6 reasons why entrepreneurs should invest in healthcare sector Indicating opportunities for entrepreneur to invest in healthcare industry.

By Amol Naikawadi

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Preventive healthcare consists of measures taken to prevent diseases rather than curing them or treating their symptoms. In India healthcare sector is gradually moving from curative to preventive healthcare. With rising awareness levels both in the urban and rural areas and increasing disposable incomes, the coming decade is expected to witness increased demand for preventive healthcare.

In India total preventive healthcare market estimated over $800 million in 2015. The market offers a tremendous opportunity to bring in innovative technology solutions. Healthcare players are moving into direction of higher user/patient empowerment and better patient engagement models. According to industry analysts, there has been a growth of 25 percent in the preventive health care market over the past five years.

However, quality healthcare remains inaccessible in India to a vast majority of population due to inefficient delivery mechanisms, low public expenditure, and low health insurance penetration. There is a large opportunity to create a better eco-system of services and products around insurance and technology. There is also a need for innovative healthcare delivery mechanisms including specialty chains, e-medicine, telemedicine and public private partnerships.

Clearly, opportunity is being created both by changes in the health care industry itself and by changes in our own beliefs about well-being, and the result is rising spending on health care products and services of all kinds. Entrepreneurs have responded, finding better solutions to old problems and launching new businesses to meet the needs of an aging but increasingly health-conscious population

Here are few pointers which will indicate opportunities for entrepreneur to invest in healthcare industry

1. Medical Technology

Segments like diagnostics facilities, which are very fragmented, have great growth opportunities. India is witnessing fastest growth in imaging technology owing to growing awareness, high patient ratio and increasing healthcare expenditure. In the past decade India witnessed technological shift from analogue to digital and affordable cost of imaging solutions.

It is giving new lease of life for patient treatment, saves in healthcare cost and contributes to sustainable healthcare. Clinics and hospitals management of medical records, patient admission and registration, clinic lab data management etc. is getting simpler and saves time of caregivers. The shift to mobile devices, wireless technology and cloud computing also reduces system costs and improves workflow.

2. Electronic Health Records

Medicine is an information-rich enterprise. A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated.

With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever it is needed. It enhances privacy and security of patient data. It reduces costs through decreased paperwork, improves safety, and reduces duplication of testing.

3. Telemedicine:

It has offered an extremely effective solution to people by providing access to a wide range of medical services. In India it has a market of more than $500 and has been implemented in places far and wide under the Public Private partnership. New communications technologies promise to safely and securely provide clinical care from a distance. For routine check-ups, a remote teleconference is a more effective use of time for both the doctor and the patient

4. Primary Care:

To make an impact on reducing the cases of chronic diseases that are reported, primary care needs attention. Specifically there is a clear need for providers that focus on holistic and preventive practices, offering innovative pricing options for products and services and are driven by the needs of specific communities.

5. Hospitals & Infrastructure:

The demand for specialty and tertiary care hospitals is high in India. There is a wide gap between availability of hospital beds and required beds in which has created a need for more hospitals and infrastructure to serve the masses. Entrepreneurs can invest healthcare industry by building hospitals and much needed infrastructure in healthcare sector.

6. Medical Tourism

It is also gaining momentum, the sector can attract foreigners and entrepreneurs who are looking for cost-effective treatment in India. The medical tourism industry in India is growing at CAGR of more than 27 percent in the last three years. The overall market is estimated at $300 million and is projected to reach $ 3 billion by year 2014, at a growth rate of over 30 percent.

Amol Naikawadi

JMD, Indus Health Plus

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