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The contemporary world has seen India make rapid progress across industry sectors in the recent past, a trend that is set to continue over the next decade manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers in the country today aspire to achieve global eminence, with the future of the industry being shaped by multiple trends, policies, and discontinuities. Industries studies and surveys support this outlook, making it important for organizations to develop the required capabilities to help build a supportive manufacturing ecosystem.
The provision of the required products and services is a key component of this endeavor. For OEMs to succeed in the automotive sector, it is mandatory for them to evaluate the unique requirements of every case to adapt to the dynamic nature of the industry. The condition of requisite infrastructure such as roadways and the need to integrate contemporary technology into the functioning of systems are just some of the factors to be considered. Local manufacturers in India possess the knowledge and experience required to perform such evaluations and it is from them that Bosch obtains successful insights for its operation. This merges with European technology and safety features that have been perfected over many decades, making Bosch a successful two-wheeler component provider. Local engineering facilitates the superior understanding of both the Indian infrastructure as well as how equipped the two-wheelers should be.
The superior technology employed by Bosch not only ensures the smooth running of the bikes but also allows two-wheelers and power sports vehicles to fulfill new emission regulations. Travelling at high speeds on highways and roadways can often lead to fatal road accidents. With effective ABS, such accidents can be prevented. Bosch offers a sophisticated ABS that helps riders stay in control of their vehicles in situations where sudden requirements of brakes can be experienced. The ABS technology prevents the wheels from locking up and enables them to maintain traction control with the ground so that the rider can always retain steering control. The company is at the forefront of developing such technologies and safety systems for two-wheelers. Additionally, Bosch also understands that driving significant change also requires educating riders about safety features and safe riding habits. It narrowed down two-wheeler safety to two key sections – effective braking and reliable engine performance, resulting in a cent percent success of its Arctic to Antarctica journey.
Bosch has set up the BMDC-Bosch Management Development Center specifically to train the workforce and adhere to the Indian traffic pattern. Local Engineering and manufacturing are given due emphasis to obtained better knowledge and expertise in the Indian driving pattern, traffic conditions and state of roads so as to enable adaptable mobility solutions. Local engineering talent partnering with global OEMs can help make this a reality. As Bosch ideates on new mobility and technology solutions, it is compelled to be aware of all the above to make the innovations a success specifically when spoken about the India Road facilities and traffic. Locally developed products complement the products in established markets: a common-rail injection system developed in-house for Indian diesel vehicles has also proved suitable for small vehicles in other countries.
The company’s continuous success in innovation is a result of its unwavering commitment to solving problems that will benefit society. Bosch and its plan of enormous expansion requires focus to be built on all the aspects of variable transmissions which will be best executed by people of the nation themselves. It plans to leave no stone unturned in the automotive sector for all kinds of vehicles and will continue sustaining its position as the market leader.
The automotive industry has long been a barometer of global economy given that it is the leader in product and process technologies for the manufacturing sector. In India, the sector has been growing at 8% annually, which has of economic growth. Within this industry, the two-wheeler market has emerged as the most vibrant and transformative segment in India, primarily due to rising demands for safety and fuel efficiency. Two-wheelers also form an important aspect of Bosch’s business in the country, with the space slated to contribute around 30-40 percent of the company’s overall business target for the Indian market.
Ensuring safer roads in India
Safety is one of the most urgent challenges in the motorcycle market. Whether smart assistance systems or connectivity packages, Bosch offers many solutions that make roads safer for motorcyclists. And with its innovative research projects, it is already planning for the next stages of development.
Bosch’s strategy for road safety follows a simple but comprehensive three-step safety strategy for accident-free mobility; firstly, by keeping the bike stable in braking situations and acceleration; secondly, by realizing predictive safety and comfort functions with innovative surround-sensing; and thirdly, by connecting the bike with its environment.
In road traffic, even the briefest lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. Bosch has developed a collision warning system for motorcycles to reduce the risk of a rear-end collision or to mitigate its consequences. Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Engine Management System (EMS) have been designed specifically for Asian countries like India where the struggle for efficient roadways is on. This also gives Bosch scope for more market development in India as the customer requirements are large and yet to be met. Bosch India’s two-wheeler team is also engaged in the development of solutions that target meeting global emission standards the foremost of which are the BS VI norms used across the globe for EU5 as well combustion technology, hybridization, electrification.
Bosch’s offerings in the automotive sector
At a global level, Bosch is working extensively on motorcycle ACC – Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot detection, forward collision warning. Its focus in India lies primarily on ABS, engine management systems. There is a lot of interest in features and functions in premium motorcycle segment (between 150cc to 400cc). Bosch is working on bringing user ride modes, quick-shifter and other such features in this segment. Also, the Bosch two-wheeler and powersports unit leads the supply of motorcycle safety technology and its Side View Assist is the world’s first assistance system for bikes. In addition, the unit supplies efficient injection technology as well as smart connectivity solutions and modern display instruments.
To have a foot strong in the Indian market and retain reliability for the coming years, Bosch has strongly supported in “Make in India” policy, be it products, solution or services. There are several examples in the Indian automotive sector where Bosch has made several products in India for India. This also has helped the industry diversify as well. Hence, Bosch’s efforts of providing hassle-free mobility and technology solution will give the Indian two-wheeler sector a better horizon. With enhanced safety features which aim to overcome existing drawbacks and make travelling more efficient in the coming time.
It is Bosch’s vision to create an urban environment that is free of emissions, stress, and accidents, an aim that is tied to three technological developments in particular: automation, electrification and connectivity. As the industry continues its move towards the creation of an accident-free ecosystem, Bosch is committed to realizing this dream within an achievable timeline.
India is fast becoming one of the biggest two-wheeler markets around the world. This can be seen in the large choice of two-wheelers available for all segments; and also in the passionate and ever-growing motorcycling community that exists in the country. Riding a bike has become a rite of passage in India, and this has opened the doors to local and foreign two-wheeler brands to really bring their best products and features to Indian shores.
The size of the market guarantees that every innovation can reach a large audience in India, and Bosch is aware of this fact. We are working at breakneck pace to cater to this dynamic segment in the country, and some of our brightest minds are working on engineering performance and safety solutions for the Indian market that can compete with world-class global standards.
Bosch’s transformative vision
One of the most important factors of two-wheeler riding is that it should be fun. All of Bosch’s two-wheeler solutions do work with this parameter in mind. However, in a country like India where congested and uneven roads are the norm, two-wheelers are an effective way to beat the traffic too. So, performance and ‘good mileage’ are the age-old standards by which a two-wheeler will always be judged. The challenge then, is to meet the traditional demands that riders have of bikes, while also introducing safety features that improve the riding experience.
With this in mind, Bosch is focusing its efforts on three key areas in the two-wheeler market – stability during braking and acceleration; predictive safety with innovative surround-sensing; and connecting a two-wheeler more effectively with its environment. During all our tests and focus interviews, we found that by improving these three core areas, we can drastically improve the two-wheeler riding experience in the country and enhance the demand across market segments.
Focusing on these core areas will enable Bosch to achieve accident-free mobility in the country. From the braking perspective, Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) are soon going to become mandatory for all two-wheelers in the nation. Bosch’s ABS assembly is one of the most advanced in the country and is ensuring all partners and vendors can meet this safety legislation in time. With regard to the performance of the bikes as well, Bosch offers full-fledged technologies that cater to several aspects such as – fuel injection and supply, air management, ignition, sensors and engine control units too. Along with Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), Bosch can ensure that all two-wheelers in the country provide adequate safety for sudden braking over short distances.
Other connected features such as rider assistance systems and eCall (Emergency Call) are also in the works. They are helping riders enjoy safety during their rides – which is a critical component of the two-wheeler segment in India and a key factor for determining two-wheeler sales as well. Similar features in other countries, like Germany for instance, have led to reduction of one-third crash casualties thanks to bike-to-vehicle communications. We are confident that the impact in India can be higher, and are focusing several of our engineering initiatives towards making such features feasible in the Indian market.
Riding into the future
Another critical aspect that comes into play is the nation’s upcoming transition to BS-VI emission standards. This is leading Bosch to focus on holistic Engine Management Systems (EMS) for all vehicles. Two-wheelers are also benefitting from the advancements we are making in this domain, as the shared technology can be modified and applied to two-wheelers as well. Over the next few years, Bosch also envisions electrification of two-wheelers to play a critical role. We have the manpower, expertise and technical know-how to tap into this evolution and drive the change.
At a global level, Bosch is also working extensively on Adaptive Cruise Control or ACC, blindspot detection and forward collision warning systems. In the premium motorcycle segment in India (the 150cc-400cc category), these features can be game changers for two-wheeler brands in the country. The fact remains that motorcyclists are the most vulnerable road users around the world, especially in a country like India, where safety awareness and compliance are not high. Bosch recognises this and is helping the two-wheeler market tackle this issue with technology and internationally tested solutions – along with regional innovations.
All the while, the riding experience can never be compromised. It still needs to be fun and affordable in mass market economies in particular. Bosch is ready with such technologies that work with these goals in mind for the two-wheeler segment and we are poised to help all our partners and customers derive the utmost safety, satisfaction and thrill of riding motorcycles with Bosch components in them.
The connected world has come a long way. In 1995, for instance, only 15 million people around the world had internet access and in 1997, only 6 million connected computers were around. Compare that with projections for 2020 – with 7 billion connected people and 50 billion connected devices – and the immense progress being made becomes clear.
The impact of this connectivity is being seen in the manufacturing space as well. More and more industries are adopting smart manufacturing solutions to improve operations and productivity, and Bosch is well-placed to capitalise on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and leave a lasting impact. With the aim of making Bosch facilities some of the iconic factories of the future, we are leveraging a unique dual-strategy by becoming a leading user and provider of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing solutions.
The merits of India’s enabling ecosystem
Initiatives by the government are encouraging India to become one of the world’s leading ecosystems for smart manufacturing and I4.0 solutions. With macro initiatives such as Digital India, Make in India and Smart Cities, the nation is undergoing digitalisation at a rapid pace that is leaving more developed nations behind. The infrastructure for connectivity is already in place, and with automation also penetrating the market further, the Indian ecosystem is primed and ready for the Industry 4.0 movement.
This is where Bosch envisions the perfect fit for the manufacturing space and I4.0 initiatives. Since there are multiple areas to boost manufacturing and the supply chain behind the scenes, we believe that Bosch is best placed to make the best of both worlds. With our rich history of manufacturing heritage behind us, we know what it takes to deliver the highest quality, agility, connectivity and productivity to improve our solutions.
We have the facilities to implement the most fit-for-future solutions, the skills to develop these solutions in-house, and the expertise to share the most successful solutions with our partners and customers to help them achieve higher rates of production and productivity. This is what we call the dual-strategy of building solutions for our own processes, mastering them and then sharing them with the manufacturing community.
Becoming a leading user and provider at Bosch
The business opportunity here is immense – to the tune of $3 billion by 2020 – but more than that, it is the ability to make an impact in diverse sub-domains such as industry, cities, mobility, healthcare, retail and many more that encourages us to continue down this path of building smart manufacturing solutions for ourselves and our partner/customer ecosystem. Our 18 plants across India are the best testing grounds for us to implement some of our most innovative solutions. These solutions are developed in-house by teams specialising in logistics, Big Data, research, hardware and more, and then successfully perfected at each Bosch plant with its unique set of requirements.
More than 100 such connected projects have been successfully implemented already and we are very excited to get some of these solutions into the hands of more partners and customers across the world. Some of the standout connected industry projects are as follows:
Several of these projects and solutions are already being successfully used in Italy and China. These are just a few of the key smart manufacturing projects being run here at Bosch at the moment. Each of these are targeted to enhance connected industry competency for future success. Another key component of this dual-strategy is preparing the workforce with the skills needed to succeed in the I4.0 era. For this we have the Industry 4.0 Academy which provides hands-on experience of I4.0 solutions at Bosch plants. It is geared towards skill upgradation in the area of IoT and I4.0 and it functions with the distinct aim of creating industry leaders in the space. The Academy has successfully collaborated with CII, IMTEX and IISC and has completed 10 batches so far across 3 centres in India.
With all these I4.0 initiatives, Bosch recognises that people and partnerships are going to play a decisive role in this process. We are uniquely placed in this matter and have the advantage of developing solutions for our plants in India, and then sharing them with other industries and countries. This dual-strategy of being a leading user and provider of I4.0 solutions holds immense promise for the future. The factories of the future will function on connectivity, data analytics, autonomous systems and AI – and Bosch is at the forefront of these trends to make these factories of the future a reality.
Population growth in India over the past few years has become an important catalyst for a multitude of industries. With more than 1.3 billion people residing in the country and this figure slated to only grow over time, the Indian government now needs to focus on its transportation and commuting needs to cater to a population that is constantly on the move. A well-organized transport system is vital for the sustainable economic advancement of the country and plays an important part in encouraging national and global amalgamation.
It has become necessary for the government to explore the horizons of smart surveillance and security solutions as growing footfalls have increased security concerns as well. Public transportation such as railways stations, metro stations, airports etc. have become progressively populated. In 2017, India’s civil aviation market handled 295 million travelers across its 449 airports. Thus, the security industry will need to continue revolutionizing its contributions to support create a safe environment.
There has also been a parallel increase in major security threat risks, making it vital for public transport hubs to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Bosch recognizes this need and provides solutions for such critical security services. Using its expertise in automation and IoT technologies, the company continues to effectively contribute to the building of smart infrastructure across India. In the urban transportation space, wellbeing and security are key concerns and Bosch’s arrangement-based methodologies can help handle these concerns. Through unified Building Integration Systems, Bosch conveys more prominent security and quicker crisis reaction. Our different items are incorporated on a consistently advanced stage which enables individuals to get from one place to another securely. Business dynamics are changing because of the disruption in digital transportation. It has enabled the companies to have better customer engagement along with the improved travel experience.
Bosch comes in with its brilliant security arrangements that are adroit at giving coordinated advanced administrations to change the country’s security frameworks. Its Security Systems division is at the forefront in providing world-class safety solutions in India across airports, metro stations, sports stadiums, and other critical infrastructure. It is providing IP-based cameras, PA systems, fire detection and more. Some of Bosch’s key security solutions are:
Intelligent cameras with analytics with features such as Ultra-HD enhanced BVMS (Bosch video management software) and focus on analytics, data retrieval, and data redundancy
Secure access control and intelligent displays
Public address and evacuation setups
All integrated into one command and control software
Customers can view, retrieve and analyze audio, video, and data for safety and security
Big Data is vital in this issue since it indicates patterns and changes over useless video content into an insightful video which can be utilized for anticipating models and staying away from manual work of taking a gander at screens. Bosch is building innovation of things to come and gives a savvy examination to empower customers to make quicker and progressively successful business choices.
Data Analytics is another aspect that Bosch excels in as part of its endeavor to fast-forward smart transportation, with the use of dispersed record framework and parallel figuring to empower quick preparing of information. With the two being joined for transport investigation, it is equipped for understanding extensive ongoing traffic information streams and in addition supporting substantial scale traffic recreation. At the point when an episode or blockage happen on a noteworthy street, almost certainly, the traffic of the encompassing zone will be influenced. Early forecast of the adjacent clogged streets to dodge is essential in choosing the ideal course for the drivers to keep away from the region and particularly for crisis vehicles to achieve the site.
This is crucial, as many of us may have witnessed the use of video surveillance technology in the past, however, needless to say, its usage has so far been sporadic and unsatisfactory in some cases. But all that is set to change with the onset of smart cities, where buildings will be specifically designed to accommodate advanced technology and installing video surveillance solutions will become imperative. In addition, we will also notice that the application and importance of video surveillance will move from just security to tracking, monitoring, crime-prevention, disaster-prevention, among many others. With the advent of technology, we can now see how innovative analytics tools, sensor technology, and artificial intelligence can be added to both existing and new surveillance installations.
Digital transportation is empowering our society and is moving towards a revolutionized economy. It has opened doors for both transportation companies and the commuters. The government in India needs to understand that every city has its own unique infrastructure. We require an in-depth study of the challenges and opportunities for each of these cities. The focus needs to be on providing a holistic solution to maximize the efficiency of these technologies.
Automation has been a visible trend across industry sectors, a fact that has brought the rise of robotics into sharp focus over time. It is currently estimated that by the International Federation of Robotics that by 2020, 3 million industrial robots will be in use in factories globally. Moving closer to home, the robotics industry in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 32% in 2019. Given this scenario, the impact that robotics has over the industry cannot be denied. A clear move, however, is being seen in the sectors where automation has had the strongest hold. While the automotive sector continues to show the highest utilization of industrial robots globally on an annual basis, robotics has moved beyond this space to encompass many other industries and truly help in the transition to a digitally transformative ecosystem. Of these industries, manufacturing has emerged as the next important site of innovation, with India gearing up to be an important player in this space.
Manufacturing catches up to mobility
The major aim of introducing robots to the shopfloor is to increase efficiency. While this move is stereotypically seen as one that denies jobs to physical workers, these individuals play an important role in the success of robotics, especially in the manufacturing sector. After the automotive industry, which utilizes 79 robots for every 10,000 employees, the manufacturing sector is the next major integrator of robotics, using 3 robots for every 10,000 employees. In this sector, the focus is on being able to move large payloads quickly and with precision. Robots are capable of doing just that, helping to streamline shopfloor processes and decreasing production times.
The nascent nature of India’s robotics market, however, in comparison to industry leaders like Japan and USA, demands more manual intervention. This also present the opportunity to develop much deeper human-machine interactions, creating a system that is conducive to both stakeholders and reducing the fear of job loss. Some of the major areas where robotics showcases these advantages in material handling, product moulding, metal welding and shopfloor cleaning. Each of these activities contains an element of risk to human employees that industrial robots help mitigate, thereby ensuring a safe, collaborative work experience.
Harnessing the digital advantage
Another advantage that robotics bring to the industry comes from the integration of important connected technologies such as AI and ML, which help upgrade sensor and storage capabilities across products. In the manufacturing space, the major innovation is in the formation of a systemized assembly-line, aiding in industry efforts to automate its functioning in a streamlined manner. Supply chain management has been one of the areas that has benefitted most from the implementation of automation processes. The creation of a sustainably efficient production line enables manufacturers to supply products to OEMs in a regulated manner, thereby allowing for equitable resource allocation.
Putting India on the automation map
As a result of the connectivity that digital technology now affords, automation has now expanded its reach to move into other areas such as infrastructure and life sciences, where it is now capable of optimizing processes overall. India has been a crucial component in this move to expand the boundaries of automation through the development of R&D centers where existing talent is given the required facilities to innovate and excel.
Collaborative efforts have already been championed between engineers based in India and experts in other global locations. Such collaborations allow for the integration of local knowledge and industry expertise that create more relevant products that can in turn further the growth of the automation industry.
Automation has become a key watchword in the industry, with global organizations now vying to continually innovate and further the evolution of robotics. Integrated robotics solutions like Bosch Rexroth are now enabling India to build its automation potential and move the sphere of influence beyond the automotive sector to encompass other major industry sectors. The country today has the additional benefit of a government push towards digitization in the form of the Digital India campaign, which aims to implement wide-scale digital transformation in the country. Innovation in a globalized world today requires collaboration to be at the core of all efforts and recent trends indicate that India has already begun its journey towards this goal. We believe in working towards a more automated, streamlined and efficient world and look forward to seeing India as an important player in the near future.
We are in an SME world! I love the irony of the Pyramid. The IT industry profits and makes its juicy margins from the bottom of its resource pyramid. CK Prahalad made waves when he gave Lifebuoy a worldwide status by giving it a mention in his famous book about the bottom of the pyramid. It is definitely ironic and is for me a key insight about how you could turn the topic on its head and suddenly see a whole new world. Don’t look at the size of poverty but look at the size of its potential, don’t ignore the juniorest of engineers but invest in them, and don’t look at how bad conditions are but look at how good the opportunities could be. The proverbial half empty vs. the half full glass takes on amazing meanings when looked at in this context.
It’s a delightful take on the size and proportions! Let’s now look at the SMEs, the small and medium enterprises, the many industries in the by lanes and industrial areas, the thousands of garages that are staffed anywhere from 1 to a 50 strong workforce. They are actually the prime movers of any country and typically generate statistics that are staggering by any measure in any country. When you actually begin looking at the numbers, one couldn’t be any more amazed. Then you look deeper and suddenly you see that they are actually everywhere and getting the attention of a big chunk of the industry. I was recently in Germany at the airport and suddenly I was noticing that banks, investors, corporates were all wooing the SMEs with adverts. Banking institutions claiming to be the biggest supporters of the Mittelstand (The German SME/MSMEs), funds wanting the best for their SMEs and suddenly it all made perfect sense. These small guys are actually very BIG.
Amazing statistics for you!
So what could possibly be not going well?
The flip side of the enormous quantum of SMEs is also the competitive and commodity size of the story. SMEs are always under increasing demand for cost cutting, productivity increases, higher quality outputs and reduced production times. These demands introduce high pressure on the financial conditions of the organization and therefore the ability to invest, to spend, to be on par with technology becomes a challenge. This causes a catch-22 situation where the SME is caught between the demands of the digital age and the challenges of investments into technology.
What should the SME do?
Priorities! The key decision to be taken boils down to a very simple choice of input vs. output. What is the best investment to derive maximum returns over the shortest possible frame of time? There are many possible options: Investments into experience, brand new machines, expensive productivity software or some basic but high impact productivity tools.
Management Mantra – What you cannot measure cannot be controlled!
This is common sense. One of the key parameters for continuous improvement is the ability to conduct continuous monitoring of metrics. Metrics MUST be the core of any SME, the basis for decision making, the basis for improvement measures, the basis for investments and of course the basis for evaluations within the organization. Metrics are classified under three core categories of Quality, Cost and Delivery. Quality is definitely controlling the other two parameters. Cost has a large element of productivity built into it. Productivity is a an enormous animal with quite a few elements thrown into it. Machine productivity, people productivity, part availability, planning, machine maintenance and so on and so forth.
How do we do this?
Stay tuned to the next blog where I introduce you to The Phantom!!
After many hiccups, healthcare industry has started adapting to technology now. Technology has now become a key imperative to transform the existing hospital workflows for improving accessibility and quality of care. Hospitals are now investing heavily in specialized clinical solutions like EHR systems, advanced medical technology; and hospital administration are investing in digitizing the core enterprise systems like patient enrollment and billing for delivering personalized care. But currently, as all these systems are operating disparately, hospitals were not able to realize the complete potential of the generating patient data.
For achieving the goal of integrated patient health record, primary activity is accessing the patient data through a unique patient identifier and sharing the complete patient information to caregivers for continuity of care. But the heterogeneity in the hospital systems is creating complications and limitations to share data between the health professionals. This necessitates an intelligent interoperable solution which use Enterprise Master Patient Index between them to start exchange, infer and display health data in a patient-centric way wherever he receives care.
“As per Gartner, EHR Interoperability is one of the top priority for provider CIOs in 2018.” (1) (2)
Key Trends driving Interoperability: Push from Government:
Owing to rising healthcare cost, Governments have started working together with healthcare providers to facilitate seamless data exchange between multitude of healthcare systems to coordinate care effectively and reducing avoidable costs. With healthcare interoperability mandate, government had incentivized the providers to use a certified EHR and provide an open API for automatic delivery of the required authorized requests to access the patient records electronically. And as per the recently shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, healthcare providers should make their system interoperable and give patients the complete access to their health data with the ability to share the data to any healthcare provider. Providers will have to pay a penalty if they are failing to do so.
“Only 4 in 10 hospitals can send, receive and use data from sources outside their system.” (3)
Industry Consolidation through Mergers and Acquisitions: Due to rising cost pressure and to sustain market position, the healthcare industry is entering a consolidation phase, with some new companies evolving to acquire insurance payers and health providers while the existing healthcare systems merge and acquire independent hospitals. With this new megatrend of Mergers and Acquisition, not just Interoperability, but even Intra-Operability becomes difficult, since system consolidation is not absolutely necessary for a successful merger or acquisition. However, effective care coordination can happen only when interoperability is facilitated between all these disparate systems. To cite an example, the recent merger of Summit Health (Meditech) with WellSpan Health (Epic) with a motive to expand services locally so patients won’t have to travel as much for care. This merger has brought disparate health systems together facilitating better data sharing and thereby improving the Coordination of care.
“Recent trends like Amazon partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, Walmart trying to partner with Humana” (4) (5)
Advancement in Precision medicine requiring coalition of multiple stakeholders:
With the advancement in genomic technologies and eruption of big data powered diagnostics tools, precision medicine for critical disease conditions is becoming a reality now. By combining genomic sequencing data with other clinical data, physicians and researchers can get a better understanding of the patient’s disease condition and provide evidence based precise treatment. However data siloes are preventing big data analysts from taking full advantage of the huge volumes of genomics data for sequencing, mapping, and analyzing. Sequencing multiple human genomes could itself be petabytes of data, and adding to that the data created by analysis of each of the gene interactions would multiply it further.
Interoperability combined with big data analytics is therefore a must have if patients, healthcare providers and precision medicine researchers are to collaborate on a care delivery for severe conditions like cancer.
“As per FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), Interoperability is a core Requirement for Precision Medicine” (6) (7)
Increased need for collaboration due to rise in chronic conditions: Similarly, chronic condition patients have their information spread across multiple EMRs and other systems of multiple providers and organizations. And the providers who treat them will be collaborating with specialists and other third party vendors for improving patient outcomes and enhancing the care quality. Achieving true interoperability becomes a herculean task as the out of network specialist and vendors will be using their own proprietary systems. And integrating these new proprietary health applications with EHRs and other hospital systems securely becomes difficult.
“More than half of the industry feels Vendor Incompatibility as biggest pain point in Interoperability as per a HIMSS survey.” (8)
Interoperability – The New paradigm change in healthcare:
In spite of the push from government in form of mandates and other key driving factors, we are realizing many of the existing clinical systems vendors are not be ready to invest in implementing a new open interoperable standard like FHIR into their systems right now. Their primary concern is about the Data security. As the sharing of data through interoperability opens up more potential opportunities for the data to become compromised. With rising cybersecurity crimes or cyber-hacks, healthcare providers are unwilling to adopt interoperability in fear of privacy intervention. Adding to that, the normative version of HL7’s FHIR is yet to be released. As per the update from HL7, standard version of FHIR itself will arrive only in 2019. So the providers are awaiting for the FHIR to become a mature standard before investing in it.
In order to comply with the regulation mandate and to attain cost optimization, the healthcare providers themselves need to make their clinical system interoperable or they need to partner with innovative digital health companies who operate in the interoperability space. They need to ensure HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) act level of privacy and security compliance with respect to the interoperability exchanged data to tackle data security issues.
With digitization picking up in the space, some remote health companies are stepping-up to solve the interoperability puzzle by synchronizing the patient record in EMR as a single source of truth for providers. They are integrating the Point of care data from devices with patient historical data from EMR and from other clinical systems, so that the providers can receive real time patient health and vital information. This will facilitate physicians to provide evidence based treatment by making accurate decisions regarding a patient’s health faster.
The seamlessly integrated solution reduce patient record duplication effort by adapting to the existing Infrastructure well and thereby saving unnecessary cost, enabling greater collaboration between physicians. The solution also empowers the Payer and other care management companies to focus on patient-centric care delivery by enabling them to get quick access to needed information securely from multiple digital platforms for decision-making, and leverage modern technologies to obtain advanced insights before the patient visits their office and provide the best care outcomes.
From the milkman delivering milk early in the morning to the flower lady at the corner of the street accepting Paytm money to the rapid keystrokes of my wife ordering a week’s worth of groceries in 15seconds flat, the well dressed and full suited top paid gentlemen standing on a street corner next to a pile of carelessly strewn garage waiting for his UberPool and joining probably two fresh engineers on basic wages, digital has created and enveloped the businesses into an equalizing ecosystem all around us. The users jumping happily on the bandwagon created by creative and enterprising start-ups, are expanding their access to ever growing, ever aware, ever demanding paying public.
This however didn’t happen overnight. Definitely not!
Digital is a very Analogous Journey
Of course! It is a no brainer statement. On the lighter side, for the geeks, it is a technically correct statement. Digital is actually an Analog value. There is a definite time needed for the value to go from a zero to a one. A digital one is an analog value registered as a set flag in the silicon. We could go on about this but we are not talking about electronics here.
Actually, we are!
Digital is mostly Electronics and Software. The brilliant progression of Compute power, Connectivity speed and the human power of Ideation has created this amazing world of possibilities that we are calling as Digital. The bits and bytes flipping over one another in a choreographed set of intelligent sequences is making the everyday digital experience all look so easy. Except Geeks, no one would know that behind that Uber app that we term as one of the great digital world innovations, there is a huge amount of analog activity that went into creating it. The Digital app took many months of thinking, ideating, conceptualizing and years of learning, hearing and tweaking of features to get here. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time. It was an Analog journey to get to that Digital world.
It took Analog to go Digital!
The term Digital is a lot of pressure. Pressure of getting it right, getting users to participate, to like, getting customers to join in, getting customers to stay, getting more customers and more and more. Digital has been on the air for quite some time now and there is definitely the pressure of being left out in what is a remarkable transformation across all industries.
Transformation takes time, it takes effort and it takes a lot of hard work. It is a slow and tough journey! It will NOT happen overnight. Definitely not!
Digital is a long and arduous Analog Journey!
However the hype and the pressure of digital is definitely a psychological nightmare to everyone living the other life of thinking about creation of digital platforms.
What has psychology got to do with the digital world? Everything! There is today, an unseen and invisible pressure to go digital and if you don’t you are Kodaked literally. Kodak has become a four letter word for not doing the right thing at the right time. It has become an inflection point in business circles today and moving at a very rapid analogous pace. But is going Digital a Kodak decision? Is it everything? Will not accepting Digital lead us to lose out in the economy?
Digital allows access to information at your fingertips. That much is the easy part. But what kind of information excites a customer and incentivizes him to make that crucial or important action of converting it into a actionable topics? Increase personnel productivity, leverage automation, allow machines to take business decisions
The topic of digital is all about understanding the psyche of users, of consumers, of engineers and managers. How does one consume information, what kinds, when and at what frequency. How is this information leveraged to make decisions, turn a corner, a page, halt something, accelerate something, go slow – anything. Flip the same question to the “Things” generating this information and you have to decide what to sense, measure, analyze and when to do that and at what frequency and what detail. How does one get this “Thing” now to get into the right place to collect and broadcast this information. Now that’s the tricky part and that’s again an analog journey.
No short cuts there!
What I wanted to convey in this blog was primarily to state the unsaid but obvious truth that it a difficult journey to go digital and that you have to navigate the circuitous roads and the steep climb and the occasional cliff crossing to get there. So get started and start the journey. Let me know how that went!!
Healthcare is transitioning from a cure based fee-for-service model to preventive value-based model designed to deliver the best quality care at the lowest possible price. Healthcare organizations are adopting value based methods to provide extensive care management to patients. Care management is the range of activities conducted with the intention to improve a patient’s quality of life and lower the need for healthcare services by helping both the patients and the caregivers. The real challenge lies in scaling up existing systems, to make data driven decisions for identifying and coordinating with the target patient population, and measuring the effectiveness of the interventions.
Rapidly expanding field of advanced analytics has begun to address this gap, and it is playing a significant role in the growth and evolution of care management. Predictive analytics driven care management systems will address these issues by streamlining workflows, prioritizing daily tasks for care givers, and steering activities to the areas that will positively impact the patient lives.
To cite some examples, to implement a Rapid Recovery Pathway for cardiac surgery patients, Mayo clinic deployed advanced analytics based decision-support tool in their facility based on the new models of postoperative care. This solution helped predict outcomes of the patients better and have improvements in their care, resulting in a reduction of cost per case by 7% and a reduction in length of stay by 1.5 days (1). Similarly, The University of Pittsburg Medical College (UPMC) has leveraged advanced analytics to improve their clinical and financial decision making. With their home-grown Enterprise Analytics platform they were able to slash the readmission rates by 37%. (2)
However, many challenges still remain for large scale adoption and implementation of Analytics in care management.
Care Management System:
It comprises of a suite of tools that integrates data from all possible sources, stratifies patient’s risk, organizes and manages patient record and provides two-way communication with the caregivers. An efficient care management system has analytics at its core, which enables the system to leverage data to determine trends and patterns that drive better outcomes for patients, and change the day-to-day workflow for clinicians/medical practitioners.
Depicted are the core pillars of care management, starting from the data integration across multiple data sources, followed by analytics-driven patient stratification on the aggregated data for better care coordination between care team on patient’s care planning. Ensuring that the patients are informed throughout the process for improved patient engagement, and finally bringing in advanced reporting capabilities for Performance evaluation on the effectiveness of care and thereby enabling better patient outcomes.
Benefits of analytics in care management:
Analytics will help organizations to achieve the care management goals by providing risk stratification for high risk patient identification. This will enable the care manager to assign an appropriate care plan to the patient leading to better Care coordination during transition from hospital based care to home care of care. To cite an example, Owing to the rising healthcare cost of patient with complex needs, Kaiser Permanente wanted to better characterize the highest-risk segment of the population and to redesign care to meet their needs. They leveraged advanced analytics to predict who will be their high-cost patients (Top 1% of patients costing 29% of the total health care costs, i.e. $4Billion) next year and provide focused care to them (4).
Our view of Predictive analytics based Care Management
After care plan assignment, Analytics will empower medical practitioners and insurers to measure the improvement in patient’s condition by comparing the patient outcomes and medical utilization data after the care program onset with the prior historical data. This would enable hospitals to evaluate and create clinical evidence, on how high-risk chronic patients are responding to care management. From the payer perspective, they can leverage this information for value based reimbursement to the hospital providers. Patients can in-turn use this to keep track of their own individual health.
By adding and tuning this additional information to predictive models, caregivers can increase the efficiency of care management programs. In the future, medical practitioners and caregivers with the help of analytics can access the individual’s needs, evaluate it, determine the services he/she is eligible for, implement care plans, provide the best quality services, and monitor or re-assess the needs. Patient-centric healthcare for the masses will be possible with data analytics. Integration of analytics in care management will also address the significant challenges for medical care globally such as the rising high cost, low quality, fragmented delivery, limited resources.
Data Security Challenges in implementing Analytics driven care management:
With rising cybersecurity crimes and data-thefts, patients can be unwilling to adopt care management systems with analytics for fear of privacy intervention. The data to be used in care management should be secure, accurate, including complete history and properly formatted. The integration of analytics in care management particularly in emerging economies will be difficult due to lack of adequate IT infrastructure.
Conclusion: We see analytics to become the pivotal part of care management in near future, aiding the physicians to effectively identify patients who are most likely to benefit from care program, make informed decisions and manage their care to improve outcomes and lower costs. Similarly, care management analytics also assists payers in successfully implementing and managing the value-based payment models.
That being said, all associated stakeholders like (Providers, Payer, Patient and Care manager) should coordinate effectively, to facilitate better integration of patient’s Clinical, Financial and Demographic data needed for the analytics to provide better Patient care and thereby making the entire ecosystem to succeed with the Outcomes-Based Contracts.