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Google I/O 2019 Key Takeaways

Innovation in the Open: Google I/O, an annual developer conference organized by the executive team has a similar format to that of  Google Developer Day. I/O 2019, the annual smorgasbord of all things Android, unveiled the long-awaited highlights of Android Q Beta 3, a Wear OS ‘Tiles’ and Pixel 3a impressions.

Launch of Pixel 3a and 3a XL in response to other brands

Among all the latest additions to Google’s plate, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL were of biggest interests. In Spite of costing half the price of Google Pixel 3 and 3XL, both the phones have the same camera specifications. Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are featured with 5.6 inches and a 6-inch screen at a price of  $399 / AU$649 and $479 / AU$799 respectively and include Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Google Fi and US Cellular. However, it has a slower chipset and a plastic build yet it stands out to be a great bargain at such a price.

Google claims iPhone X’s low-light mode is a bit lagging. It is a direct response to iPhone XR and Samsung S10e. Designed in shades of black white and purplish, the plastic casing has room for a 3.5 mm headphone jack and the active edge brings up Google Assistant. With battery life quoted at 30 hours, it is going to be among the first devices to offer AR map mode.

Android Q Beta 3 is here

The 10th generation of Android OS, Android Q Beta 3 was launched at Google I/O 2019. It was announced to be available for 21 phones including Pixel, Nokia, OnePlus and more. The Android Q has doubled up its security and privacy features including Maps Incognito mode, reminders for location usage and sharing and TSLV3 encryption for low-end devices.

Google announced that there are over 2.5 billion active Android users around the world. With Android Q now you can watch videos with the sound off and audio instantly turning into the text to be read, the Android Q will also be compatible with foldable devices providing a thrilling experience. This feature works on all videos that have never been manually close-captioned, no internet connection would be required and it shall be completely legible to the eyes. Some other features of the new Android version launched includes ‘Smart reply’ across all messaging apps and ‘Focus Mode’ that switches off apps you choose to avoid distraction.

Long live Nest Hub Max

Google Home Hub is dead. Dropping the Google Home monikers Google is rebranding the device with the Nest name bringing in line with the security systems.
The Nest Hub is featured with a 10-inch large display and wide angle lens security camera, of 127 degrees Nest cam to be exact. The device supports video calls using a wide range of video calling apps. It also has a voice and face match feature, the camera and the mic are physically turned off by a slider that cuts off the electronics for privacy concerns. The Nest Hub can double up as a kitchen TV if you have access to youtube TV plans. Volume in this device can be controlled by freehand gestures.

Google remains a search giant

In I/O 2019, Google has implemented the timeline for new stories. Podcast will be found on search of any story. The special auto-delete also aims at greater privacy. On users choice stories can be automatically deleted after a period of 18 months or 3 months or so.  For any search in Google, 3D model will be available which can be placed in any space desired. With the “Driving Mode” feature, Google can now automatically turn on your location and provide you the map directions for the desired location.

Google lens

It is an increasingly useful application in Google’s app arsenal. On pointing the camera at the receipt it’ll show you tipping info and bill splitting help. A combination of mapping data and image recognition will let Google Lens make recommendations from a restaurant’s menu, just by pointing the camera at it. It also provides details of the food and recipes just by analyzing the menu.

Other Highlights

  • Google Duplex got smarter with ‘Duplex on the web’ feature.
  • Google Stadia, shall be the future of gaming.
  • Google Assistant got 10X faster, understanding the content better simultaneously respecting privacy.
  • I/O 2019 mentioned project ‘Euphoria’ with technologies to give people with speech impairment, there voices back. However, it shall not be rolled out anytime soon.

As a cherry on the cake, the afterparty for Google I/O 2019,was hosted by The Flaming Lips, calling it a wrap.

What were the announcements that you are most excited about?
Were you waiting for some more launches?
Let us know by commenting.
To know us in person, drop a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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What will ‘Behavioural Changes’ Mean for India’s Digital Health Future

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, facing a threat unlike one never seen before. COVID-19 has been a reason for global concern since it has negatively impacted economies, shut down workplaces, and forced cities into lockdowns.

But history also tells us  that times of uncertainty also foster innovation. The pandemic has forced consumers and businesses to rethink how they behave both physically and digitally. As per McKinsey, COVID-19 has speeded up the adoption of digital technologies.

India, which was on the cusp of a ‘digital health’ revolution, has now been forced to embrace innovation and emerging trends. The healthcare sector holds great promise since new-age technologies like telemedicine, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, etc. are transforming healthcare services.

There have been unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour as well. People are now increasingly relying on using the internet to find clinical information or engage with healthcare professionals digitally. Moreover, online consultations, telemedicine, and e-pharmacies have seen a rise in popularity.

Companies will thus need to capitalize on the changing patterns of consumption and health-seeking behaviour.

This article focuses on how changing patient behaviour will affect India’s digital health future.

A growing Indian healthcare market

According to a report by Future Health Index, India is a leader in the adoption of digital health technology. As per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22% to reach a valuation of USD 372 billion by 2022. This growth can be attributed to the following –

  • Growing health awareness
  • Aging population
  • Lifestyle-related diseases
  • Rising income levels
  • Growth of internet availability

The rise of digital health start-ups is also playing a role in the growth of the healthcare sector. Indian health tech startup landscape has now matured.

Over the last few years, telemedicine has emerged as a fast-growing sector in India. Prominent start-ups like Practo, mfine, and Lybrate have established themselves in the telehealth market. McKinsey estimates that India could save up to USD10 billion by 2025 by using telemedicine instead of in-person doctor appointments.

COVID-induced behavioural changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to patient behaviour. The fear of leaving homes to get treatment has led to the growth of virtual care and telemedicine. 

As per a report by Accenture, almost 70% of the patients canceled or postponed their treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology, therefore, played a crucial role in helping patients continue their care. Healthcare providers were even able to improve the experience for patients by delivering them faster response time, personalized interactions, and the convenience of getting consultation from home.

The same report by Accenture highlights some key behavioural changes that are being observed in patients – 

  • Nearly half of the patients now get their treatment at their homes instead of visiting a clinic.
  • Almost 60% of patients want to continue using technology for communicating with healthcare providers.
  • About 41% of patients now use video conferencing to connect with their healthcare providers. Of these, for almost 70% of patients, it’s their first-time using video conferencing for healthcare.
  • Almost 44% of patients used new apps or devices during the pandemic to manage their health conditions.

All this highlights the need for healthcare providers to reimagine their patient engagement strategies in keeping with the changing patient behavior.

Future of digital health in India

New digital technologies and tools are making an impact across the healthcare sector. They hold great promise in improving the efficiency of healthcare services while delivering better patient care. Below are some of the technological developments that are expected to revolutionize the way we seek healthcare.

Telemedicine

About 68% of India’s population lives in rural areas where healthcare services are not usually up to the mark. This barrier can be overcome by telemedicine that offers an excellent way for patients to consult a doctor in a much shorter duration. Telemedicine can cut waiting times and allow patients to avoid traveling to a clinic or hospital. Some other benefits of telemedicine include –

  • Immediate access to specialist healthcare providers.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Improved quality of care.
  • Convenience to the patients.
  • Improved patient engagement.

Internet of medical things (IoMT)

The rapid growth of IoMT devices is rapidly changing healthcare delivery by playing an important role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses.

It not only helps eliminate the need for in-person medical visits but also helps reduce costs. Goldman Sachs estimates IoMT to save USD 300 billion annually for the healthcare industry. IoMT will benefit those patients the most who are unable to get access to quality healthcare due to remote location.

Big data in healthcare

There has been dramatic growth in the amount of medical and health data in the last few years. These massive datasets can be used to draw insights and opportunities for healthcare organizations. Analysis of healthcare data can help discover warning signs and create preventive plans.

The widespread adoption of IoT devices also makes it easier to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, etc. This can help in the early detection of diseases like hypertension, asthma, heart problems, etc.

Electronic medical records

Electronic medical records or EMRs help collect, digitalize patients’ information, and store it in a single place. EMRs store various types of medical data like medical history, prescriptions, drug allergies, etc. and allow doctors to make accurate disease prognosis in a much shorter time. Some other benefits of EMRs include – 

  • Effective medical decisions.
  • Easy data recovery.
  • Improved collaboration.
  • Portability.
  • Security of medical data.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a big role to play in improving healthcare since growing digitization leads to the availability of a large amount of health data. AI has the potential to transform everyday health management in the following ways –

  • Improved accessibility of healthcare services (for example – the AI-based mobile app Ada is available across 140 countries and makes it possible for anyone to have access to medical guidance).
  • Improved efficiency.
  • Accurate disease diagnosis.
  • Improved insights to reveal early disease risks (for example – a popular app Verily can forecast noncontagious and hereditary genetic diseases).
  • Time and cost savings.

mHealth

Mobile health or mHealth refers to the monitoring and sharing of health data via mobile technology like health tracking apps or wearables. 

mHealth apps can prove to be beneficial in increasing patient engagement, providing health education, and offering remote consultations to patients. It can also use the data from wearable devices to improve the quality of care. Some other benefits of mHealth include – 

  • Faster access to physicians.
  • Improved medication adherence.
  • Remote patient monitoring.
  • Increased medication reconciliation accuracy.
  • Improved coordination between healthcare providers and patients.

Conclusion

It’s quite clear that COVID-19 has significantly impacted patient behaviour. There has been a growing preference for telehealth and mHealth apps. But all of this has also compelled healthcare organizations to put in more effort in adapting to these behavioural changes. Healthcare providers are opting to rely more on new technologies to continue delivering patient care. A more affordable standard of high-quality care is in the works for India’s digital health future.

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