By Economic Times – Opportunity for India to be the laboratory where technology transformation is going to materialise: Kris Gopalakrishnan Chennai: “The big opportunity is ahead of us and the big opportunity for India is to be the laboratory where this (technology impacting society) transformation is going to materialise to the benefit of society,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures and former executive vice-chairman of Infosys.
He spoke about the need to ‘reimagine healthcare’ and mull over how affordable, inclusive healthcare can be provided to 1.3 billion people.
“Definitely it has to based on technology because how do you bring doctors, specialists, and specialty hospitals to Tier II, Tier III cities? We need to have technology providing access and a business model that allows us to provide these at affordable prices,” he said while speaking at a panel discussion organised by the Chennai International Centre (CIC) on ‘Solving social issues using digital technologies.
He said this reimagining could be done in one of two ways – either the specialist takes the technology to remote villages or there should be self-service applications. Gopalakrishnan said that Covid-19 has shown that telemedicine is probably going to be the way forward in the current environment. However, he said the challenge lies in making these self-service applications usable and accessible to all.
“Telemedicine can in the future provide ubiquitous connectivity to doctors to patients all over India. You need to build the self-service technology such that it is available in vernacular languages and with interactive voice response systems.”
He cited the example of the Aarogya Setu application which he said was available in 12 languages. While he said this was a positive, he added that this was a negative as well because it was only available in 12 languages.
Further, he said there was a need to reimagine the regulatory framework. He said this was crucial as if one has to have a social impact, he said the government has to be brought into the loop.
“Earlier an e-prescription was not allowed. But suddenly Covid-19 has changed this and the government has been forced to change this regulation. We need to address such regulations to keep pace with technology. Regulators should have an enabling role, rather than enforcing. Today, it is weighed heavily in the enforcement side.”
Keshav Murugesh, who was among the other panelists spoke about the chnaging work landscape in the software services sector. The Group Chief Executive Officer of WNS Global Services and former Chairman of NASSCOM said that he does not see work from home replacing working from office. However, he said this new model would be extremely powerful for the sector.
“I do not see 100% work from home happening because we still have issues of bandwidth, uninterrupted power and our labour laws have to change. We also have significant cybersecurity issues for which clients will not sign off on 100% work from home programme. It is going to be something very powerful that can be blended into the work from anywhere model. You can work from the smallest village of this country and still belong to a big company like Infosys. That’s the opportunity of this model,” he said.
He added that campuses will dramatically change to hub, spoke and edge model.
“In the past, it was all about driving from the hub. We brought people to work. In the future, it will be about taking the work to the people. The edge will be work from home. But we will also create small contact centers which will be the spokes for the longer term.”
Dr Mahesh Panchagnula, dean (International and Alumni relations) of IIT-M spoke about the threat and opportunity that online teaching and courses provide for premier Indian educational institutions. He said that in order to adapt, it was crucial for institutes to come out with best-in-class and quality programmes.
The panel discussion was moderated by the founding member of NASSCOM, Harish Mehta.
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