We started NH as a group of doctors with the idea of making highquality healthcare accessible to the masses. In the 19 years since we began this journeyour company has grown into a chain of super-speciality hospitals treating patients fromacross the world. We have been globally recognised as a disruptive innovator in the fieldof healthcare for proving a model that combines world-class healthcare delivery with acost-conscious mindset. We don't have the luxury to sit still because the world ischanging and we must change to remain relevant in the 21st century. Just likeAirBnB built the world's largest hotel chain without building any rooms and Uberbuilt the world's largest transport company without buying any cars I believe thatthe world's largest healthcare company of the future will not build any beds.
We recognise the power of digitisation and its disruptive impact oncompanies that refused to evolve and we believe that it will transform every aspect ofour business. A few years ago we took a decision to develop the capability to buildsoftware in-house and so we created the NH Software Development Centre. This team isbuilding the next generation of hospital information systems electronic records andclinical decision support systems that will help us achieve high quality of clinicaloutcomes without putting a financial burden on our patients. I would like to highlightsome of our ongoing projects:
Online Diabetes Clinic
Digital health may have started in developed economies but it isdesperately required in India which is struggling with the shortage of medicalspecialists. India is the diabetic capital of the world with 7.2 million diabetespatients (International Diabetes Federation 2017) yet it has only around 600diabetologists to treat them. We believe that online diabetic care is the only way forwardbecause a diabetologist sitting at home in front of a computer can treat 10 times morepatients than seeing patients physically in clinic. NH has developed CURA diabetesoutpatient application which treated over 34000 patients in the last two years. Eightmonths ago we launched an online diabetes management system that treats more than 2400patients online. Our patients were initially reluctant to consult the doctor online butafter they experienced the convenience very few of them want to visit the hospital for afollow up.
NH-Atma NH-Medha and Kaizala
The entire NH network will transition to a home-grown HospitalInformation System built by our team over the next couple of years. This software whichwe have affectionately named NH-Atma will be the foundation upon which our digitalinfrastructure will be developed. NH-Atma is cloud-based fully scalable and canintegrate with all the existing infrastructure in the hospital. It has taken us 2 years todevelop the software but it is the first and most important step in our digitaltransformation.
As a low-cost healthcare operator NH relies on accurate and timelydata to help us make important decisions. We have a large team that can analyse this dataand help us to identify inefficiencies in the hospital. With developments in AI andpredictive analytics we will soon be able to identify problem areas before they becomeserious events. Our data analytics product called NH-Medha has been a valuable tool inhelping hospital administrators cut down costs and doctors to make better clinicaldecisions.
Kaizala is an application developed by Microsoft that NH has adopted asan in-house messaging platform. We have developed multiple cards that run on top ofKaizala to help our teams communicate better. Our e-ICU cards have made a huge impact oncare management for patients in the ICU. Our doctors can manage an ICU patient'scondition from any part of the world using only their mobile phones. This simpletechnology has led to better clinical outcomes shorter patient stays and lesser medicineconsumption in our tech-enabled e-ICU. The digital assets we have invested in will helpus scale our operations to serve millions of patients across the world without building orowning hospital beds in the future.
Making a Shift in our Growth Metrics
Several years ago I made a statement that NH will build 30000 bedsand become the world's largest healthcare operator. Now we believe that hospital bedcount as a growth indicator is quickly losing its relevance. As our clinical resultsimprove patients are staying in the hospital for shorter and shorter periods of time.Newer technologies like surgical robotics have converted procedures that used to requireovernight admission into day-care procedures. The continuous lowering of Average Length ofStay has reduced our in-patient occupancy numbers and thus we are under less pressure tokeep adding beds. With better systems to enable optimal usage of manpower and equipmentwe can serve more patients with the same infrastructure. NH Average Length of Stay hasdecreased from 4.3 days in FY 2015-16 to 3.9 in FY 2018-19 while the number of dischargesincreased from 1.9 lakh to 2.6 lakh. This proves that our focus on clinical quality allowsus to do more with less.
NH has always been at the forefront of responsible ESG stewardship inthe healthcare space and we strive to align our healthcare initiatives with socio-economicimperatives. Our CSR programmes allow us to reach out to the masses to realise the goal ofan educated and healthy society.
India has been fighting an invisible war against adolescent anaemia fordecades. Anaemia caused by the lack of iron in the diet is associated with learningdisabilities lowered immunity and maternal mortality. NH and Britannia NutritionFoundation have launched a nutritional intervention programme in Jaipur in which 52government schools have been selected for this research and action programme. We willdistribute iron fortified biscuits amongst adolescents and conduct dietary surveys. Theemphasis is on addressing awareness towards anaemia and the need for nutritionaldiversity.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for urban Indian women and thesecond most common in rural women with 140000 new breast cancer patients beingdiagnosed annually. Project H.O.P.E. is aimed at early detection through promotivepreventive and curative efforts combined with research. Our teams have screened more than60000 people till now for oral and breast cancer and other non-communicable diseasesincluding diabetes and hypertension.
I would like to conclude by saying that in these changing times wehave a great opportunity to change how healthcare is delivered. I would like to thank allour stakeholders employees and associates who have reposed trust and confidence in us.
Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty