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New Normal, Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0

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HeathTech India perspective

4 June 2020

The ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak has put an enormous strain on global healthcare and has disrupted businesses around the world. According to analysts from Transparency Market Research, the global digital healthcare market will be worth nearly $536 billion by 2025. And in 2019, PWC estimated that India ranks among the top 10 global growth markets for healthcare and nutrition. While Covid-19 has already disrupted and transformed the future of health-tech, the scope of its applications and ensuing commercial returns on investment in a nation of 1.3 billion people remain humongous. The Indian healthcare industry is expected to play a key role in realising the nation’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Technological advancements have revolutionised the status-quo of industries across the globe, including the healthcare industry.

Mainly health tech startups bridge the gap between a patient and a doctor in terms of effective diagnosis, enabling the patients to reach out to their doctors more often which would progress into proper vigil, and timely treatment. The healthcare sector being at the epicentre of this unprecedented global pandemic challenge, has also enabled the private sector to rise to the occasion, by offering to the government all the support it needs, be it testing support, preparing isolation beds for the treatment of Covid-19 positive patients or deploying equipment, technologies and staff in identified nodal hospitals.

Covid-19 has also given impetus to the consumerisation of healthtech. As solution seekers and providers prefer the virtual medium for solving problems as social distancing turns to be the new normal, now and going forward. India’s ever-growing hospital industry is expected to grow at 16-17% by 2022, with a projected valuation of $322 billion, indicating the likelihood of substantial investments in healthcare tech. In the near future, there will be a huge demand for healthcare analytics. This will further help to predict, prepare, and in some cases, prevent future disease outbreaks. Health-tech startups are attracting investors who eye a huge potential of a $322 billion healthcare market in India by 2022, with returns up to 35-40%. According to investors, increased funding in health-tech startups is a factor of sectoral tailwinds such as increased Internet penetration, rise in digital payments and big-ticket government initiatives. In the last couple of years India has already turned into a mature market for health-tech investments, and there are plenty of recent successes of Narayana Hrudayalaya, Practo Technologies, diagnostic startup SigTuple etc.

The purpose of technology is to make healthcare safer, affordable and accessible for patient. It can be used for range of purposes such as: low-cost devices, remote consultation platforms, health wearables, tele-diagnosis and medicines, etc. Overall, the health tech start-ups in India raised a total of $504 Million between 2014-2018. With 1 out of every 4 Indians suffering from a medical condition, patients need more than a prescription today. So implementing a physical as well as digital model of access to lab tests, diagnosis, medication, supervision is key for utmost care for the affected ones.

India has worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 so far and treating those affected. However, the 2019 Global Health Security Index that measures countries’ pandemic preparedness based on their ability to prevent, detect, mitigate and cure diseases, ranks India at 57 out of 195 countries, demonstrating that there is scope for improvement. Proactively adopting new-age technologies will help certainly India reach its potential, which is a very large segment for improving and accessing the utmost benefits in healthcare.

(C) SAATRA Capital Prateek Bebortha

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