How This Hospital Chain is Making a Name for Itself With Healthtech
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The Indian healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of India. With private hospitals sprouting across the country, it has changed the scenario of healthcare in the country. According to a report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, the healthcare industry is set to reach INR 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2022.
But the industry has often come under fire because of lack of accessibility. Day after day, we come across headlines about lives lost because of no medical attention given at the right time.
And this was also a thought on Dr Dharminder Nagar, MD of Paras Healthcare. Dr Nagar was pursuing medicine and health management in India and then the US, when he thought about the accessibility of Indian healthcare. He believed that doctors and healthcare facilities were at par with the world’s best in India yet their access was strictly confined to a few – to the richer section of our population and to metropolitan residents. This led to the birth of Paras Healthcare.
Entrepreneur India spoke to Dr Nagar about what goes behind building a healthcare chain in India and how can one rise above the existing competition.
Accessibility For All
Given the accessibility issues that are ridden in the healthcare industry, Dr Nagar looked at his initiative as a small yet significant attempt to bridge this gap in healthcare delivery and focus on the delivering quality tertiary care to the middle class. “Paras Healthcare is established on three tenets – Accessibility, Affordability and Quality and our first hospital opened in Gurgaon in 2006, and started attracting patients from neighboring states as well. This was much before Gurgaon became a hub of large multi specialty hospitals,” he said.
Their idea is to provide affordable healthcare to the common man, who cannot afford treatment at 5-start luxury hospitals. In a span of 12 years, they have established their presence in 4 states of northern India.
Building Innovation in Healthcare
The healthcare ecosystem in India has been building up on technology to make way for cheaper healthcare for all. Healthtech startups too have sprouted all across the country which are looking at providing door-to-door healthcare services while also looking at faster and better quality.
At Paras too they are looking at implementing technology in every sphere of patient care to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. “We use information technology to reduce delivery time of diagnostic reports; we also work continue to innovate to improve surgical procedures and their outcome; we are also using computer navigation technology to improve outcome of knee transplants,” said Dr Nagar.
They also have a Paras Health Mobile Bus Service an innovative on the wheels facility equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for cardiac and cancer diagnosis. “This innovative bus service has travelled all across Bihar to conduct camps and health checks for thousands of patients, with many even provided preliminary specialized care through it,” he said.
How Healthtech Will Define the Future of Healthcare
Healthtech is looking at creating possibilities of growth in the healthcare industry. Dr Nagar believes that the digitization of healthcare that is rapidly being implemented holds the potential of revolutionising healthcare by eliminating paper records and consolidating all patient data. “If linked with Aadhar and stored for the purpose of information and made available online (with patient consent), not only can it make it improve convenience, it can also serve as a wide pool of data that can be extensively used by scientists for the purpose of medical research,” he said.
He further added that the convergence of IT and communication in mobile devices is one of the most striking realities of our times. For healthcare, this has far reaching impact as it holds the potential of making a large part of healthcare delivery virtual. “Use of IT is already being used in rural areas to make doctors accessible to deprived populations. Use of data analytics is another key development that promises to improve healthcare outcomes. Use of BIG data and predictive analytics can help medical community enhance its understanding of the relationship between human biology and external factors as well as predict the outcome or pathways of diseases,” he said.
The Challenges of Running a Hospital Chain
Running a business in healthcare is not one bereft of challenges. Dr Nagar points out that there are many challenges starting from being able to identify the right areas and locations that will ensure maximum outreach for your hospitals to attracting the right talent and ensuring that all hospitals adhere to ethical and evidence based practice. “Most importantly, it is very important to continuously upgrade infrastructure and innovate and improve services to ensure that you remain at the top of the game. Being complacent is never the option or newer players will enter and kick you out of the market,” he concluded.