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The hexagon stakeholders approach- How the Indian healthcare industry will pan out

In recent years, the Indian healthcare industry has experienced remarkable growth owing to factors, such as rising demand for healthcare services, a growing middle class, and government efforts to improve healthcare infrastructure. However, the industry faces significant challenges like inadequate infrastructure, shortage of healthcare professionals, and limited access to healthcare services. To build a sustainable and equitable healthcare system, the industry must focus on innovation, investment, and enhancing medical education. In the upcoming year, the Indian healthcare, MedTech, and IVD industries are expected to grow due to the increased adoption of digital health solutions, government initiatives, and the implementation of new regulations.

Also, the pandemic situation and the overall economic conditions in the country play a role in shaping the industry’s performance. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the accelerated adoption of digital health solutions, including telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. It has created significant disruptions and also highlighted the importance of healthcare, and provided an opportunity for the industry to accelerate its transformation.

Exploring some of the key trends in the Indian healthcare, MedTech, and IVD industries and their potential impact by hitting the following domains will give us the path or the action plan for the next one year.

Digital health solutions. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital health solutions in India. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring have become essential. The Indian healthcare industry has responded by rapidly adopting these solutions, and many companies have launched their digital health platforms in recent months. In the coming year, we can expect to see more innovation in this space, with increased adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes.

Government initiatives. The Indian government has announced various initiatives to boost the healthcare sector in the country. The Ayushman Bharat scheme, launched in 2018, aims to provide health insurance coverage to vulnerable sections of society. The scheme has already benefited millions of people in the country, and is expected to continue to drive growth in the healthcare industry. Another initiative, the National Digital Health Mission, launched in 2020, aims to create a digital health infrastructure for the country, including electronic health records, telemedicine, and digital health IDs for all citizens. This initiative is expected to create new opportunities for healthcare start-ups and MedTech companies.

New regulations. The Indian government is expected to implement new regulations for medical devices in the coming year. These regulations are expected to be in line with international standards and focus on ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical devices. The new regulations could lead to increased compliance burdens for manufacturers and could impact the cost of medical devices for consumers. However, they could also improve the quality of medical devices in the country and create a more level playing field for manufacturers.

Telemedicine. Telemedicine has emerged as a crucial tool during the pandemic, enabling patients to access healthcare services remotely. The Indian government has issued guidelines for telemedicine services, and many start-ups and established players have launched their telemedicine platforms. However, telemedicine faces several challenges, including inadequate internet connectivity in rural areas, lack of awareness among patients, and regulatory issues. The industry will need to address these challenges to ensure the widespread adoption of telemedicine in the country.

Medical tourism. India has emerged as a popular destination for medical tourism, with patients from around the world traveling to the country for affordable and high-quality medical treatment. However, the pandemic has severely impacted the medical tourism industry, with travel restrictions and fears of infection reducing the number of international patients. The industry will need to find new ways to attract patients and ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Investment. The Indian healthcare industry has attracted significant investment in recent years, with both domestic and foreign investors investing in the sector. In the coming year, we can expect to see more investment in the industry, driven by the government’s initiatives and the growing demand for healthcare services. However, the industry will need to ensure that the investment is utilized effectively to create a sustainable and equitable healthcare system in the country.

Medical education. The shortage of healthcare professionals in the country remains a significant challenge for the healthcare industry. The Indian government has launched various initiatives to address this issue, including the establishment of new medical colleges and the expansion of medical education in rural areas. The industry will need to focus on improving medical education and training to ensure that the country has a sufficient number of qualified healthcare professionals to meet the growing demand for healthcare services.

Value-based care. The shift toward value-based care will continue to be a major trend in the MedTech or IVD industry, with a greater focus on outcomes and cost effectiveness. Companies that can demonstrate the value of their products in improving patient outcomes and reducing costs will be best positioned for success.

A six-domain approach, the hexagon stakeholders approach with the six key stakeholders listed below can play a can play a significant role in shaping the Indian healthcare, MedTech, and IVD industries over the next one year. This will require a collaborative and coordinated approach among multiple stakeholders to drive growth and overcome the challenges facing the industry. These stakeholders can work together to create a more sustainable and equitable healthcare system in the country.

Government. The Indian government will play a crucial role in shaping the healthcare industry in the country through its policies, regulations, and initiatives. The government can continue to drive growth in the industry by investing in healthcare infrastructure, improving access to healthcare services, and creating a supportive regulatory environment for MedTech and IVD companies.

Healthcare providers. Healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers, are key stakeholders in the industry. They can drive growth by adopting digital health solutions, improving the quality of care, and expanding access to healthcare services in rural areas. Examples can be diagnostic centers and different types of care hospitals and clinics.

Medical devices manufacturers. Medical devices manufacturers play a crucial role in the MedTech and IVD industries. They can drive growth by developing innovative products that address the healthcare needs of the country, complying with new regulations, and expanding their reach through partnerships and collaborations. Examples which I see are a great milestone for the Indian market like Krish Biomedicals for its IncuSmart, focusing on Make in India initiative, Thermo Fisher Scientific for their promising technologies, and Accurex for their affordable, instant and reliable point-of-care diagnostics.

Investors. Investors play a crucial role in driving growth in the healthcare industry by providing capital to healthcare start-ups and established companies. They can drive growth by investing in innovative companies, supporting the commercialization of new products, and creating new business models that address the unique challenges of the Indian healthcare system. Examples I see are Taru Leading Edge, XScale Global, etc.

Patients and consumers. Patients and consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the healthcare industry. They can drive growth by adopting digital health solutions, seeking out high-quality healthcare services, and becoming more engaged in their own health and wellness.

Academia and research institutions. Academia and research institutions play a crucial role in driving innovation in the healthcare industry. They can drive growth by conducting research and development activities, collaborating with industry partners to commercialize new technologies, and training the next generation of healthcare professionals. Examples can be medical colleges and research institutions.

The Indian healthcare industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, driven by increasing demand for healthcare services, a growing middle class, and government efforts to improve healthcare infrastructure. However, the industry faces several challenges, such as inadequate infrastructure, shortage of healthcare professionals, and limited access to healthcare services. To build a sustainable and equitable healthcare system, the industry needs to focus on innovation, investment, and enhancing medical education. In the next year, the industry is expected to grow due to increased adoption of digital health solutions, government initiatives, and new regulations. However, the pandemic situation and overall economic conditions in the country will also play a role in shaping the industry’s performance. By inclusion of the hexagon stakeholders approach, the med tech industry will surely pan out and we will see a growth shift in the Indian healthcare, MedTech, and IVD industries and their potential impact on digital health solutions, government initiatives, new regulations, telemedicine, medical tourism, investment, medical education, and value-based care.

Working together and leveraging each other’s strengths, the above key stakeholders can create a more sustainable and equitable healthcare system in India that meets the needs of patients, providers, and industry stakeholders alike. 

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