The digital adoption index has suggested that the healthcare industry in India is embracing technological innovations at a much faster pace now than ever before. The sector is estimated to reach approximately. $370 billion by 2025, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors. About 5,295 startups in India have transformed the industry from mere healthcare to healthtech.
Top 5 Healthcare Innovations:
It is estimated that every allopathy doctor in India caters to 1,511 patients on average. This is much higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed doctor: patient ratio of 1:1,000. With the concentration of doctors and multispecialty hospitals in urban areas, accessibility is the major issue in most parts of the country.
During the pandemic, the country struggled for primary and advanced healthcare facilities. Telemedicine was a lifeline during such times. The technology-backed ecosystem could connect doctors in the metropolitan regions and patients miles away in the most remote part of the country. Online video consultations helped prompt action and saved many lives.
Telemedicine has helped patients save costs on pre-and post-surgery care. According to a McKinsey report, telemedicine would help Indians save around $10 billion by 2025. Trends suggest that one in thirty-five consultations will be online by 2024. This technological innovation has proven to be very successful and the next few years will witness significant improvisation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The digital world has seen great wonders in the past few years due to AI. Healthcare is also witnessing the benefits of handling digital medical records, real-time transmission of clinical data, and preventive healthcare.
AI plays a crucial role in pattern recognition and predicting potential risk factors and outbreaks of pandemics. AI tools can analyse large data sets that help predict hospitalisation rates and evaluate steps for preparedness during such occurrences. Cognitive machine learning techniques help improve the public healthcare care system.
There has been conscious awareness about preventive healthcare since the pandemic, leading to a rise in the popularity of IoMT each passing day. These medical devices and applications help monitor the status of patients’ health. Wearables like smartwatches that monitor physical fitness, heart rate and oxygen saturation have become common man’s belongings.
With the advent of Medtech solutions, cloud computing provides an apt solution for storing and securely transmitting clinical data. The advancement in cloud computing enables streamlined data access, data storage and management, data interoperability, backup, and recovery. The optimal use of cloud computing provides greater storage capacity and processing power for analyzing large data sets.
Data security and privacy have been critical discussion points in the digital age. The information stored on the cloud can be accessed anywhere by setting custom rules preventing potential data breaches.
The study of the genome - a complete DNA set, is known as Genomics. The subject includes the study of its hierarchical and three-dimensional structural configuration. The study helps early diagnosis of disease even before symptoms are present by identifying alterations in genes. Genomic medicine is an emerging medical discipline that is useful from the diagnostic stage like cancer screening to guiding tailor-made treatment strategies in oncology. This field of science is witnessing impressive fundraising to meet the research and development (R&D) costs.
The National Human Genome Research Institute in India was founded with the firm belief that genomics research is transforming the understanding of human health and disease, paving the way for personalized medicine.
There are debates about metaverse being the future or hype. However, there is potential seen for the healthtech industry in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Metaverse can augment visits in virtual clinics and provide better experiences than today’s teleconsultation calls.
The future may see surgeons meeting in a virtual operation theatre and collaborating for surgeries. It is also anticipated that high precision robotic-assisted surgeries can be performed in the metaverse. Metaverse is adopting blockchain and crypto technology; it will not be too far when virtual currency can pay healthcare expenses.
All these innovations seem intriguing, but data security, interoperability and the high cost of technology are significant challenges in the metaverse. Tech giants and developers are striving to provide solutions to overcome these challenges.
Healthtech innovations will keep evolving in the coming years. The rise in disposable income will increase the demand for high-quality healthcare and last-mile accessibility. Make in India and 100 per cent FDI permitted in the healthcare sector are great initiatives by the government to boost the penetration of a cost-effective and technology-backed healthcare ecosystem.