How the Advent of Advanced Healthcare Technology has benefited Rural India, Health News, ET HealthWorld
The post-pandemic era has seen a Healthtech revolution that lagged for over two decades. Healthtech start-ups and government initiatives strive hard to provide primary and advanced healthcare services in rural India.
The advent of technology addresses the three main pillars of healthcare – Healthcare access and delivery, affordability, and quality.
Healthcare access and delivery – During the pre-pandemic era, rural India was deprived of primary and advanced healthcare facilities. Last-mile accessibility was the primary hurdle for the regional population. Healthcare startups have taken groundbreaking initiatives in building a robust healthcare ecosystem.
Telemedicine has been one of the most successful innovations in connecting millions, a million miles away, saving lives. Consumer-centric apps, online aggregators, and e-commerce platforms provide 24*7 healthcare access and delivery.
Affordability – The primary concern among the rural population is the out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Also, the majority of the Indian population still stands uninsured; this makes it more essential to make primary and critical care affordable.
Healthtech start-ups have considered this key factor and are working towards making healthcare services affordable in every part of the country.
Quality – Quality healthcare is a pressing problem in rural India. Healthtech start-ups are improving healthcare experiences and providing healthcare in the hands of consumers. They are creating awareness about the importance of monitoring their health, the necessity of maintaining hygiene, vaccination, etc.
Risk-adjusting quality measures for social factors have benefited patients and healthcare providers. It has primarily addressed the challenges faced by the patients and helped provide comprehensive care.
The Global Landscape
The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has seen a rapid acceleration of the global digital health market by building robust healthcare IT infrastructure, innovation in mobile health applications, and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).
The world has reaped Mobile Health’s (mHealth) benefits expeditiously, and India is not far behind. In 2020, the mHealth market was valued at about USD 56 billion. It is estimated to reach a market value of USD 805 billion by growing at a CAGR of over 30% between 2021 and 2030. The US has dominated the mHealth market by developing healthcare IT infrastructure.
In Germany, mobile applications are widely used to improve health and lifestyle. The region has seen an array of mHealth apps for doctors and patients to monitor specific disabilities and diseases.
Prominent market leaders across the globe are expansively focusing on product innovations and strategic collaborations to achieve higher synergies.
The Indian Landscape and the Way Forward
Public-private partnerships are on the rise with supportive government initiatives in the healthcare sector. Ayushman Bharat (PMJAY) was launched to provide universal healthcare coverage to 50 crore Indians by 2030. Technology has been the apt solution to achieve such a significant scale-up in healthcare services. The new-age health tech start-ups are joining hands with various government entities and NGOs to help bridge the gap.
Under Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDHM), the unique Health ID will be a repository to all patients’ health-related information, encompassing past diagnoses, medical conditions, and treatments. This will help patients share their health records with doctors and health insurers empaneled with ABDHM.
Government can democratize the power of artificial intelligence to analyze historic records tagged with health ids to draft budgets and efficiently implement health programs to benefit the masses.
A report by Ernst and Young stated that India is future-ready with health tech start-ups raising about USD 2.2 billion in 2021 across 131 deals which is the highest in the past many years.
Nimith Agrawal, CEO, DoctCo
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