How Will 2024 Be For Healthcare?

2024 will be a very good year for healthcare. A lot of initiatives will see scaling up and resulting in viable/scalable and economical models according to Ramesh Kannan, Senior Partner, Somerset Indus Healthcare Fund

The healthcare industry will see a lot of emerging trends in 2024 backed by policy measures, a huge population base etc. Various sectors are likely to witness growth. A few of such initiatives have been captured here:

Home Care: One of the fast-emerging vertical is Home Care coupled with point-of-care devices, leading to a big surge in preventive care at home. Cardiology, Oncology, Diabetes, Hypertension, and many other specialities can be addressed at home initially. This is a huge boon where healthcare comes home.

Cancer Care: One of the fastest growing verticals coupled with technology and care at home is the oncology  vertical. Be it Radiation (Linear Accelerator), Medical (Chemotherapy) and Surgical, Technology is propelling growth in many parts of the country in large numbers to bridge the supply gap in cancer care. Fast-growing
shop and shop models are becoming very popular thanks to India-manufactured LINAC, technology-driven chemotherapy, and more effective Surgical Services.

Transplants: While kidney transplants have penetrated reasonably well, the emerging liver transplants and heart transplants are areas which will see significant progress. While an artificial heart is evolving, transplants are slowly  merging as a very key area for hospitals to expand and grow.

Insurance: It has evolved over a decade and finally we see green shoots in terms of health insurance trying to  garner a sizable chunk in the market in tier II and tier III cities. In addition, OPD insurance is growing fast and it can lead to optimal cost of treatment since care is now delivered by diagnosing early thereby treating early. Added to this is the corporate support for preventive care leading to acceleration of primary care coupled with preventive care, leading to early diagnosis, ultimately resulting in lower cost of treatment.

PPP: After the stupendous success in diagnostic care PPP is now emerging as an effective economical and  efficient tool to bring the government and private places together and enhance access to care. PPP in Oncology (Preventive and Treatment), Renal Care (Dialysis), Cardiology (Tele- ECG), Critical Care (Tele-ICU), Radiology (Tele-Radiology) and Pathology (Tele- Pathology) etc. are slowly finding a place in healthcare. In addition PPP in  the area of service of equipment particularly where the government is the biggest buyer of medical equipment is emerging as a very key segment.

Robotics: If there is something which captures the imagination of everyone in healthcare it is Robotics. One of the fastest-growing verticals, It is expected that robotics will change the future of healthcare by bringing in significant  improvement to the surgical process. All types of companies from the biggest to the startup are keenly exploring multiple options of Robots to change the way healthcare is delivered.

Financing: A significant number of reputed NBFCs are leveraging the growth of technology-lead players who can support innovative credit products resulting in access to care. Hospitals face a huge challenge in the receivable  from the government, public TPAs and companies are stepping in, backed by these NBFCs to pay the hospitals  upfront and recover the money when it is received. This is a huge boon to working capital starve enterprises.

OPEX Models: More and more end customers prefer to have equipment (small to medium) to be placed with them  and they buy reagents from the company to build a win-win model, this will mitigate investment but provide significant upside to execution capabilities. Going forward this could be the new norm.

Genomics: it has taken a  long time for genomics to finally make a mark both in terms of acceptability, clinical  oversee and cost benefit to the patient. Genetics and genomics are playing a significant role in identifying the root cause of diseases and the possible treatment. Though still evolving Genomic tests are being recognised in the prevention and diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, rare diseases etc.

M&A: Suddenly a significant action is seen in large M&A activities in the hospital segment. Coupled with this we notice healthcare spreading to tier II and tier III cities aided by technology, viable commercial models, optimal  consumable and Pharma cost etc.  What we see here is healthcare traditionally and there is a whole play happening in health tech which I will cover in the future. Overall healthcare is poised for a very robust and healthy 2024.


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