcare systems received the green light to merge in October. It’s big news for the state, as this new system comprising 13 hospitals is expected to provide $71 million in care to communities which previous lacked any regular health service or infrastructure. Looking ahead to the future, it’ll be interesting to see how this merger plays out across the board towards the end of 2019.
Cigna and Express Scripts
After receiving approval from the State of New Jersey, Cigna and Express Scripts sealed their merger deal on December 18. The merger, which saw Cigna Corp acquire Express Scripts, was one of the largest of its kind, totaling over $67 billion. The deal gives Cigna more control and will allow it to lower the cost of prescription drugs for customers.
It’s something which a lot of professionals in the healthcare industry are concerned about: mergers within the healthcare industry as a whole; both payers and providers being brought together by one company. Critics say that such a move will create a monopoly within the healthcare system, causing prices to inflate across the board and ultimately hit the patient the hardest. Proponents of the system, however, aren’t so quick to judge. There are a number of advantages that come with merging, they argue. Regardless of whether it’s a good or bad move, the question is why, and with the help of Himachal Mukhopadhyay we’re going to take a look at the answer.
The reason for mergers
According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, the reason for mergers isn’t quite so black and white. There are a number of different reasons – all of varying levels of complexity – why mergers happen and why payers and providers are willing to merge. For starters, smaller hospitals as well as non-profit organizations actively seek out mergers in order to survive in an ever-tougher and more expensive industry market. Many nonprofits are actually reducing less profitable services and expanding on more profitable ones in order to stay afloat. According to Himachal Mukhopadhyay, mergers are one way of ensuring that these smaller establishments stay open, especially during tough times. Mergers provide hospitals with more current technology and infrastructure, and ensure that they have access to more readily available medicines.
Another reason for mergers has to do with the new emerging model of healthcare. Himachal Mukhopadhyay states that because of dwindling government reimbursements and having to cover uninsured patient expenses, hospitals are being forced to look for alternative ways of affording and managing quality care. Mergers are one way in which these hospitals can afford it while also giving them breathing room to experiment with new forms of healthcare which ultimately might lower costs across the board. It’s expected that this trend will continue and that payers and providers will continue to merge in order to build comprehensive care organisations.
Mergers are also a way for hospitals to shoulder the burden of financial risks on behalf of patients. This means that patients will have greater and broader access to healthcare and that both payers and providers will be able to continue providing quality healthcare to communities.