Access to healthcare, especially in rural parts of the country, has always been India’s foremost mandate. To enable access, several enterprises and startups have brought to the market innovative ideas and technologies that make prevention, intervention, diagnosis, and treatment a definite possibility.
Barco India, the 100% subsidiary of BARCO NV Belgium, is one of those early entrants into the digital healthcare system. The company has had its presence in the country for over 23 years now. Barco is extensively focused on the healthcare sector and its products and solutions are implanted across hospitals and healthcare providers in the country.
Voice&Data interacted with Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India to understand the organization’s journey in the Indian healthcare market, its focus areas, recent innovations, and its business plan going ahead.
Barco’s tailor-made approach to Indian healthcare needs
Barco co-creates technology solutions for integrated care and guides around 5000 surgical procedures and millions of softcopy image reads each day. From the scanner room to the radiologist desk; to specialist consultations and the surgical suite, Barco has devised solutions that connect healthcare professionals at every patient touchpoint.
“They rely on our medical imaging solutions to deliver the complete picture they need to make life-critical decisions and provide the best possible treatment – all in order to ensure the brighter healthcare outcomes and early diagnosis,” says Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India, as he initiated the discussion.
Barco believes that hospitals in India must invest more in creating Digital Operating Theatres. Viewing a large scope in this space, Barco, from the year 2020, would be eyeing at more partnerships in creating innovative, value-based services for digital operating theatres.
For the year 2020, Bhalla says that Barco has systematically redefined its India business model owing to a value-driven market that the country poses. “To succeed in India, you need to adopt Indian value propositions and price points. In 2020, we see healthcare becoming more collaborative, with several solutions playing a key role in facilitating services. Barco is looking at using its entire portfolio of solutions – from the enterprise, entertainment, meeting experience along with healthcare – to make a collaborative healthcare platform where all our technologies add value to the stakeholders.”
When it comes to redefining healthcare systems, Barco is, in fact, regarded as a change maker. Barco believes that hospitals in India must invest more in creating Digital Operating Theatres. Viewing a large scope in this space, Barco, from the year 2020, would be eyeing at more partnerships in creating innovative, value-based services for digital operating theatres.
“Our aim is to make digital reporting (PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication System) a standard in India, moving away from film and ensuring that every radiologist report with confidence. We have recently launched our next generation Radiology display which offers an unbeatable combination of performance and price. We are also developing more reseller channels to customize solutions and add value and we are focused on entering the tier-2 market after covering tier-1. In 2020, we will have more feet on the street for awareness creation around Nexxis, our video-over-IP platform that enables digitization of operation rooms.”
Bhalla reveals that Barco has created an exhaustive range of medical imaging solutions that enables early diagnosis and early treatment.
With India becoming a hub for medical manufacturers, Barco has planned to support such manufacturers globally in third party components. The company’s aim is to ensure that when Indian equipment is sold outside, it should be sold with Barco displays/solutions. This plan has compelled Barco to focus on better collaborations in hardware platforms. Bhalla reveals that Barco has created an exhaustive range of medical imaging solutions that enables early diagnosis and early treatment.
Barco also caters to the niche, specialty healthcare segment through solutions aimed at detecting specific diseases such as skin cancers with the help of Demetra, Barco’s revolutionary skin imaging platform with advanced insights based on Artificial Intelligence, that support clinical decisions in real-time.
And with each consumer requiring specialized products, Barco ensures customer-centric dissemination of innovative technological solutions. With the increasing awareness about healthcare and the Government’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana spreading across the country, Barco hopes to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services by bringing skilled professionals together at every patient touchpoint.
Virtual Reality – the demanding tech combination with diagnostics
Bhalla indicates that Barco is not only impacted by technologies but also business models and workflows. Healthcare IT adoption through systems like PACS, teleradiology, integrated OR, robotic surgery, implementation of AI in radiology, among others impact Barco’s business.
“Development in the field of VR will also be critical for Barco’s healthcare business in the future. The healthcare industry employs virtual reality throughout its various sectors in order to offer a higher quality of care and efficiency to patients and medical professionals alike. VR is being used in everything from surgical preparation to patient illness education and therapy. With a solution like Barco’s VR Cave, surgeons can train the complex environment of the operating room, still, see their team members and interact with each other,” shares Bhalla.
Another important technology, that Barco boasts about is its Clinical Command Center solution that aims to streamline patient journeys by enhancing operational awareness for caregivers. The Clinical Command Centre allows monitoring of every aspect of hospital management. From the movements in the emergency department, up to the usage of operating rooms and the availability of patient beds, the mission control room allows to plan, predict and decide in a very efficient way. This requires a very flexible and versatile control room solution that provides the staff with a wall of analytics to optimize clinical performance, and Barco has established itself in this offering.
Video Walls: Barco’s biggest strength
“We are a component player and we enhance healthcare analytics with our video walls. Barco aids healthcare providers in displaying the aggregated medical data in a systematic form, enabling bright insights for hospitals. We have an indirect role here in handling data – Barco develops visualization solutions to consolidate data to garner insights in what we call a clinical command center,” explains Bhalla on Barco’s data aggregation role.
Barco enables the physician to visualize all parameters of critical care, including camera feeds, sensor data, and planning databases, in a flexible way.
Explaining further, Bhalla says that ensuring patient safety, streamlining bed management, and controlling all health systems: these are just some of the responsibilities of the clinical command center. The visualization equipment used in these healthcare command centers, therefore, needs to be reliable, provide a high image quality, and improve real-time decision support. Barco enables the physician to visualize all parameters of critical care, including camera feeds, sensor data, and planning databases, in a flexible way. This allows better decision making and provides the needed insights for process improvements and optimized patient flow.
“Another solution that we provide is Barco Synergi, a tool to streamline the Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings by cancer specialists. These meetings are held to ensure the best patient outcomes by bringing the clinical care team together to discuss all applicable diagnostic tests, suitable treatment options and treatment recommendations for each cancer patient. Barco Synergi solution gathers all relevant patient data, documents the stage of the patient’s tumor, and makes it easy to share this information with the entire care team,” shares Bhalla.
Remote healthcare delivery: Barco takes the lead
Barco has been a key enabler to remote healthcare services is also playing a critical role in India’s uptake on remote healthcare. Barco functions in the image visualization space and the company’s solutions ensure that a remote radiologist reports confidently by displaying pixel-perfect DICOM images.
“We basically enable collaboration between a scanner placed in one part of the country and a doctor reporting remotely. About 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas and has access to only 30% of healthcare services. Through teleradiology, Barco can play a major role in improving this scenario. Teleradiology as a solution will come into play when scanners are available in rural areas and scans are done regularly, following which a remotely placed doctor can confidently report and diagnose an image using a diagnostic monitor. It is of utmost importance here that the image quality is exceptionally clear as the doctor cannot see the patient or the film in-real time. Barco’s primary focus is on analyzing how teleradiology scales up to cover the rural population. New business models will have to be evolved and companies will have to start investing with the government to increase reach to rural areas,” discloses Bhalla on Barco’s role in remote healthcare and teleradiology.
Additionally, Barco’s recent launch, ClickShare Conference, a wireless presentation and conferencing solution, also enables teleradiologists. With ClickShare Conference, radiologists can connect wirelessly to their meeting equipment to interact, discuss, collaborate with remote participants in superior AV quality driving multi-content sharing. It works seamlessly with any videoconferencing software, camera brand, laptop, and most importantly, makes remote meetings as intuitive as having a face-to-face meeting.
Barco beyond healthcare
Barco has the identity of a display technology firm. For Barco, India poses a big opportunity, not just in healthcare but in areas including smart cities, infrastructure, and entertainment. It has helped set up video walls in command and control centers for telcos, cinemas, police departments, entertainment and many other verticals where large display plays a critical role.
Barco has 15% of its global workforce in India, who are engaged in sales, manufacturing, software, hardware development, and R&D. The goals are clear; the goal is to double our turnover in the next three years. We are going to be hearing a lot more from Barco India, as the company is looking at doubling its turnover by driving more localized go-to-market approaches. The company’s plan for the coming years is to offer products that cater to the mid and bottom end of the pyramid.