Once overburdened and underfunded, COVID-19 should have brought India’s healthcare industry to a complete halt. Yet, India thrived in the pandemic, responding quickly and swiftly to the virus. While there are many reasons for that, a key cog are the innovative healthcare startups in India.
Digital-first solutions and a government willing to adapt have led to healthcare becoming one of India’s largest revenue and employment generating sectors. Healthcare startups in India are playing a critical role, thanks to which India’s healthcare sector is expected to reach $132 bn by 2023 from $ 61.8 bn in 2017.
From diagnostics to health insurance for SMEs, healthcare startups in India have not left any aspect of the industry untouched. Over the coming decade though, there are still major challenges that these startups will have to address. In the 2020s, here are three major challenges that the healthcare industry will face and how HealthTech startups can help solve.
Opportunities for Healthcare Startups in India
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are the next big thing in healthcare. Already very common in the west, digitized patient data makes it quick and easy for doctors and hospitals to view all the required information, anywhere and at any time. However, it’s very common for different hospitals to use different formats. That makes it harder to patients and other providers/labs to view the data.
There’s also the risk of data theft. Most hospitals are still on older systems without the latest software updates, putting them at risk of hacking. Patient confidentiality is a big issue, as is the ability for patient data to be misused.
This is where healthcare startups in India come in. With the volume and high-value of patient-related data, there is an urgent need for advanced digital systems that can handle that data. healthcare startups in India can not only provide better security but also design more user-friendly systems. They also have the ability to scale at lower costs, giving more hospitals the ability to go digital.
Efficient logistics is vital to the industry, especially with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. Without proper inventory management and robust supply chains, it is easy for disruptions to affect the entire system. The effects of which are more easily felt in rural areas.
This area is ripe for change, and HealthTech startups have already made good headway. Several startups have managed to provide medication at low costs to rural areas. They have also managed to design and create low-cost medical equipment for rural health centers.
Products like the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (evin) and Safe-Vac have made monitoring easier. Thanks to these innovative ideas, India is set for the world’s largest vaccination drive to combat COVID-19. That would not have been possible without the digital-first innovations provided by HealthTech startups.
Access to Healthcare
Under the extended interpretation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, every citizen has the right to healthcare. Yet, access to healthcare remains a huge challenge for millions. According to the 75th National Sample Survey, over 80% of Indians do not have access to health insurance. Without health insurance, the cost of medical care has made it impossible for people to get the care they need.
Traditional health insurance plans are expensive and complex, making it hard for those with limited resources to get them. To combat this, HealthTech startups like Onsurity have introduced digital-first healthcare plans. These plans not only cover individual health insurance, but also group health insurance as well as a wide range of benefits.
Startups have introduced discounted medicine delivery, doctor teleconsultations and even discounted health check-ups giving more Indians access to better quality care, at much more affordable prices. Combined with the internet, these healthcare plans have helped accelerate the rate of adoption of healthcare services.
Despite these great strides forward, there is still plenty of work to be done. HealthTech startups have a huge role to play over the next decade, starting with tackling the issue of access to healthcare. Thanks to government initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, there is any increased awareness of the need for quality healthcare.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also sped up that awareness. The challenge is now ensuring every Indian has access to high-quality healthcare at economical costs.
A huge challenge here is ensuring that SMEs and startups provide their employees with access to healthcare benefits. For most businesses, this is a massive challenge since such plans are often expensive, or not adaptable to their needs.
To solve that issue, Onsurity created business health plans especially for SMEs and startups. Our affordable employee healthcare plans give your team access to benefits like doctor teleconsultations, discounted health check-ups and medicine orders, fitness tracking and much more. Onsurity is the easy and smart way to provide employee healthcare benefits.