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In Journal of the Indian Institute of Science

The coronavirus crisis has seen an unprecedented response from India and the world. If the viral outbreak has exposed gross inadequacies in the healthcare systems of nations both rich and poor, it has stirred a digital healthcare revolution that has been building since the past decade. We have seen how this new era of digital health evolved over the years since healthcare started getting increasingly unaffordable in the western countries forcing a relook in their strategies to explosion of digital innovations in mobile telephony and applications, internet, wearable devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data and genomics. The single biggest trigger for the digital shift has indeed been the COVID-19 pandemic this year, more so in India with astonishing response from the private enterprise and the proactive push from the government so evident. However, the full potential of this digital revolution cannot be realized as long as core structural reforms in public healthcare do not take place along with significant boost in digital infrastructure. The way digital technologies have helped facilitate strategy and response to the global pandemic and with predictions of more zoonotic outbreaks impending in the coming years, it has become imperative for the world to increasingly adopt and integrate digital innovations to make healthcare more accessible, interconnected and affordable.

Seethalakshmi S, Nandan Rahul