How mHealth is Changing the Face of Indian Healthcare Sector?
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The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a fast pace because of increasing investments from government and private players. With nearly 70 percent of country's population living in rural areas, lack of critical medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics are in total disarray. With the rise of mobile technologies, the health apps are growing rapidly in the Indian market. As a result, mHealth (mobile delivery of healthcare) is gaining ground in India.
A recent joint report by PwC and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) states that mHealth is expected to be crucial in making healthcare accessible in India. Also, it has the potential to save the country $0.8-1 billion annually. It is time for the healthcare ecosystem to explore various mHealth apps, device integration, and sensor technology seriously and start benefitting from it.
Entrepreneur India spoke to few start-ups in India to know how mHealth can change India's healthcare space.
Empower People to Take Control of Their Health:
mHealth is a huge opportunity for the healthcare market as well as people in India.
Nita Soans CEO Kaiterra India feels this can go a long way in helping people be more in control of their health, be more aware and better educated about symptoms for various diseases which shouldn't go unchecked, their health risks as well as, precautionary measures one can take to protect oneself.
"A good example is air quality related health apps that could give you an alert when the air quality in your home or locality goes above safe limits. Without an alert, you will never know when to protect your family with masks and purifiers. This is a huge problem in North India right now where there are just a few weeks in a year that have clean air by WHO standards," shared Soans
Carry Health Data on Smartphone:
For Gagan Kapur, Co-founder & CEO, EasyBuyHealth, the definition of 'Mobile Healthcare' is the ability for any individual to carry their own and their family's health data on their Hand-held devices.
"It is counter-intuitive how we as consumers have ported almost all information about our lives (Friends, Vacations, Food, Finance etc.), but haven't made the leap to warehouse all our health data on the smartphones we carry," said Kapur
Many companies have also made feeble attempts to port their customer's personal health records, online. Google has moved in this direction and most recently Amazon announced a big investment in this area.
Kapur emphasized that it is only inevitable that 'Mobile-Healthcare' will indeed happen.
"India, like China, is rightly positioned to step into this direction, with our cell phone penetration, our demographics, and rising healthcare needs," he added.
Bringing Expert to Smart Cities:
Increasing usage of smartphones and internet among the general population has surely helped to cross one barrier that is delivering best health care to all.
From maintaining a report to getting an expert opinion is always a tough task because it not only involves medical expenses but travelling and accommodation expenses also come along with it.
Abhishek Mishra Founder & CEO, MeListo, pointed out that mobile healthcare brings experts to small cities and give the excess to the general population for the care they deserve.
"mHealth has various benefits like access to expert and specialized health care for everyone, improvising how doctors see the medical history of a patient, transfer of data to right channel and reducing stress, time and expenses of patients," said Mishra