We had the pleasure of catching up with Somesh Chandra ahead of our upcoming Connected Britain event which is being held in London this September
Can you introduce yourself and your current role?
I am Somesh Chandra, Chief Health Officer for European Markets covering Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain and Business Head of the Digital Healthcare Program at AXA Group.
I joined the AXA Group in 2016 as COO of Global Health Business Line. Before joining AXA, I was the COO, CQO and Principal Officer of Bupa’s business in India (Max Bupa) and have previously held leadership positions in several leading corporates including McKinsey, Religare, Computer Sciences Corporation and Tata Consultancy Services.
Where has greater connectivity had the biggest impact on healthcare services & solutions?
Today’s world is all about fast and convenient access on fingertips enabled by seamless connectivity. So far disruption has been significant in industries like Shopping, Travel, Entertainment etc. While Healthcare has been a bit behind, future potential is significant even more after the pandemic.
The biggest impact of greater connectivity is improved quality and access to healthcare for people across boundaries. People who are living in remote areas or who have a very busy lifestyle can now easily access best in class health services and solutions online or on their mobile. During the pandemic, digital technologies played a major role in ensuring continuity of care which would not have been possible without the connectivity we have today. For example, there has been 1.5x increase in video/teleconsultations between March 2019 and 2020.
Secondly there is the impact on time and cost of care. Greater connectivity significantly reduces time of care and makes healthcare affordable by improving productivity of healthcare professionals and delivering necessary care at the right time, through leveraging a mix of physical and digital health services compared to traditional in-person visits in the past.
Finally, there is the impact is on availability and quality of data obtained through digital healthcare services and solutions that not only enables a seamless health experience for patients but also supports research and innovation which in turn helps improves our quality of life in general.
How do you see digital healthcare solutions evolving as next-gen communication networks become more commonplace?
In the last 5 years, medical inflation has grown by 8+% whereas Global GDP growth is 1-2%. This is creating a big demand-supply gap in healthcare which is expected to grow even further in future. Healthcare will need to transform significantly to counter this. It is unlikely that healthcare will lose the human touch but a hybrid phygital (physical-digital) model is likely to evolve.
To reduce the burden on our existing health infrastructure, I believe next-gen communication networks along with digital health services will have a big role to play in delivery of healthcare outside traditional care delivery settings. With the ability to transport different forms of data in a secure, fast, and reliable manner, care at home can be implemented at scale especially for elderly, chronic patients who need ongoing monitoring and support.
To make this a reality, we first need to break silos and create an integrated healthcare ecosystem connecting digital and in-person services together focussing on health outcomes. We have started this exciting journey through our Digital Healthcare Platform initiative that AXA is building in partnership with Microsoft. Pilots in Italy and Germany are live since 2020 with very encouraging results and positive feedback from our customers.
Why are you attending Connected Britain?
As the business leader of the Digital Healthcare Program at AXA, I am keen to learn and explore how we can leverage new emerging technologies to innovate in the digital healthcare space. Future will be about partnerships that can help solve some of the core issues that we face today. This pandemic has clearly shown us how critical it is to work together across industries to create a sustainable and healthy society.
Where next for digital healthcare in the UK? Join Somesh and our other experts at Connected Britain this September.