India on cusp of healthtech boom amid Covid-19 battle
Cash registers are set to ring. India's healthcare industry is worth more than $370 billion, and the Indian healthtech industry itself is set to grow at a pace of 39% for the next few years according to IAMAI-Praxis.Courtesy: Getty Images

India on cusp of healthtech boom amid Covid-19 battle

SPECIAL REPORT

Online doctor consultation market in India is expected to reach a staggering $836 million by FY2024, says Praxis Report.

Severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian healthcare industry has fought back over the last year from a distraught and underwhelmed situation to a position of global strength - and healthtech has been one of the key allies for the sector in helping achieve this resilience.

According to investors, India's healthcare industry is worth more than $370 billion, and the Indian healthtech industry itself is set to grow at a pace of 39% for the next few years according to IAMAI-Praxis.

Among the many changes seen in the Indian healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, one notable transformation is in online consultations. Growth in teleconsultation peaked after the lockdown induced by the pandemic and reached a market size of $163 million in March 2021. According to a recent report by Praxis Global Alliance, a global management consulting and advisory services firm based in India, the online doctor consultation market is expected to be over $800 million by FY2024 - growing at 72 percent CAGR across the country.

A patient is examined by a doctor in the dengue screening outpatient department at a hospital in New Delhi. Growth in teleconsultation, however, peaked after the lockdown induced by the pandemic and reached a market size of $163 million in March 2021.
A patient is examined by a doctor in the dengue screening outpatient department at a hospital in New Delhi. Growth in teleconsultation, however, peaked after the lockdown induced by the pandemic and reached a market size of $163 million in March 2021.Courtesy: Reuters

Outpatient healthcare

The firm has estimated the outpatient healthcare market based on doctor consultation volumes by specialty and associated pharma or diagnostic prescriptions. The report provides significant data on the online doctor consultation market size, key trends, and outlook of the sector to gain insights into the trajectory the sector will be on in the near future. Further, the report deep dives into the online consultation market, penetration of insurance in OPD, and analyses the market trends pre-COVID vs post-COVID.

Outpatient market is poised for a significant overhaul driven by the adoption of online consultations as an acceptable alternative, digital enablement of clinical practices in line with NDHM, changing customer expectations, and the emergence of an organized network of tech-enabled outpatient care providers.
- Sumit Goel, Managing Partner, Head – Healthcare and Pharma, Praxis Global Alliance

“Outpatient market is poised for a significant overhaul driven by the adoption of online consultations as an acceptable alternative, digital enablement of clinical practices in line with NDHM, changing customer expectations, and the emergence of an organized network of tech-enabled outpatient care providers,” said Sumit Goel, Managing Partner and Head – Healthcare and Pharma, Praxis Global Alliance.

Indeed, the Indian government has also taken several initiatives to promote telemedicine.

A 100 bed COVID hospital set up in collaboration with Vedanta Group.  After seeing the potential of telemedicine, the government moved to promote new platforms.
A 100 bed COVID hospital set up in collaboration with Vedanta Group. After seeing the potential of telemedicine, the government moved to promote new platforms.Courtesy: ANI

Rise of telemedicine

Since telemedicine and related e-health facilities leverage healthcare from a distance through electronic information systems, telemedicine was used as a major source of patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite treating Covid-19 patients with the help of telemedicine facilities, healthcare workers were able to attend to patients with other illnesses as well. After seeing the potential of telemedicine, the government moved to promote new platforms - eSanjeevani is a web-based online telemedicine initiative launched under the Ayushman Bharat scheme of the Government of India in 2019 to provide healthcare services to patients at home.

“Growing adoption of technology-led solutions in healthcare due to the ongoing pandemic has helped in giving a significant push to the online consultation market in India. The next wave of growth for online consultations would be driven by new-age technology-enabled solutions like AI and ML which can help patients to derive better and faster care,” said Aryaman Tandon, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Praxis Global Alliance.

With the amalgamation of automation and healthtech in India, the healthcare sector is thus poised to hit many new milestones in the coming years.

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