Sunday, October 1, 2023

    New trends: Startups are rapidly making a difference in the healthcare sector

    New Delhi. Corona epidemic and changes in the health system with the passage of time is the demand of the time. Startups have played a key role in driving this transformation. Ratna Mehta, Executive Vice President of Wadhwani Foundation, Wadhwani Catalyst Fund, analyzed the issue.

    India is the world’s diabetes capital with 73 million cases, which is growing rapidly. According to a survey by the American Diabetes Association, the number of diabetics in India will increase the most by 2030. India has the third highest incidence of cancer in the world. More than 1.6 million Indians are diagnosed with cancer every year. The death toll is 50 percent. And not only that, India has the highest infant mortality rate.

    The health system is far behind

    Despite the high incidence of the disease, India is one of the countries with the lowest government spending on healthcare. Insurance matters are also less here. The reach of traditional business models in the healthcare sector is not good. Capital costs and operating costs are much higher. There is also a huge gap between the demand and supply of skilled resources.

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    With about 74 per cent of doctors in the country concentrated in urban areas, access to primary health care in semi-urban and rural areas is a significant problem. This need has led to the benefits of telemedicine and its ability to reach remote areas. In this way, it can provide basic health care to everyone.

    There are also different models in telemedicine, ranging from completely online to mixed models. Medcords is a rural telemedicine platform that provides online teleconsultation. For this, it digitizes the medical records and this facility is provided through the pharmacy network.

    Karma Healthcare

    Another such platform focusing on rural areas is Karma Healthcare, which follows a hub and spoke model. Its hub consists of two nurses who enable teleconsultation with specialist doctors.

    Glocal is a technology-based platform that provides access to healthcare to the rural population. For this, it contains a widely integrated model of primary and secondary care hospitals, digital technology and dispensaries. At present, it has 141 digital dispensaries in Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and some northeastern states. Glockal’s hospitals are specially designed and each of them has 100 beds and is equipped with unique equipment of its kind. It contains standard protocols for 38 diseases that cover 91 percent of diseases or conditions.

    Cure.AI (Qure.AI)

    A Bangalore-based startup, Qure.AI uses AI and a deep knowledge algorithm to detect abnormalities in scans. This allows the scan to detect abnormalities and thus improves the accuracy and speed of disease detection. AI is also helping in the detection of cancer.


    Nirmai, a start-up focused on women’s health, has developed breast cancer detection technology that is made possible by reading the patient’s body temperature.

    ‘Hub and Spoke’
    Innovative business models such as Hub & Spoke improve access to complex medical facilities and ensure improved operational efficiency and lower costs. India’s premier cancer institute, the Tata Memorial Center, aims to set up about 30 hubs and 100 spokes across the country to facilitate access to affordable cancer treatment. Each hub is expected to cater to 40,000 new patients each year while Spock is expected to handle 8,000 new patients. The goal is to reach 40 million people through Hub and 5-10 million people through Spoke.
    The rise of online pharmacies over the last five years has helped make medicines more readily available and affordable. Analytics-driven inventory management enables higher fill rates and higher sales that enable patients to receive better drugs while technology-enabled supply chains enable faster delivery.
    According to AIIMS, it is 24 percent in cardiac cases and 50-80 percent in cases of high blood pressure. 1mg, pharma easy and netmeds are big organizations in this case. They are well supported by investors and are expanding their network across the country. Also, there are other companies like Dawa Dost which are likely to be alongside these big companies if they can take their special place in this field of drug supply. This is the beginning of a big change in the way healthcare is delivered.

    Tags:, Indian startup, Insurance


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