Millions of patients today are depending on healthcare technology to access authentic healthcare information, consult with a verified healthcare provider or get instant appointment at a clinic or a hospital
Healthcare industry is undergoing a major transformation in India. As per the latest IBEF Report- The overall Indian healthcare market today is worth US$ 100 billion and is expected to grow to US$ 280 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9 per cent. With the government initiating various programs towards health awareness, there is also rapid adoption of technology for healthcare & wellness, which is contributing to the overall growth of the industry.
Touching upon the technological aspect which is one of the major drivers of growth in the healthcare industry, it is also proving to be a real problem solver on various levels. Some of the major challenges that technology is solving for the healthcare industry today include bringing awareness about preventive care, addressing the geographical divide between patients and doctors, digitizing healthcare information and now even medicine delivery is being streamlined with the help of technology.
Technology is playing a critical role in fostering the change of healthcare delivery towards better health outcomes. Its role in healthcare is essential. Incessant medical technology innovation enhances the quality and effectiveness of care. Millions of patients today are depending on healthcare technology to access authentic healthcare information, consult with a verified healthcare provider or get instant appointment at a clinic or a hospital
Some of the key technology contributors to the growth of the healthcare industry include:
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market with over 220 million unique active users. As a large number of consumers spend many hours accessing information on their smartphones indicates the fact that there is a need to address the issue of healthcare over this device. Today, right from booking appointments with a doctor to ordering medicines is being done with just a ‘touch’. Technology is bridging the gap between patients and doctors thus helping timely medical assistance.
Rise in online purchase of preventive medical devices:
With the marketplace going online, consumers have access to millions of products and services. And as preventive healthcare catches up with the consumers across the country, there is a rise in the purchase of preventive medical devices online including blood pressure monitor, step counter, digital weighing machine, Body Composition Monitor etc. This change in consumption pattern will continue to gain momentum in 2016
Tier II cities fast adopting a preventive lifestyle:
The lack of adequate medical facilities across the cities is propelling the adoption of home monitoring devices. Tier II and III cities are witnessing over 20% growth as compared to only 15% in key metros. Factors like rising adoption of technology, expansion of hospitals and specialized clinics and increasing awareness about preventive healthcare is aiding the growth of the medical devices segment. These cities represent an area of under-served need, with a growing need for improved health infrastructure.
Tele-medicine & Digital health clinics:
Technology innovators are now thinking out of the box to create innovative applications that have medical implications, to simplify treatment procedures and fulfill healthcare requirements. Further, there are also various public private partnership that are fueling the growth of tele-health in India. Tele-health is simply using digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to manage health and well-being. Tele-health is also known as e-health or m-health (mobile health). It helps create a personal health record, with a collection of information about the health that can be controlled and maintained. The patient can effectively monitor their health by connecting the monitoring device with the health app, and basis the readings the app will suggest measures like a healthy diet or practices like regular exercise. It will also indicate or remind when does the patient need to visit the doctor, depending on the health readings. Preventive healthcare will pick up pace with tele-health.
Conceived to be a traditional sector, healthcare industry is being redefined with the adoption of technology. With its positive implications, various stakeholders in the healthcare industry are now willing to work towards bringing this technological change. Even the government is working towards initiating e-health programs under the Digital India drive which will help to make use of technology and portals to facilitate health records and book online appointments with various departments of different hospitals using eKYC data of Aadhaar card number.
With exciting technology developments taking place in this space, the potential for technology-enabled transformation in healthcare in the coming years is huge.