Sunday, 19 September 2021

"Digitization and office automation tools can be a game-changer for healthcare industry"

05 July 2021 | News

K Bhaskhar, Senior Vice President, Canon India in conversation with BioSpectrum

As the COVID-19 pandemic created a turbulent and uncertain situation across sectors, the impact on the healthcare sector was most severe as it rose to the challenge of becoming humanity’s savior. The healthcare industry especially now, is in dire need of smart technologies and solutions that can help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, thereby reducing the burden on the available staff so they can be re-assigned for more supportive, strategic, and value-added services. This is exactly where the global firm Canon comes in. Canon India has always remained at the forefront of bringing the best-in-class and innovative imaging technologies to India.

K Bhaskhar, Senior Vice President, Business Imaging Solutions, Canon India, Gurugram in conversation with BioSpectrum, shares his perspective on the imaging industry and how the rising demand of multi-functional devices are expected to serve in the healthcare segment.

Edited excerpts-

 

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, how important is it for the healthcare segment to streamline processes?

The onset of the COVID pandemic put immense pressure on the healthcare industry. Amidst the acute shortage of staff, depleting resources, and with the rollout of the second wave in India, the sector struggled. The doctors, nurses and the administrative staff are working day-in and day-out to provide the necessary care. And now, as majority of the Indian population is ready to be vaccinated with their second doses, the burden has only increased manifold. Thus, at this time, it is imperative to note the challenges it has caused for the healthcare industry and plan for operational efficiency going forward.

In the current scenario, the administrative staff and doctors on call already have a lot of responsibilities. Hospital admission and filing/processing of insurance claims is still largely a manual process. Physical files are moved around concerned departments for approvals. In an already overburdened system, these urgent workflows that can be easily automated, are now involving considerably more time.

This is where digitization and office automation tools can be a game-changer because they can allow hospital staff to do more in less time thereby increasing their productivity.

 

Do you think this reliance on automation is here to stay even in a post-COVID world?

The year 2020 was a roller-coaster ride - the first wave of the pandemic had just hit, and businesses were struggling to come to terms with the situation. While a lot of businesses suffered major losses, there were others who managed to stay afloat by broadening their horizons and adapting to the ‘new normal’. With most of the employees working from home, and others occupied in essential services, organizations across industries were forced to start thinking about reliable and efficient solutions to ensure business continuity. This change in outlook is here to stay, as today, the world has undergone a metamorphosis which has completely transformed the working of things and paved way for greater adoption and dependence on automation and digitization to get tasks done.

Now more than ever, every organization or business would like to bring in more technology, leading to increased penetration of digital or online communication, cloud storage and collaboration services which have emerged as essential technology needs. The healthcare segment too, has started preparing itself for a wave of digitization that can help it streamline its workflow and operations to bring in overall efficiency. Businesses will now have to consider automation and digitization as a long-term strategy rather than just as a means of achieving short-term operational resilience.

 

What are Canon India’s plans to support the healthcare segment in the upcoming years in India?

As the world is at the cusp of a necessary and much needed shift towards digitization and office automation, the healthcare segment in India is bound to witness a certain boost in demand for multi-functional devices and digitization solutions (Document Scanners + Document Management Systems). And we at Canon, are prepared to serve the exponential needs of this sector to help businesses emerge stronger.

We are also focusing on our existing line-up of MFDs supporting medical printing. The device can be paired with the X-ray or CT machine and reports can be directly printed through the existing Canon MFD. Our pilot projects in this regard have been successful. We hope to launch this full scale soon, as it will be a big boost to healthcare organizations.

At Canon, our endeavour is to constantly keep innovating and bringing in the right kind of technology that touches lives everywhere and helps make ‘Business Simple’. With our unchanged philosophy of bringing the best-in-class products for our customers, our devices will include our globally acclaimed award-winning factors like user-friendliness, high-quality and professional-looking output while being cost-effective.

 

Can you throw some light on the role of Multi-Functional Devices offered by Canon to boost healthcare productivity and help overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic?

Our belief at Canon India is to make businesses simple by supplementing the ideology of ‘Do More with Less’ which is exactly what the healthcare sector of our country needs now. Canon has always remained at the forefront of bringing the best-in-class and innovative imaging technologies to India. Our wide range of Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs) are well-equipped to cater to several business requirements, hence, they are the perfect partner that the healthcare industry needs.

Today, it has become important for healthcare service providers to digitally transform to be able to function seamlessly, and as one of the key players in the office automation segment in India, we believe that Canon’s imageRUNNER series is the perfect solution that supports print, copy, scan and fax functions. The imageRUNNER series of MFPs has models ranging from 20PPM to 80PPM and allows for ease of data printing from multiple devices as well as smooth and fast scanning, which are of utmost importance in hospitals especially for data record maintenance, as they can also be integrated with cloud storage solutions for digital record keeping. These models are designed for smooth functionality as they make document management processes simple and streamlined along with being cost-effective. Most models from the imageRUNNER series are also equipped with Uniflow Online Express software which allows organizations to track and monitor their printing, thereby leading to optimization of costs. We also have our range of imageFORMULA document scanners which enable users to effortlessly scan, archive and retrieve documents with an advanced document processing power.  

Not only that, in the current scenario, the healthcare segment has rapidly adapted to the hybrid working model wherein remote document access becomes crucial. Canon’s state-of-the-art cloud solutions on a leading cloud provider platform- Therefore Online solutions also provide hospitals and institutions the opportunity to manage and access data seamlessly from anywhere at any time. Kofax Power PDF is another product in demand as it allows easy editing of PDF files, forms and allows users to collaborate on PDFs. We also offer specially curated and customised packages of our Solution offerings, that are particularly suited for the healthcare institutions. Customers can easily contact us through our Website or contact our authorized partners for demos.

 

Any new technological innovations from Canon slated to be introduced in India this year that will specifically help the healthcare industry?

The key challenge for the healthcare segment and its decision makers in the current scenario has been to ensure business continuity without jeopardising the safety and health of their employees. To enable businesses to continue to do so, we are wholly committed to bringing solutions which cater to customer needs and are designed keeping in mind the Indian healthcare system.

As the leader in A3 & A4 Laser Copier Based MFP segment for 5 years in a row, basis an IDC report, we are proud to say that our existing portfolio of MFDs – like the imageRUNNER 1643i – a compact A4 MFD, and imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX - a smart range of A3 color/monochrome laser MFDs are perfect to cater to this sector’s needs. The new MFD line up is compact, efficient, secure and is suitable for all organizations – big or small. Moreover, we are looking to strengthen our portfolio with newer and more compact MFD models which are expected to be launched later in the year, that will help organisations save space, cost, and time in their operations. We are also looking forward to introducing new software solutions products to cater to diverse customer needs along with a new Paper SKU.

 

Dr Manbeena Chawla

(manbeena.chawla@mmactiv.com)

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