Although, we have seen an increase in the Public health expenditure and emergence of many health-tech startups in past couple of years, but the overall progress in improving the healthcare is still between average to poor.The sheer absurdity that 930 million Indians own cell phones, but the majority of them have no access to clean water is bizarre. Statistically, in order for our country to catch up to the standards of many developed countries, our country needs to shell out about as much as $50 billion just on hospital beds, and that’s just the beginning!
Apart than this, there are various problems that need an immediate attention, like the ridiculous urban versus rural divide of healthcare standards, effective payment mechanisms in almost 70% of India’s healthcare landscape. And one of the most detrimental problems that haunt the industry is the threatening lack of basic healthcare and infrastructure.
As the expenditure on health by Government continues to be low amongst most of the countries around the world. More than 30 per cent of Indians lack the access to the basic healthcare services.
The ratio of doctor to patients in the Rural India is dismal one doctor to 5000 patients, its way below the bare minimum standards recommended by WHO. To top this, the Government infrastructure in the rural areas are in a deplorable condition. It’s certain that even with new Government’s promise to revamp the healthcare infrastructure, it's not going to happen overnight. And there is no the doubt that the private sector will play a major role in leveraging the technology, and providing healthcare solutions for filling in the gaps caused by the poor healthcare infrastructure.
For instance, lack of healthcare professionals can be solved by video consultations, cost effective devices or asset-light models focused on tech solutions to resolve basic health issues. Basic indicators like, blood pressure, sugar levels, etc can be consolidated and recorded in a data format and then send to doctors in real time which can help doctors focus more on severe medical cases.
Today smartphones have more computing juice than most of the computers, this can be leveraged to revolutionalize the diagnostics. Considering the level of penetration these smartphones enjoy, it can have an immense potential to streamline various challenges incurred due to lack of healthcare infrastructure.
It’s without a shadow of a doubt that the Healthcare industry of our country is complex in nature, but it also has a mammoth sized opportunity. Another problem that affects the healthcare industry may comprise a smaller chunk of the entire Indian healthcare landscape, but it’s one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, its the medical devices sector. The Medical Device Sector of our country is undeveloped. In past, we have faced a number of regulatory challenges which has prevented its growth, but with the new government's positive stance on eliminating regulatory hurdles has made the medical devices sector a promising area for future development.
A 23-year-old graduate of integrated electronics and biosciences program from BITS, Goa has come up with two life-saving medical devices. Vibhav Joshi, a son to proud doctor parents from Pune has created a device that could prevent the global problem of pneumonia among patients on ventilators and another device that keeps the lungs of newborn babies open during periods of troubled breathing. His startup Coeo Labs is developing innovative medical devices with a focus on Emergency, Trauma, and Critical Care.
A Bangalore-based accelerator InnAccel which is focussed on Healthcare innovations and startups have taken Coeo Labs under their acceleration program. InnAccel has also created a program where potential innovators undertake a six-month long affordable innovation in Medtech training program that includes extensive hours at hospitals to evaluate unmet needs. It’s clear that private sector will be the key to accel in technology-based solutions in the Indian healthcare sector. It is the union of healthcare with emerging technologies which can improve the accessibility and meet the challenges occurred due to shortage of manpower
In the coming years, there should be a strong focus in innovation and adoption of these technology-based solutions in the healthcare segment. India is in the dire need of more accelerators and incubators in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, etc. Which are focused on Healthcare sector. The entry of more accelerators and incubators in the healthcare space can augment various healthcare startups in India to create innovative tech-based assistant applications. These applications can bridge the regular requirements of healthcare and enhance the hospital information and management systems, etc.