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FEATURE
IT in Healthcare: Thoughts from Napier Healthcare
Napier Healthcare is a Healthcare Products and IT Services Company, and implement solutions to meet the needs of healthcare service providers, from the rural to the urban, primary care all the way to tertiary. They were recently awarded the prestigious "Promising Healthcare IT Company of the Year 2013 Award" from Frost & Sullivan Singapore. This Excellence Award recognizes Napier Healthcare as a rising star in the healthcare sector and consistently providing global standard solutions.

In the very technologically-savvy world we live in, even healthcare is taking steps to adapt their policies and services with technology for better management.

Rachel Lim speaks to Mr Karthik Tirupathi, CEO of Napier Healthcare to find out more about the company and their thoughts on the digitalization of healthcare.

APBN: Please share with us what Napier Healthcare does.

Mr Tirupathi: Napier Healthcare is a technology and services company that exists to solve problems faced by healthcare providers in leveraging technology to reduce costs and medical errors. Providing an array of software implementation and consulting services, Napier Healthcare transforms the way hospitals capture clinical information, streamline workflow, reduce medical errors and provide analytical insights.

We pride ourselves for a repository of best business practices gained over the last 17 years from over 70 installations in Southeast Asia, Africa and India. Our offerings respond to latest trends and standards across the global healthcare sector such as mobility solutions using smart phones and tablets or Meaningful Use certification in the United States. Our advanced clinical solutions are scalable, interoperable and modular - hospitals prefer them as they easily "bolt on" to existing systems and thereby generate more value from their investments compared to proprietary solutions.

APBN: How and why is your work important to the healthcare industry?

Mr Tirupathi: Napier Healthcare's solutions play a major role in improving the quality of healthcare, patient safety and service delivery by improving all aspects of the care continuum.

For example, Napier's EHRm (EHR mobile) management suite of products can help a hospital deliver its vision of an end-to-end Digital Hospital. Increasingly the focus in patient care is shifting from "cure" to "prevention". This means that technology has to provide outreach to caregivers beyond the four walls of the hospital. Pervasive mobility solutions that extend the reach of care givers are increasingly popular. Home health, Telemedicine, Patient Portals and other such solutions enhance the care continuum. A very large portion of our revenues drive such R&D initiatives and a slew of products to match the evolving "new" healthcare model are being announced every quarter. Our customers drive these functional enhancements and help define these new products thereby further strengthening our repository of business practices.

From a technical standpoint, the modern technology stack, that Napier's EHRm platform is built on, is based on open source standards, is web-enabled and provides scalability whilst seamlessly integrating with third party systems. This lowers the overall Total Cost of Ownership by protecting existing investments.

Such technology solutions reduce the learning curve for doctors, nurses and other care givers thereby rendering quality healthcare in a more transparent and cost-effective manner.

APBN: How do you see the future of healthcare developing and where do you see your place in it?

Mr Tirupathi: The future of healthcare lies in technology. Today, we are witnessing a paradigm shift from "care" to "prevention" and, from "coordination" to "convenience", all pointing to the death of distance. These changes and improvement in healthcare practices would not have been possible a few years ago, without mobile devices and connectivity.

According to a recent report from market research firm Transparency Market Research, the global mobile healthcare (mHealth) market will grow at a compounded annual rate of 41.5 percent in the next five years to reach $10.2 billion by 2018, up from $1.3 billion in 2012.

As patients get more control over their healthcare choices, a cloud based deployment of technology becomes mandatory. Our efforts at democratising mHealth, using the Napier EHRm platform, are responses to the market need for such "unlimited" mobility.

We are proud to be recognised as Frost and Sullivan's 2013 Promising Healthcare IT Company of the Year for our strategy, performance and global standard solutions that help healthcare providers leverage technology across the healthcare delivery value chain.

APBN: What obstacles can you see in the future of healthcare and how can Napier Healthcare address them?

Mr Tirupathi: Be it the macro vision of a Digital Hospital or the collection of patient data to start an EMR, every push towards technology adoption to transform business systems and key infrastructure will be wrought with challenges. However the key issue for any technology provider is ensuring the acceptance of the technology solution by the users. This means that a doctor or nurse's time must be maximised for meeting patients and not spent in navigation through the screens. Rule based alerts for medication, flagging potential medical errors and other proactive actionable information must be made available to the users. For private sector providers, revenue leakage and revenue enhancement solutions occupy a critical decision making point, in addition to all of the above.

A consulting partner who not only excels in implementing the solution but also helps learn and implement best practices gleaned from globally successful hospitals will be necessary in this transition from "cure" to "prevention". Hospitals will usually have made investments that need to be protected or transitioned out in this process and hence this consulting input becomes very critical in managing the change.

Napier's unique delivery model, using a combination of consulting partners ensures hospitals deliver the ROI that was envisioned before the start of the project. Given our implementation experience in hospitals, Napier's team consisting of clinicians and specialists is able to help in preparation of this ROI document for the consideration of the board.

APBN: Do you have any parting words?

Mr Tirupathi: The aging population in many developed countries like Singapore and Japan will continue to contribute to the increase in demand for healthcare services and lead to issues such as bed crunch at the public hospitals and crowded clinics.

It is critical for hospitals to implement measures that would ensure that the quality of patient care and availability of services are not compromised. Ageing-in-place solutions that leverage technology can be a game-changer. Healthcare systems must harness its power to free up resources and increase their pace in helping focus the society on prevention rather than cure!

About the Interviewee

Karthik Tirupathi
Chief Executive Officer
Napier Healthcare Solutions

Based in Asia for over 22 years, Karthik brings extensive general management, sales and marketing experience, particularly in enterprise software solutions, to Napier Healthcare. Prior to joining Napier, he worked with MphasiS, an HP company as Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific & Japan including India. His other successful stints include managing regional operations in leadership roles with companies such as SAP, Covisint (GM, Ford & DCX joint venture), Clarkston Potomac and FreeMarkets. As an entrepreneur, he was the founding CEO of Nihongo Bashi, an investee company of Economic Development Board, Singapore.

Karthik is a winner of the 2007 'Spirit of Enterprise Award', given to honour self-reliant entrepreneurs, starting and operating small and medium-sized businesses in Singapore.

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