Signals from India - Accessible and precision healthcare for all, new innovations
Future Watch - Signals from India –series opens up seven identified key trends that affect the future of India in various levels. The signals are driving a change in society, culture and economy and, at the same time, opening new opportunities for businesses. The second part of the signal series is #Accessible and precision healthcare for all, new innovations.
Telemedicine on the rise
India ranks very low on the doctor:patient ratio (1:1700) in comparison to the WHO norm of 1:1000. There is also a shortage of qualified healthcare personnel in rural India. The increasing access to internet provides new opportunities for telemedicine that can be reflected from the increased B2B and B2C solution providers in the given sector.
Telemedicine will lead to increased generation of data in healthcare that makes precise and personalized medical treatment more common. Digital solutions also create new service models for healthcare, expand it to new areas and reduce inequality in healthcare.
In 2015, India's government expenditure on public health per capita was USD 60, in comparison to USD 1.000 in Brazil and USD10.735 in the US. According to India's draft National Health Policy 2015, the country's out-of-pocket expenditure for health (at 60% of total health expenditure) is one of the highest in the world that has led to unequal access to healthcare.
India faces a crisis in affordable healthcare with areas such as mental health and infant care severely affected. India's Infant Mortality Rate of 42 deaths per 1,000 live births is worse than in poorer neighbor countries such as Bangladesh (31) and Nepal (29). Organizations who can provide better affordability have major opportunities in the healthcare sector, as well as companies offering low cost and alternative medicine.
3D printing in healthcare
India is one of the fastest growing markets for the 3D printing industry - the 3D printing prototyping and materials market is expected to reach USD 62 million by 2022. In India, cost-effective 3D printing has already been applied to prosthetics, surgeries, complex fractures and face reconstruction. A possible next step could be adapting 3D printed anatomy to research, education and pre-surgery procedures. 3D printed implants and organs also have potential on the Indian healthcare market.
In India, the number of genetic diseases and cancer is constantly increasing. Precision healthcare has been a rising trend over the past few years fueled by multiple startups working in areas such as Gene Mapping and Stem Cell Therapy.
Since Indian genetic data forms only 0.2% of the globally available data, there is a huge opportunity for creating an India-centric genetic database. This may lead to the creation of more precise medication for the 400 population groups living in India. In addition, the Stem Cell Therapy market is relatively untouched as the first related product was only recently approved in India. There is also an opportunity for Finnish-Indian academic collaboration in precision medication.
The traditional form of diagnostics is turning attention towards personalized diagnostics, including diagnostic wearables and personal diagnostic devices. Personalized diagnosis saves costs in the case of chronic diseases and elderly care. Also fitness wearables are gaining market share.
The home healthcare market (services, devices, products) in India is worth USD 2.3 billion and grows at 20% annually. Therefore, there is a market opportunity for self-assisted diagnostic and monitoring solutions in India. With the growing market of wearables that monitor health and fitness, there arouses a need for creating a complete wellbeing ecosystem including preventive healthcare, end-point diagnostics and emergency medical services.
Following key trends to be published soon in Signals from India –series:
#Work for All: and required skills
#Accessible and precision heath care for all, new innovations
#Women empowerment, growing role of women
#Elected dictatorship - win or lose for the country
#Environment - access to drinking water
#Ethics of AI
#Change in family fabric – social isolation, insecure individuals
Please find the video of the complete series attached below.
Sari Arho Havren
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Partner in India of Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation
New Delhi –India
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