India has a massive health care system, but there persist many variances in quality between urban and rural areas as well as between private and public health care. Many Indians go to private health care providers due to lack of proper health coverage, which is inaccessible to the poor or even middle class. Most Indians lack health information, insurance, and care services. Out-of-home costs make up a significant portion of the spending on medical treatment in India. Even though the Internet and smart phone penetration are on the surge, digital health market is growing at snail’s pace.
Per National Family Health Survey-3, the private health care sector remains the largest source of health care for 63% of households in rural areas and 70% in urban areas. Only 2% of doctors are available in the countryside for 68% of the population live. India requires 600,000 to 700,000 additional beds for the next 5 to 6 years, telling of an investment prospect of 25-30 Billion USD. Digital health care space can offer a change in near future for the population.
What is digital health?
Digital health is the merging of genomic and digital technologies with health, health care, and the world to improve the efficiency of health care delivery and make medications more precise and tailored. Health care providers and other supporters are using digital health in their efforts to:
Decrease inefficiencies, reduce costs, improve access, increase quality, and make more customized care for patients.
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What technologies and industries are part of digital health?
Digital technology acceptance is gaining distinction in India’s medical industry, with backing from both the private and public sectors. The industry has created mobile apps, telemedicine, devices, and set up innovation centers among other initiatives. The government has launched several initiatives such as Aadhaar and Digital India in some cases with support from the private sector. These initiatives and programs have drawn many digital health start-ups.
Some of the most widely discussed digital health care technologies that are being used in India are:
Telecare is the term for technologies that assist patients to keep up their health and safety together while staying in their own homes. This modern technology incorporates medical alert systems, mobile monitoring devices, and more.
Telehealth technology permits the remote diagnoses and assessment of patients for remote detection of fluctuations in the medical condition so that the medications or therapy can be altered accordingly. Combined telehealth – the remote diagnosis of vital health signs, health care education services, blood pressure or ECG, and remote patient-doctor consultations.
Video–consultation is a particular type of telemedicine that uses technology to provide real-time audio and visual assessment remotely. A patient can directly communicate with the doctor and receive well-being and medical information.
mHealth is a term for mobile health and used for the practice of medicine and welfare supported by mobile smart devices. The figure does exclude patients that use monitoring devices connected to a computer or cell phone. Fitness and Medical Apps are too moving the technological revolutions under mHealth.
Wearable Devices or Equipment were one of the first areas where digitization was used initially in health care. For example, heart monitors and pedometers are present in the market for some time, helping people track the functions of their bodies and encourage themselves for well-being changes.
Some of the production technologies that are gaining prominence in the Indian health care industry are mentioned below:
- Big data analytics: Big data is gradually entering the Indian health care domain. Many international health care players are now realizing the value of combining consumer insights, internal company information to inform and optimize their product offerings, and are so increasing funds in the necessary tools.
- Smart cities: People in the towns have begun to use digital technology to improve resource utilization within prevailing infrastructure.
- Electronic medical records (EMR): EMRs are starting to be adopted by many health care providers. This digitization has set the way for advanced futuristic IT systems, such as cloud computing and health information systems to increase remote and availability to patient data. This should help improve health outcomes and reduce medical errors.
What is their significant market share?
- India’s telemedicine market was appreciated at 100 Million USD in 2011 and is expected to rise by over four times by the end of 2017.
- mHealth is possibly one of the biggest sectors in India within digital healthcare, with a projected market size of 416 million USD in 2015, which is set to increase to 1 Billion USD INR by 2020. A recent study presented that 68% of doctors in developing markets like Brazil, India, and China recommend mHealth and 59% of patients are already using.
- India’s international healthcare delivery market was valued at 7.5 Million USD in 2011 and is likely to grow at a CAGR of 20%.
- Social media is growing bigger every day in India, with the average individual spending 25% of his or her time on social networking sites and Google.
- The overall health care wearables market in India is currently valued at 6 million USD and is expected to increase exponentially shortly as well.
What are the growth prospects of digital health market?
Telemedicine is an emerging sector in India; several major hospitals (Apollo, Narayana Hrudayalaya, AIIMS) have acknowledged telemedicine services. As per a recent survey, the telemedicine market in India was projected at 7.5 million USD and is expected to rise to 18.7 million USD by 2017.
Mobile health industry in India is supposed to reach 0.6 billion USD by 2017. Cycle tel Humsafar is an SMS based mobile service planned for women; it enables women for family planning in a much better way. Also, there are currently over 20 mobile healthcare service initiatives in the country for spreading information about health, well-being, family planning, and other ailments.
To uplift the quality of service delivery, cost control, and improve patient engagement, healthcare providers are concentrating on the technological aspect of Mobile Healthcare, Electronic Medical Record, Hospital Information System, Electronic Health Record, healthcare delivery –PRACTO, Health Kart is some of the mainstream technologies gaining full acceptance in the sector.
What is the overall market growth in India?
The overall Indian health care market is valued around 100 billion USD and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9% to reach 280 billion USD by 2020. Hospitals, clinics, constitute pharmaceutical, and diagnosticonstitute65% of the overall market. The existing health care Information Technology (IT) market which is valued at 1 Billion USD is likely to grow 1.5 times faster. With more number of hospitals receiving recognition and getting accredited, more awareness on the need to improve their quality to meet the international standards.
How much funding is flowing in this industry?
The diagnostic centers and hospitals have attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 4.09 Billion USD from April 2000 to September 2016, as per a report published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Some of the critical investments in the Indian healthcare industry are as follows:
- Max Healthcare (a health institute based in New Delhi, India) is proposed to invest 48 million USD in building a cancer care hospital in Delhi.
- Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd has raised 55 million USD in Series D round of funding led by Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Chinese investment holding company.
- A UK-based development finance institution, CDC, has funded 48 million USD in Narayana Hrudayalaya to expand affordable treatment in India.
- Gamma Group, UAE-based firm, is finalizing plans for investing around 449.68 million USD in the health infrastructure and education sectors.
What’s prognosis for next ten years?
As India’s health system evolves towards the ambitious state, numerous fundamental factors are in place. Both the private and public sector should provide adequate investment, with encouragements to invest in local manufacturing and health care delivery in urban and rural areas.
The infrastructure for health care delivery must be ready to meet expected growth in demand, as the income of middle class is rising. Trained workforce in each sector must be available across the nation. Consumers will need high levels of health responsiveness and should be prepared to take separate responsibility for health conclusions. Health care Analytics can serve as the pillar for effective application of these initiatives, tracking outcomes and providing ailment observation. The Indian government will need to expand the level of cooperation for steady implementation of health care initiatives.
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