Having evolved considerably within the last decade, the wellness services in India are witnessing a high growth. However, thanks to a variety of scheme constraints, this service sector has not been able to reach its full potential. The recent policy modifications initiated by the government to make a predictable and facilitative ecosystem are presumed to set the ball rolling and create India a powerhouse in healthcare innovations.
Understanding Healthcare Innovation
Healthcare innovation involves a focus on the latest information technologies, medical devices, workflow processes, and business models. Several firms specialize in medical devices because the returns on them are tangible. However, it’s equally essential to specialize in other areas of healthcare too.
The healthcare system in India currently suffers from several weaknesses as mentioned below:
The accessibility of health care services of both public and private sectors together is scarce. This applies to both quantitatively and qualitatively.The healthcare sector requires more number of medical personnel.Therefore, we must focus on increasing them by introducing methodologies that need some amount of training and skill enhancement of using medical devices and perform general processes.
The quality of wellness services in India varies considerably between the public and private sector due to a significant number of factors. This is due to the absence of a standard regulation to assess the quality and effectiveness of the services offered.
Affordability of wellness services could be a major problem for a huge majority of the population, particularly in tertiary care. This is due to the fact that many people cannot afford the services and most of the families find no way other than selling their assets to treat their family members, in many cases, treating the breadwinners themselves. Also, therapeutic treatment for chronic conditions are costly and requires regular observation and management.
The physical reach or accessibility of a healthcare center that has both, an OPD (Outpatient Department) for common illnesses, and an IPD (inpatient department) for patient hospitalization can be a challenge.
The weaknesses mentioned above will possibly worsen in future due to an increase in diseases and a limited amount of capacity of the wellness systems. Over time, the overall cost of healthcare is most likely to go up unless proper rules and new models get created in India.
Below are some points worth noting:
1. The Government of India’s National health policy aims to extend and upgrade wellness facilities.
2. The Government acknowledges the requirement for foreign/ private involvement in healthcare technology.
3. The duties on medical instruments are reduced significantly.
4. Most essential medical devices don’t need import duties.
5. The Government of India’s Make in India Policy is set to boost this sector.
Healthcare Innovation – Opportunities
The Indian healthcare sector is expanding and opportunities are rising in each segment, be it suppliers, payers or technology. New players in the industry are building their entry strategy and existing players are exploring new models.
One of the most significant opportunities in healthcare innovation comes in the form of entrepreneurship. Healthcare as a driver for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has the ability to produce innovative products and create a workforce within the sector. With the rise of alternate and innovative wellness models like health centers, diabetes care centers, day care centers, and diagnostic chains, the entrepreneurial spirit has reached new heights.
Medical Analysis & Technology
Another major opportunity lies in medical technology where innovation plays an essential role in promoting health. Medical scientists and physicians are perpetually conducting various researches and testing new processes to assist the prevention, diagnosis, cure of diseases as well as developing new medicines which will reduce symptoms or treat ailments.
Other than these opportunities, the growing demand for healthcare services, especially preventive healthcare, is set to enhance the demand for wellness services in future. Moreover, the partnerships between public and private healthcare institutions are further favorable circumstances in the way of healthcare innovation.
To sum up, healthcare innovation must be targeted on upcoming requirements and not today’s needs. Market scenario is changing rapidly due to ever-increasing consumer demands along with India’s fast growth and modernization.
Apart from creating a favorable policy structure promoting healthcare innovations, necessary steps must be taken to change the mindset of all the stakeholders in the healthcare value chain.