The Indian healthcare system is being reshaped by three forces: increasing healthcare demand, technological ubiquity and rising patient awareness, said a report from Ernst & Young (EY). The adoption of emerging technologies and tools by healthcare players, especially startups, have the potential to offer solutions to meet increasing demand by improving affordability and accessibility, added. According to the survey, 82 percent of life sciences and healthcare startups offer improved affordability, accessibility and efficiency in their products and services leveraging emerging technology. Titled ‘Life Sciences 4.0: Transforming Healthcare in India’, the report said that the rising prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases and an aging population are the major factors leading to increasing demand for specialized healthcare in India.
The survey was conducted among 60 life sciences and healthcare startups in the country. About 35 percent of startups surveyed say that taking feedback from patients and physicians was one of the most important success factors, followed by a focus on product innovation, and industrial and technical know-how. Indian life sciences companies have started taking small, experimental steps on their 4.0 journey. Some key areas where these firms have started adopting digital technologies include patient engagement, physician engagement, smart mobile apps for appointment bookings, R&D efficiency, and supply chain management.
“Today, in India and globally, technological advancements are redefining products and enabling customization of services in the healthcare industry. Emerging technologies for example, robotics, blockchain, 3D printing and artificial intelligence and scientific breakthroughs such as gene editing have led to the transformation of life sciences companies’ business models,” said Sriram Shrinivasan, Global Emerging Markets Health and Life Sciences leader and National Health Services Sector leader, EY. 42 percent of the survey’s respondents feel that receiving timely and substantial funding will provide an opportunity for driving further business growth, while 38 percent feel product innovation and rising market potential due to rising incomes, health and technological awareness also have a key role to play. 23 percent also pointed towards strong government support as a responsible factor for attaining the next level of business growth. “Going forward, life sciences companies must invest in the three new capabilities: personalization, customer engagement and data literacy,” Shrinivasan added.
Funding is a key challenge
In terms of business challenges, 35 percent of startups mentioned receiving funding was the key challenge, 43 percent of startups surveyed in the sector are bootstrapped. Another 42 percent are also leveraging government incubators to get needed support. – New Indian Express