In recent years, India has witnessed a remarkable transformation in its healthcare landscape, with a growing emphasis on holistic HealthTech solutions. Holistic HealthTech encompasses a wide range of digital solutions that enable individuals to monitor and manage their health comprehensively. These technologies leverage data-driven insights, advanced algorithms, and personalized recommendations to promote overall well-being, bridging the gap between traditional medicine and modern technology.
Here we explore the various facets of holistic HealthTech in India, highlighting its potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry and improve the overall health and wellness of the nation.
Key Developments in the Indian HealthTech Sector
According to Pharmabiz, while in 2020, the healthtech industry was valued at $1.9 billion, which is under 1% of the healthcare industry, the sector is looking to grow at a CAGR of 39% and reach US$ 5 billion by 2023.
According to NITI Aayog, the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) will spur a fundamental transformation in India’s healthcare system and unlock economic value worth over $200 billion by 2030.
The Indian e-pharmacy market is expected to rise at a 22 percent CAGR and reach US$1.1 bn in market value. ePharmacies and eDiagnostics account for the largest market size of US$7,500m in the curative care sector.
According to Expresshealthcare, Telemedicine in India is at a nascent stage compared to developed countries like the USA, but that is all set to change. The Indian telemedicine market is expected to rise at a 21 per cent CAGR and reach US$5bn in market value.
India’s rehab-tech market, a US$17 bn opportunity, is set to double in 5 years. Rehab tech comprises interventions that enhance functionality and minimize disability. The services include nursing, caregiving, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and medical aid equipment. Hospitals and local unorganized players are currently the major providers of rehab, however, this is bound to change as rehab-tech players are emerging in the healthtech sector. For instance, Dee Dee Labs Pvt Ltd, a medical device startup, is a design and development lab with a primary focus on the development of the next generation of bionic prostheses for upper limb amputees. AfterallHealth in Hyderabad and PhysioConnect in Mumbai are two notable tech companies providing physiotherapy services and products through app-based and online services.
Government Initiatives to Fortify the Indian Holistic HealthTech Landscape
The National Digital Health Mission launched on August 15, 2020, was intended to create an integrated healthcare system linking practitioners with patients digitally by giving them access to real-time health records. It was implemented by the National Health Authority and laid the bedrock principle of ABDM as mentioned below.
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) was launched under the National
Health Authority on September 27, 2021. With the Ayushman Bharat Health account (ABHA) and personal health record app, users can share, store and link their health records to avail of healthcare services with autonomy and consent. ABDM will enable the core infrastructure and capabilities required for health record standardization and interoperability. It offers two major electronic health services:
Personal Health Record (PHR): An electronic form of medical record for an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards. The PHR is managed, shared, and controlled by the individual and can be drawn from multiple sources, like Practo, ABHA Health Locker (PayTM), DocPrime etc.
Unified Health Interface (UHI): A core foundation of ABDM, UHI is similar in concept to the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) where you can use any UPI-enabled app (BHIM app, Paytm, PhonePe, GPay etc) to make seamless payments from your bank account or wallet to any other bank account. Through UHI-enabled applications, patients can discover, book, conduct and pay for services offered by a variety of participating providers from any application of their choice.
eSanjeevani is a national doctor-to-doctor telemedicine service that strives to provide an alternative to conventional physical consultations via a digital platform. It is a cohesive part of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDHM). It leverages technology via smartphones, tablets, and laptops enabling doctor consultations to be accessible from the patient’s residence regardless of location. According to Pharmabiz, eSanjeevani is currently serving about 90,000 patients per day and has accumulated a total of 2,58,553 consultation hours.
E-aushadhi is a software platform developed through C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing under MEITY), Noida with the support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to automate various activities. It is a part of the Drug and Vaccine Supply Chain Management system that deals with Purchase Order, Inventory Management & Distribution of various drugs etc. The main aim of e-Aushadhi is to improve the drug warehouse management system and facilitate the provision of cost-effective essential drugs to common people by keeping an eye on the flow of drugs, vaccines, and information from suppliers to warehouses to health facilities to patients without any delay.
MyGov Help Desk, an AI-enabled chatbot helpdesk launched by the Government in March 2020 to provide information related to COVID and vaccination services, is another example of the country’s rapidly expanding digital health ecosystem.
Major Players In Holistic HealthTech Landscape
The focus of holistic HealthTech is its focus on empowering individuals to take a proactive approach to their health. By promoting self-care, many tech companies are empowering individuals to take better care of themselves with the help of technology. Some revolutionary such companies are mentioned below:
The Problem: In 2012, the year HealthifyMe was launched, reports indicated that there were 60 million diabetics and 150 million hypertensive people in India. The main reason behind this was a lack of awareness of the quality of food intake and a lack of general exercise among Indians.
The Solution: HealthifyMe is a cloud-based solution that helps people reach their fitness goals using the support of nutritionists, trainers, yoga instructors, and wearable devices. The HealthifyMe app allows users to track diet and exercise regimens, get expert advice on custom diet and wellness solutions, and connect with other fitness enthusiasts to lead a healthy lifestyle. HealthifyMe plans to offer a range of premium options to help customers and fitness enthusiasts achieve their goals.
HealthifyMe is primarily distributed in over 300 cities with 10 million downloads, approximately 25 million users, and 1,500+ trainers. The app has a rating of 4.6/5 on the Play Store and has been cited multiple times by Google and Apple as a quality indicator.
The Problem: Long working hours, high-pressure environments, and juggling multiple responsibilities has become part and parcel of the Indian lifestyle. The result: Poor mental health due to anxiety, depression, and stress. These conditions can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and chronic pain.
The Solution: PharmEasy, one of India’s leading platforms for healthcare solutions, is taking a holistic approach to wellness for its customers on their journey to achieving good health. PharmEasy has evolved from being just a medicine-providing platform to a wellness partner by building a sustainable healthcare ecosystem. With a presence of over 5 Mn customers across 1000+ cities in India, Pharmeasy has become one of the largest players in the Indian healthtech landscape.
PharmEasy has developed a healthcare delivery platform to simplify and modernize the healthcare setup in India. The platform helps patients stay connected with various local pharmacy stores and outlets. Data analytics and AI-based technology are the driving factors behind a robust health and well-being ecosystem today, and PharmEasy is leveraging both of them to strengthen healthcare in India.
The Problem: A common process towards holistic health is the use of alternative medicine like ayurveda and homoeopathy to increase nutrition and improve quality of life. However, a major obstacle is the availability of authentic physical distributors in urban and especially remote areas, which has led to the need for an online marketplace for medicines or a trusted e-pharmacy.
The Solution: Tata 1mg is a leading online pharmacy and healthcare platform in India. Their objective is to make healthcare understandable, accessible, and affordable for the masses. It allows users to order medicines, book lab tests, consult doctors, and access health information from their smartphones. It is one of the largest digital health platforms providing 20+ specialities and 3000+ doctors across 100+ cities in India.
The Problem: In the Indian healthcare system, the diagnostic market is highly fragmented, with no standardization in pricing or experience. People after a certain age (likely after 35) wish to
get a preventive health check-up done every year, but they don’t get it done due to high cost, multiple visits to labs & hospitals, the chance of inaccurate reports, and long waiting periods for sample collection, tests & report delivery of medical tests.
The Solution: Today, Healthians is a preventive healthcare company that offers a wide range of health check-ups, health care services, and diagnostic services at home or off-clinic. As a technology-led, asset-light model, it is India’s largest health test at-home service that offers affordable pathology testing followed by continuous health advice and consultation for screening, monitoring and improving health conditions which helps in lifestyle disease management. Chronic diseases and lifestyle diseases can be reduced if they help people fix lifestyle-related issues early in age. By analyzing the lifestyle, test results, family and medical history of a person, Healthians provide insights like current health status, chances of getting a chronic disease, preventive measures he/she needs to take, etc.
Some other developments are noteworthy in the healthtech startup sector as well
AyuRythm is a Health & Fitness Startup which provides personalized holistic wellness solutions through Ayurvedic principles through digital platforms. Using their patent-pending technology and approval from leading Ayurvedic doctors, the solution serves as a one-stop shop for all wellness needs. It assesses the user’s ideal and current body type based on a one-time response to 30 questions, followed by a daily 30-second pulse diagnostic test using your mobile phone camera. The product gained media attention after being featured on SharkTank where they raised equity from shark Aman Gupta.
Upholding the pillars of holistic healthcare in line with ABDM, Eka.Care. is an exemplary healthtech startup that offers solutions to both healthcare professionals and patients. For caregivers, Eka.Care offers an advanced technology platform that helps doctors manage their clinic practice and helps them know their patients better (medical history, symptoms, etc). For patients, the platform allows users to create their ABHAs, store their medical records, and take self-assessments to know their health risk factors. The organisation’s AI-driven app forms longitudinal values of a patient’s medical records, allowing them to keep track of their health parameters and share these with doctors easily. The platform is available in 12 languages, helping Indian families across the country to create multiple health profiles and store health records such as vaccination charts for kids, developmental milestones, prescriptions, lab reports, and scans.
Dozee is a Bangalore-based healthtech startup that has introduced a contactless health monitoring system. The device uses AI and machine learning technology to monitor vital signs such as heart rate, respiration rate, and sleep patterns, without any physical contact with the user. Some of the key features of Dozee include accurate and reliable sleep monitoring, personalised sleep insights, seamless integration with health apps, and family sleep tracking.
Loop is a corporate employee insurtech based out of Pune that offers a host of wellness sessions for corporates that focus not only on physical fitness but overall holistic well-being. In addition to providing group health insurance, the difference from other similar corporate insurance providers is that they conduct sessions like financial management, self-care, dealing with procrastination, yoga, mind workshops, mental health consults, and more.
HealthPlix Technologies is a Bangalore healthtech startup which promotes better health outcomes across India with a doctor-first approach and its comprehensive, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven EMR software. About 10,000 physicians currently use the HealthPlix platform across 370 cities in India, with software and built-in support available in 14 languages.
Holistic HealthTech is revolutionising the healthcare landscape in India, ushering in a new era of personalized and data-driven wellness solutions. With government initiatives in place as well as key developments in the HealthTech sector, technology is playing a key role in healthcare not only to ease the availability of doctor consultations and diagnoses but also to provide access to alternative medicine and improve the holistic physical and mental well-being of individuals.
At Purple Quarter, we closely observe and support holistic healthtech initiatives aimed at improving the health and lifestyle of Indian citizens. We have to understand the synergy between tech and healthcare and how it maps to general well-being and the ecosystem at large. This is reflected in our partnerships with some leading healthtech firms. With constant improvements in technology and newer innovations taking place in healthcare, it is conclusive that the potential scope for the growth of holistic healthtech will remain a conclusive process.
Authored by Tathagata Chakrabarti
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