By Roopalakshmi B G, Founder & MD, WELLBEEING
Headquartered in Bengaluru, WELLBEEING with its 'Integrative Medicine' approach integrates the western ( Allopathy) and the eastern medical approach (Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy) and offers it to the patients based on their medical needs
Hospital is a place where you hardly see a happy face, and one dreads to visit. Visiting a hospital and waiting for the attention of a doctor who is busy with patients, is a moment of anxiety, frustrating waiting time and matter of concern for many. While the hospital is considered a place for acute problems, complications, surgeries and emergencies, there are many problems that can avoid a hospital visit or a surgery if the doctors can focus on creating holistic healthcare ecosystem, giving attention to promote prevention, modify lifestyles and provide intervention in a more positive setting that one enjoys being in.
Although there are many hi-tech hospitals mushrooming all over, the competitive forces are seemingly not serious in addressing the key opportunity in these areas and long-term management of lifestyle problems and conditions.
Limitations of Conventional Medical Approach to Lifestyle Disorders
90 percent of the hospital beds are filled up with complications and last stages of lifestyle disorders such as Diabetes, Cardiac problems & other health disorders. These are increasing in working populace as well as middle aged and youngsters because of deviated life style & increased stress. Mostly these problems go un-recognized in the initial stages, since awareness on preventive health is even to this day very low in the country. Most often, these are diagnosed accidently when the symptoms show up, or when it comes to an advanced phase, surprising many. This is when a medication regime becomes compulsory. The conventional approach towards these disorders is controlling or managing them for a long-term with mere medication, and this is believed to be normal, although this approach often suppresses the problem or delays the complications.
Hospitals and Poly Clinics are corrective in nature and almost all allopathic drugs have side effects. Moreover, modern systems of medicine offer symptomatic relief but does not reverse or cure these disorders. Ayurveda / Naturopathy clinics and spa which focuses on root cause, may fail to address the immediate concern. The better of the two systems bridges the gap. Addressing both - symptomatic relief as well the root cause, can reduce the ill effects of excessive medication.
Trend Moving Towards Preventive & Proactive Lifestyle
Rising incomes, health awareness on these life style related diseases and increase in insurance holders is driving awareness on preventive care. Increased unexpected hospitalization costs are resulting in erosion of finances & wealth among many families. With increased awareness on sustained wellness life styles, people are realizing hospitalization can be avoided by timely & right intervention and support. Preventive health care with counseling on other approaches of medical interventions, importance of physical exercises such as Yoga & other Physical Exercises, Nutrition is drawing larger populace across the globe.
Future of Healthcare
Through integrated system of medicines or ‘Integrative Medicine’ we can say ‘‘No’ to long-term medicine, and ‘Yes’ to well-being. The disorders that are caused within the body (not from external force or infection) logically should have the capacity within to heal, provided the imbalances are corrected.
Researches and many evidence across the globe have been exploring this area for the last few years now, and have been practicing ‘Integrative medicine’, CAM, etc. in many eminent health centers, universities and well known hospitals in the U.S. and UK. Helping individuals come out of medication and the ill effects of both disorder and medication is the motto behind the concept of ‘Integrated system of medicine’, while understanding the need, and ensuring that this delivery platform addresses the gaps in the conventional medical ecosystem. In West, funding for biomedical research in the field of integrative medicine has increased dramatically over the past several years. When we see this development in the western countries, it’s time the funding institutes recognize the need of this system in our country and help startups trying to establish in these areas, where the source of many traditional systems such as Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and many healing science of eastern systems have originated in our own country.
The root cause of all lifestyle disorders being deviations in lifestyles, the effective reversal of these ailments need to be attempted with lifestyle modifications and correcting these deviations, rather than gradually increasing the potency of long-term medication in the name of managing the disorder. This understanding provides a new dimension to healthcare, where the emphasis is on both treatment and prevention of diseases. Hard evidence based holistic, scientific protocol centric approach to treatment & follow-up will be the best fit and also can be a game changer. Creating a sense of responsibility and ownership on one’s own health and wellbeing can create a new perspective to the way health is viewed today. It requires great influencing factors on the habits and behavioral pattern of individuals to make a change in mitigating the problem.
Startups in this sector should be taking steps to reach out to more people who are affected with lifestyle disorders, and those who are on long-term medications. However, adequate funding by financial institutions in this sector can support these healthcare startups, and then the scaling could be focused on driving process, training doctors, influencing the regulations. Thus promoting the concept to ensure this ‘need’ is converted to ‘want’ among people.
The system of integrated system reaffirms the importance of the relationship between doctor and patient, focuses on the whole person, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and evidence based disciplines to achieve optimal health and well-being. This offers benefits of saving the cost on unnecessary hospitalization, reduces long term risks, dependency of long term medication, and thereby protecting the health of individuals, the right path for one’s well-being!