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Healthcare: Another Chapter In Indian Start Up Success Story

The need for innovation today is huge, and is providing an excellent business opportunity. For decades, healthcare was a stagnant problem in India, with no one offering promising and long-term solutions, or even the government coming close to deliver what we have always been promised.

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Health care start-up is the latest fashion that has found its way out into the industry with a steady, but promising success. Start-ups are helping the targeted audience, which is doctors and their patients, to consolidate the existing disorganized health care system in India. Health care market and the digital health sector in India had been poles apart for a very long time, when budding entrepreneurs which India desperately requires today, decided to take up the challenge and come up with innovative solutions to bridge this supply-demand gap, and have hence begun on a journey to revolutionize this sector and implement ideas, which they can both market and create a long-term, indelible impact on the society.

The need to revive the health care industry, with the agenda of optimizing long-term health of the society is difficult, requires flexible and innovative thinking to tackle existing problems at their roots. Start-ups like Practo, Lybrate and Portea, have come to the forefront, and are trying to rope in advance technology and their highly analytical minds, to unlock the vast, undiscovered potential in this market. The innovative thinking, hard work and patience, mentored by the right investors and their business expertise which tag along, and appropriate support from the government are helping these start-ups grow at an exponential rate. Healthcare is a critical area, given the vast population in India. With the daily advent of medical technology happening around the world, it is going to be a difficult and a challenging task for the Indian entrepreneurs to set out their goals straight, and strive hard to bring the right advancements to India as well, use it appropriately to connect with the relevant masses, and come up with the right platform, which users can both access and utilize seamlessly, to make the most out of it.

In a country like India, where the doctor patient ratio is as worse as 1:1700, where the country witnesses 253 deaths, per 100,000 people due to communicable diseases alone, much higher than the global average of 178, low level of public investments in preventive health facilities, lack of or absence of health infrastructure, paucity of manpower (doctors, nurses, etc.), no comprehensive establishment of “Hospitals’ registry”, containing data of detailed healthcare facilities; and the inaccessibility of healthcare services, open-source platforms like these, where one can reach out to doctors easily, and the doctors in turn can network with other senior doctors for a second opinion, is very much the need of the hour. Digital India has embarked on such a tough uphill journey, led by such tech start-ups, with high aims to modernize the concept of wellness and turn it into a data-driven, efficiency oriented system. Corporate houses have now ventured into medical care landscape, and are trying to refocus treatment, from disease-care to patient-care, and are building powerhouses to turn India into a consumer-driven healthcare. With increasing connectivity through social media and consumer switch to new technology, a new set of rules has been laid out, a more private and exclusive platform facilitating doctors’ interactions and patient referrals is in the making.

In a recent inauguration of a tech incubator at Hyderabad, Ratan Tata also shared his belief in the digitally growing healthcare system and was quoted as, “I believe that in all likelihood, medical breakthroughs, especially powered by technologies like analytics, will be the next big thing for start-ups. I see a great deal of breakthroughs in the areas such as life sciences and stem cells, which could cure diseases that hitherto were fatal or had no cure, not just in under-developed countries but also in developed countries”. With such benchmarks set, the producers of this digitized health care world are moving forward at a tremendous pace. Private investors have begun to recognize the potential which this market has now unlocked and are competing to add health to their portfolios, making health tech blazing hot right now for new investment avenues.

The care takers (innovators) are effortlessly attracting the audience towards their product by providing anything and everything that is beneficial for them. The data-driven mobile applications, increasing number of companies working on innovative products, easier access to important journals and exclusive job opportunities are trying to change the face of healthcare as we know it. This technology backed industry is eyeing immense scope for innovation, and are connecting patients and doctors to improve human longevity, and hence making the world a better place. In the phase of such advancements happening, Curofy is one such platform trying to create a go-to platform for all the doctors, to join in for the spam free exclusive network that they are providing, thus making it more convenient to be updated about innovations in medical technology, relevant to their specialty or field of study and share ideas with like-minded people all around the world for a better opinion.

The need for innovation today is huge, and is providing an excellent business opportunity. For decades, healthcare was a stagnant problem in India, with no one offering promising and long-term solutions, or even the government coming close to deliver what we have always been promised. The statistics in public health expenditure is no hidden fact, and in the wake of lifestyle upgrades, timeless work-shifts, and an overkill of super processed foods, we had learnt to compromise with the general health, until these companies came forward and gave us a new vision. The challenge for these entrepreneurs is to rope in the right investors and connect with the right audience. The reform of the healthcare system is already underway, and the shifting emphasis towards making it more data-centric and improving its accessibility will go miles in helping patients achieve highest level of functionality. The coming decade will witness some of the best game-changers of all time in medical care. It is all just a matter of time.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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healthcare sector startups Practo portea medica

Nipun Goyal

The author is co-founder of Curofy

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