While the healthcare market in India has always been a significant topic of discussion, market reports, studies, and speculations, it has also led to certain misconceptions or myths. And, it has intensified even more with the onset of COVID 19. Apart from other industries, the pandemic demanded rapid transformation in healthcare the most. And, even though we are still amidst the transformative process, the Indian healthcare market has come a long way. In this blog, let’s get a better perspective on the healthcare market by debunking the five most prominent myths around the healthcare market in India in the COVID era.
But before we get into it, let’s check out some important stats around the topic.
5 Important Stats on Healthcare Market in India 2020-21
- According to IBEF, the healthcare market in India will witness a 3x growth to Rs. 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2023.
- In Budget 2021, public expenditure on healthcare in India stood at 1.2% of GDP.
- Hospitals account for 80% of the total healthcare market in India. They are now experiencing a huge investor demand both globally as well as amidst domestic investors.
- By 2023, the hospital expects to reach $132 billion with a growing CAGR of 16-17%.
- Currently, the valuation of the Indian diagnostics industry stands at $4 billion. The organized sector’s share within diagnostics stands at 25%, wherein 15% goes in labs and 10% in radiology.
Smashing 5 Myths About The Healthcare Market in India
Myth 1: It Will Take Decades For Doctors and Healthcare Consumers to Adopt Digitization
Fact: As the pandemic restricted human movements, demand for telehealth facilities in the healthcare market in India witnessed an abrupt rise.
The pandemic situation threw light on the uncomfortable juxtaposition of consumers’ prime prioritization of health and the lack of means to physically consult a doctor due to nationwide lockdown and social distancing. Healthcare Marketing is becoming the need of every healthcare business
And, it is this combination that led to rapid increase in telehealth facilities, online consultations, etc. In fact, between March and November 2020, in-person consultations in India dropped to almost 70-80%.
Several multi and super-specialty hospitals have already adopted hospital management systems (HMS) in the pre-COVID era. But, its usage has increased in other hospitals as well amidst COVID.
Additionally, medical and health apps like Practo, DocOn, Lybrate are now experiencing a new high. As more consumers are looking for online appointments, e-prescriptions and diagnostic reports, demand for such apps have increased.
Myth 2: Healthcare Data Cannot Be Used As Big Data For Better Innovation
Fact: With the rapid growth of virtual consultation and healthcare services, tonnes of data are now available in the healthcare market in India. With the proper infrastructure, this data can help improve digital interventions in the health world.
AI and ML use in health applications and hospital management systems have already improved, innovated, and heightened end-to-end patient experience.
Features like automated test notifications, billing, insurance information updates, and report generation have helped significantly streamlining healthcare services. And, this has been possible due to the constant flow of incoming patient data in the healthcare sector.
Myth 3: Government regulation and policy responses to innovation takes years to implement
Fact: In the pre-COVID world we could have agreed to this. But when the pandemic hit, like any other country, the Indian government leaned towards rapid technological intervention, adopting innovation-first regulations.
Telemedicine guidelines launched during the 21-day lockdown in March. It skyrocketed telehealth adoption amongst patients and providers. The government also launched apps like Arogya Setu and CoWin to administer a smooth vaccine drive nationwide.
Additionally, the government’s adoption of technological advancements and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry does not go unnoticed. From the development of RT PCR kits, N95 masks, PPE kits, etc., to developing vaccines, there has been noticeable public-private partnerships in healthcare to address the common pandemic issue at hand.
Myth 4: The Healthcare Condition is Much Worse in Low and Middle-Income Countries Than High-Income Countries
Fact: As per multiple international research, countries like India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc. showed better mortality and hospitalization rates as compared to tier-I countries. Infact, during the first COVID wave, countries like India helped other developed nations cope with the pandemic.
During the first COVID wave, the healthcare market in India along with the Indian government ensured a steady hydroxychloroquine supply. And, this resulted in both profitable and charitable exports.
Additionally, the government’s constant efforts to make medical supplies available to the general public offered a different turn in the healthcare market in India.
Availability of PPE kits, N95 masks, gloves, oximeters, oxygen concentrators online introduced medical equipment to the mainstream e-commerce market. This, thereby, brought two very different industries of healthcare and e-commerce closer.
Myth 5: Individual Markets Cannot Contribute To The Overall Expansion Of The Healthcare Market in India
Fact: The healthcare market in India includes diverse individual markets, including hospitals (constituting 80% of it), diagnostic centers, and private clinics. Additionally, it also constitutes pharmaceuticals, medical travel, medical equipment, and the newly emerging industry of medical technology.
These individual markets interlinked with each other through various demand and supply channels have already been in a steady position. But, the unexpected and abrupt pandemic shift brought all of them closer, revolutionizing the entire healthcare market in India.
The urgent need for hospital beds, nursing, doctors, vaccines, and medical equipment together created this transformation. Additionally, digital marketplaces like 1mg and Practo have also bridged the gap offering a wholesome healthcare experience for customers.
COVID has injected a rapid, and almost, forceful growth in the healthcare market in India. And, we can safely say it is for the better. Healthcare technology adoption is actually an excellent step-up to gauge a better and more streamlined patient experience. This, in turn, positively impacts the healthcare market all in all. Every aspect of the healthcare market in India is now coming together to cater to a richer experience both for medical facilities and customers. Looking into a brighter future in healthcare, it’s best to stick to the facts and let go of the myths.