The current scenario regarding low cost healthcare availability in India is pretty bleak. Although globally there has been tremendous growth and progress in the quality of healthcare along with devices and appropriate drugs available to address almost any ailment, accessibility and cost are still huge hurdles in countries like India.
With our humungous population, cheap and easy access to treatment and therapeutics is key. Taking a step back, it is the diagnosis of disease which is a huge challenge in India with the meagre supply of good doctors and health centres particularly in rural India.
This is where novel companies focussing on low cost diagnostics and therapeutics make a huge difference. They creatively use IT tools thereby harnessing their potential in patient data capture and analytics, thus enabling quick diagnosis which is the need of the hour.
Low cost healthcare systems in India have progressed to some extent. Bodies like National Rural Healthcare Mission (NRHM) have led to improvements in reforms. However, major challenge areas loom large: i.e. lack of proper interventions by government to enable more primary health centres (PHCs), dedicated rural doctors and efficient and trained paramedical services. There is a chronic shortage of skilled clinicians across the country, particularly in the rural and economically backward communities in India.
Low cost healthcare delivery has seen certain business models that create both impact and sustained financial stability. However, in most business models sustainability & scalability are lacking. This again is a space where innovative enterprises can make a huge impact and bring about a major change in the overall healthcare methodology and more importantly its deliverability.
Even more important is that innovations at every stage of healthcare ecosystem are thought through and thorough. Only when delivery, drug device and diagnosis happen simultaneously will the Indian healthcare market see a paradigm shift. Regardless of the area of innovation we need to ensure that the product/ service offered must be pertinent and target the desired audience. Business models should be applicable across geographies. Only when this is achieved can sustainability and scale happen together, both of which are extremely important.
(The opinions expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of 1Crowd.)
Author: Dr. Nirupa Bareja
About the author: Dr. Nirupa Bareja heads the Indian operations for Vicus Therapeutics, a US headquartered biotechnology and therapeutics company. She is also a Chief Advisor at the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation, Bangalore and is on the scientific & technical advisory board of two innovative start-up companies – SigTuple & Aten Porous. Dr. Bareja is also a part of 1Crowd’s mentorship panel.