In the present times, the healthcare sector is at the cusp of transformation in India. The expectations are at a tipping point as consumers are comparing healthcare against experiences in other verticals such as e-commerce, food tech, finance, entertainment etc. At the moment, consumers are non-satiated and unhappy with the experiences and financial outcomes in healthcare. Technology has emerged to be an essential transformation component for the sector as it will bring in the much-required abundance in the healthcare market which has a chronic shortage of resources.
As we inch towards 2022, the digital healthcare segment will grow at a significant pace and might witness the following trends-
Mature digital building blocks
The core digital building blocks are getting mature and this is fuelling the transformation process of the sector. It includes superior connectivity and bandwidth, cheap computing and storage in the cloud, powerful smartphones and devices etc. This has enabled the deployment of technology as well as scaling telemedicine and virtual care services easily. The building blocks follow a price-performance curve which is favourable for consumer adoption. Thus, new experiences are built-in healthcare every day while mostly focussing on home as an important access point for low acuity care.
Virtual Care is the future
Owing to the pandemic induced lockdown and social distancing norms, telemedicine witnessed a surge in its adoption. Both the clinicians as well as the patients adopted telemedicine and virtual care models to have access to healthcare services right from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Adding to it, the shift in consumer preferences is also one of the major reasons shaping the healthcare landscape. Consumers now prefer diagnostics and pharmacy services to be delivered to their homes. This has made care delivery seamless and efficient where consultation, diagnosis and treatment happen at home.
Given its plethora of benefits, it is anticipated that telemedicine and virtual care is here to stay. It will prove resilient in the post-pandemic times as well and will establish itself as one of the prominent elements of care.
Resilience is the key
Resilience has been one of the major challenges in the sector, especially when it comes to situations like a pandemic. This is due to the shortage of resources including clinicians, hospitals, equipment, etc. The healthcare sector has always been operated from a point of scarcity. The only way to bring in abundance is to infuse every part of the patient journey with technology and digital touchpoints. Adding to it, we also need to build augmentation tools for clinicians to amplify their skills and capabilities. It is anticipated that Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Voice assistants will be vital for bringing in resiliency in the healthcare segment.
The future roadmap
According to IBEF, India’s healthcare market is projected to reach $372 billion by the end of 2022. This growth will primarily be driven by rising income and better health awareness. Thus, it would be appropriate to say that the healthcare sector will grow exponentially in the times to come. However, what needs to be understood is that engaging healthcare requires more than just technology but a full-fledged experience that motivates consumers towards evidence-based action.
Various healthcare apps with differentiating features are upscaling the healthcare segment and strive to offer differentiated patient experiences and outcomes. Integrated digital health and wellness services offering personalised wellness, continuous virtual care and digital therapeutics over a single platform is one such example.
The bottom line
Patients, as well as the healthcare workforce, can greatly benefit from smart technology. Healthcare is a laggard when it comes to technology adoption but pandemic has brought about disruptions and has changed this trend altogether! It is thus anticipated that the future landscape of healthcare indeed seems promising!
Srinivas Vivek, Co-Founder, Resolute
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