Technology as a catalyst: Apollo Hospitals on tech’s role in expanding access to healthcare 

Portrait of enjoy happy love family african american mother playing with adorable little african american baby.Mom touching with cute son moments good time in a white bedroom.Love of black family concept
Portrait of enjoy happy love family african american mother playing with adorable little african american baby.Mom touching with cute son moments good time in a white bedroom.Love of black family concept

This interview series features thought leaders and strategic partners from across the world sharing their views on how technology can be used to advance health access and affordability.

In this episode, Hervé Balzano, President of Health & Benefits at Mercer, and Global Leader at MMB, is joined by Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson at Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, to discuss technology’s role in advancing health equity, including putting health at the center, modeling access and affordability, the impact of early detection on health, connecting the informal workforce, AI as a diagnostic tool, predictive modeling, and investing in the future of health.

About the DHAA

Marsh McLennan are delighted to be partnering with the World Economic Forum in establishing the Digital Health Action Alliance. This organization aims to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders across the healthcare value chain, from civil society to tech and finance, as well as pharma, employers and insurers, as well as important actors in the public and social sectors. Together, we are exploring how digital capabilities can improve health outcomes.

Interesting highlights from the interview:

  • Technology’s role in advancing health equity

    "While the COVID pandemic accelerated the adoption of new technology and the development of new care delivery models, it also accentuated the existing global disparities of health equity. Increasingly innovative digital tools, telemedicine, wearable devices technology have been transcending, not just the geographical barriers, but also being more inclusive to communities that couldn't afford heath care too."
  • Impact of early detection on health

    "I used to think, and it's quite callous to say it, but many employers would focus first on getting insurance for their equipment or making sure it was productive. It's now that people are thinking that their main assets are their people…. So, when we can detect earlier, diseases are pushed back a bit longer, and I think that's really the key to saying that we won and the country’s in health.”
  • AI as a diagnostic tool

    "If we do risk scoring you can predict a heart attack a week before it takes place, or the incidence of cancer using biology, using genomics and bringing all this together with AI and data to say, here it is, let’s get the screening together. This is the way it's so powerful that we're actually giving so much more to a healthcare worker to be able to do their job.”
  • Investing in the future of health

    "We used to think that Star Trek and the devices they used were just the coolest thing. But I think that sitting here we're really in a revolution and it can be made better if we do it responsibly. We're just putting our money behind that also, as we know that we can’t achieve good healthcare without having fantastic technology behind it.”

Stay tuned for more episodes in the series coming soon.

About the author(s)
Hervé Balzano

With over 20 years of experience in insurance and employee benefits, I take pride in leading Mercer and Marsh’s Health businesses and delivering benefits that truly benefit for clients across 73 countries.

I have led and transformed international business across both mature and emerging markets, focusing on solving client needs, delivering sustainable growth and creating value.

What matters to me is that the work we do as a team has a purpose and makes a real difference in people’s lives. As a leader, I focus on creating a collaborative and can-do culture, fostering an inclusive workplace, and promoting values of trust, innovative thinking and authenticity.

Shobana Kamineni

Is the Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and a member of its founding family. She has spearheaded significant initiatives, including the development of three of the largest verticals within the Apollo Group and the leadership of India's largest integrated digital healthcare platform, Apollo 24/7. She oversees Apollo Pharmacy, comprising over 6000+ stores nationwide, and was the founder and chairperson of Apollo Munich Health Insurance (divested to HDFC Ergo). Notably, she pioneered the establishment of a "Biobank," recognized by Time Magazine among the top 10 ideas of the decade in Life Sciences.

As the first female President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in over a century, Shobana made history. Committed to global public health enhancement, she serves on the board and audit committee of Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), focusing on diagnostic test development for poverty-related diseases. She founded 'Billion Hearts Beating,' an NGO promoting heart disease prevention in India.

Additionally, Shobana holds roles at the World Economic Forum (WEF), advocating for India's workforce preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital inclusion in healthcare.

Her achievements have earned her prestigious awards, including the Women Economic Forum's 'Businesswomen of the Decade' and honorary doctorates from Bryant University, USA, and BML Munjal University, India.

A keen sportsperson, she has played national level squash, enjoys long distance cycling and adventure sports.

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