There is a growing incidence of lifestyle diseases across the country. This in turn has led to a rising demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems as well. This demand has risen due to the increasing healthcare costs, technological advancements, the emergence of telemedicine and rapid health insurance penetration. Government initiatives like e-health, together with tax benefits and incentives, are also driving the healthcare market in India.
The hospital sector of the market in India was valued at USD 61.79 billion in FY17 and is expected to reach USD 132 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 16–17 percent. India’s public expenditure on healthcare touched 2.1 percent of GDP in FY23 and 2.2 percent in FY22, against 1.6 percent in FY21, as per the Economic Survey 2022-23. This growth is being driven due to several factors.
Shift from communicable to lifestyle diseases
With increasing urbanization, and problems related to modern-day living in urban settings, currently about 50 percent of spending on in-patient beds is for lifestyle diseases – this has increased the demand for specialized care. In India, lifestyle diseases have replaced traditional health problems. Most lifestyle diseases are caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, poor diet, and alcohol.
Expansion to Tier-II and Tier-III cities
To encourage the private sector to establish hospitals in these cities, the government has relaxed taxes on these hospitals for the first five years.
Emergence of telemedicine
Telemedicine is a fast-emerging sector in India. Virtual care – constituting teleconsult, telepathology, teleradiology, and e-pharmacy – is experiencing a stimulus in India. Major hospitals (Apollo, AIIMS, Narayana Hrudayalaya) have adopted telemedicine services, and entered into a number of PPPs.
In September 2020, according to a study (survey of consumers, doctors, and stakeholders from pharma companies and global EY research) by EY, in collaboration with the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, the domestic telemedicine market is expected to reach USD 5.5 billion by 2025.
By March 25, 2022, the health ministry’s e-Sanjeevani telemedicine service crossed 3 crore teleconsultations. Moreover, e-Sanjeevani telemedicine set a new record by completing over 1.7 lakh consultations in a single day.
Rising adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)
There is a rising adoption of AI-based applications across the sector. This has enabled people to talk directly to doctors and physicians, and get expertise for the best treatment. AI is also capable of solving problems of patients, doctors, and hospitals, as well as the overall healthcare industry.
Increasing penetration of health insurance
In FY21, gross healthcare insurance stood at 29.5 percent of the overall gross direct premium income by non-life insurers segment. Health insurance is gaining momentum in India. Gross direct premium income, underwritten by health insurance companies, grew 13.3 percent YoY in FY21 to ₹58,572.46 crore (USD 7.9 billion).
This encompasses any tests that are performed at or near a patient, and at the site where care or treatment is provided. Results are typically available relatively quickly so that they can be acted upon without delay. The most common point-of-care tests include blood glucose monitoring, home pregnancy tests, tests for hemoglobin, fecal occult blood, rapid strep, as well as prothrombin time/international normalized ratio (PT/INR) for people on the anticoagulant warfarin.
It further helps to alleviate emergency room overcrowding by reducing the time it takes to treat people, and thus shortens their stay.
Apollo Clinic’s role in the sector
Apollo Clinic is fast expanding its footprint with multiple models taking quality healthcare closer to the community.
Apollo Sugar Clinic’s vision is to be the largest and the most preferred diabetes care provider across India while continuing to improve medical outcomes for patients.
Apollo Dental has launched a contactless AI-based oral hygiene analysis program that can be done through WhatsApp. Apollo Dental is also partnering with dentists to start more clinics in multiple neighborhoods.
This article is co-authored by Sushant Kinra, Head-Primary Care, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd..