“Existing service providers are currently scratching the surface of home healthcare market” Rajiv Mathur, Critical Care Unified

Critical Care Unified is an organization that provides comprehensive services in Home
Healthcare, with primary focus on Critical Care. Rajiv Mathur founded the company in December, 2016 in New

Rajiv Mathur, founder of Critical Care Unified

Delhi. Prior to Critical Care Unified, Rajiv has held various leadership positions in prominent organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, ICIM, DCM group and HCL. Rajiv’s vision of home healthcare service conjoins smart use of technology with stellar medical expertise for optimal results and an exceptional experience for all stakeholders – the patient, the treating doctor and the patient’s family. Here he talks about home healthcare market in India and how his company will create a niche segment in home healthcare market

What is the current scenario of home healthcare market in India?

The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a torrid pace, majorly due to its widened and strengthened coverage of services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players.

Home-based health care in India is gaining traction and is on the cusp of a major transformation. Once an unorganized and fragmented sector, it is fast catching the attention of entrepreneurs and investors and is emerging as an organized, technology-led industry with standards and protocols.

Home healthcare market in Asia is projected to grow at 9.7% by 2020, chiefly because of the high unmet medical needs coupled with swift improvement in healthcare infrastructure in emerging markets such as India. The Indian market is at a nascent stage but with significant potential. The Indian market is currently estimated at over USD 3 billion p.a. and growing at 20%+ annually. This industry has promising prospects as almost 80% of the non-surgical care that is currently given in a hospital can be delivered in the home setting, with the proper use of technology.

 In terms of opportunity what is the size of the market?

The home healthcare market in India, currently estimated to be a $2 billion to $4 billion-a-year opportunity, is driven by an aging population, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the need for better quality post-operative and primary care.

While there are tremendous opportunities to enter this market, India still spends only around 4.2% of its national GDP towards healthcare goods and services (compared to 18% by the US). Additionally, there are wide gaps between the rural and urban population, which pose as a key challenge.In India, 70% of the population resides in rural areas with limited or no access to hospitals and clinics. Consequently, the rural population mostly relies on alternative medicine and government programmes available at rural health clinics. One such government programme is the National Urban Health Mission where they pay individuals for healthcare premiums, in partnership with various local private partners, and these initiatives have proven ineffective to date.

What per cent of the market is serviced by the existing service providers?

While no reliable data is available, suffice it to say that existing service providers are currently are scratching the surface of home healthcare market. The bulk of the services are being provided in metros whereas, a huge demand exists in smaller cities.

Growth can be possible with a twin approach:

  • enhancing and training the resource base to provide services professionally in the home environment
  • use of technology for implementing Tele-health and monitoring

Home based critical care demand is on the rise what is the reason for it?

Home-based critical health care in India is increasing at a rapid pace. One of the key demand drivers is the cost of such services in a hospital. Coupled with this is the inconvenience of re-admissions when treatments are a long term affair. With the availability of an integrated approach that combines appropriate medical expertise required for Critical Care and supply and installation of relevant equipment, consumers are gravitating towards availing these services in the comfort of their homes.

With increasing use and integration of technology, the market for Critical Care at home is poised for rapid growth.

How is AI and IOT helping home healthcare?

For Indian healthcare, the blend of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a game-changer for the sector. The challenge is to introduce new-generation solutions in the Indian healthcare landscape at the primary care level, with emphasis on preventive care.

From increasing the accuracy of medical data and improving the precision of medical care to real-time access of patient reports for better responsiveness in emergency situations and facilitating continuous monitoring of patient status, the scope for development with IoT and AI is immense.

According to industry reports, the healthcare IoT market is expected to grow from $22.5 billion in 2016 to $72.02 billion by 2021, while the AI healthcare market is projected to grow to nearly $8 billion by 2022 from $667 million in 2016. Naturally, leading healthcare players, technology giants as well as innovative startups are making a beeline for the AI and IoT healthcare space.

Decreased cost, improved outcomes of treatment, reduced errors, improved disease management are some of the major advantages following the effective infusion of AI and Internet of Things into healthcare.This would lead to an enhanced patient experience. We can then expect proactive treatments,timely intervention by physicians, improved accuracy when it comes to diagnosis, and enhanced treatment outcomes,which will result in accountable care that is highly trusted among patients.

Alongside, it will pave the way for enhanced management of drugs, which contribute to major expense in healthcare. With IoT processes and devices, it is possible to manage these costs better.

Is affordability still an issue for home healthcare? How can this be tackled?

No, affordability is not an issue. It is a cost-effective alternative, approximately 30 to 40% less than hospitalization in chronic disease management and65 to 75% lower in critical care management.For example, a typical cost of stay in an ICU in a hospital could range between Rs. 35,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- a day; whereas, putting up an ICU facility at home complete with equipment and medical expertise would range between Rs. 7,500/- to Rs. 10,000/- a day. Another example is a monthly package of recovery from stroke could cost between Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 30,000/- at home compared to Rs. 5,000/- a day at a hospital.

What are the plans of CCU for the India Market.

CCU has ambitious plans for expansion in the Indian market. Not only is expansion planned in metros nationally, with it’s strong focus on integrating technology in home healthcare solutions, CCU will also address needs in Tier 1 and 2 cities where great demand exists. Therefore, CCU will grow both vertically in providing Critical Care and horizontally in addressing a larger number of cities.

CCU has already designed plans to significantly enhance the resource base and deploy technology to extend the reach in it’s pursuit of becoming a dominant player in the home healthcare space, with particular emphasis on Critical Care.

 

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