Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, underscored the significant role of digital healthcare in disease prevention during his address at the 3rd Healthcare Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi. He highlighted how digital healthcare can effectively combat a range of diseases, from lifestyle disorders like Type 2 diabetes mellitus to infectious diseases like Covid-19.
Speaking on the theme of “India’s digital roadmap for Healthy India for accessible and affordable healthcare,” Singh expressed that digital healthcare, focusing on preventive measures, will take center stage in the coming years.
Jitendra Singh emphasized the need for a public-private partnership (PPP) model in healthcare services to eliminate the urban-rural healthcare divide. He stated that leveraging science and technology can bridge disparities by ensuring affordability, inclusivity, and accessibility in healthcare.
Reflecting on India’s healthcare evolution, Singh noted that the country has made substantial progress in enhancing its overall healthcare infrastructure. He pointed out that disease patterns have transitioned over the years, including the emergence of lifestyle diseases and changes in life expectancy. The increased life expectancy, reaching close to 70 years, signifies India’s health progress.
Highlighting the importance of science and technology in addressing societal needs and global challenges, Singh discussed the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) Bill. He highlighted the government’s initiative to encourage industry participation in research and development by establishing a unique PPP entity. Under this model, ₹36,000 crore of research funding will come from the private sector, while the government will contribute ₹14,000 crore.
Given India’s leading role in diabetes research, Singh stressed the priority of preventing diabetes in youth and pregnant women. He emphasized the potential of preventive healthcare and mass screening, especially with 70% of India’s population below the age of 40. He emphasized that these efforts will contribute to achieving the expected rate of economic growth set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India in the coming years.