One of the primary goals of the Government is Healthy India. A healthy citizen not only increases the productivity of the country but also helps reduce the load on the government sponsored health schemes. However, there is still a long way to go.
Sensing this opportunity many Health Tech startups entered the Health Care market with their unique offerings. It is true that most of the offline healthcare systems are not using digital technologies for patient care.
It is also true that correct use of tech can change not only patient experience but we can also move to a healthier India. But as major chunk of startups face many challenges, Health Care Tech startups are no exception.
Health Tech Startup Challenges
The goal of every health tech startup is to provide better and affordable healthcare to those who need it. According to the reports, majority of Indian healthcare tech startups are focused on preventive cure, convenient services & health management among many others. But there are certain health tech startup challenges that are stopping them from achieving their goals easily, namely
For any startup, it is important to have patience and capability to tackle the ups and down. Slow growth is one of the major factors that healthcare system needs to understand.
An age-old system which works by giving the medical practitioners demi God status, would take time to change. There is a need to do a lot of hard work to keep oneself motivated and to grow.
There is this example of Practo, who received their first funding after three years, and about 7 years to reach today’s position.It is tech and we usually do not associate tech with such long gestation periods.
It clearly means one should have patience to stay on & believe in the idea fully well. Just like the environment, the competition too will never be easy, but the only thing which one needs to do is maintain a regular focus on value proposition for the user,and keep doing it regularly. Alas, only few of the startups are able to do this.
The business does not give enough freedom to express the innovative thinking. General healthcare organizations are linked with the Government and the Government has some rules and regulations.
Most of the policies are unclear that create confusion in the workplace. A few specialists might think that it is risky to participate in the industry because of the similar reasons.
The bureaucracy moves slowly as many lives depend on even a small policy change. The sector is governed by stringent laws and it should be as it deals with the human life. The sector is infested with quacks and alternative unregistered treatments but lack of access to good yet affordable medical care means that there is enough local market for such people as well.
However, a health tech startup would need to follow all compliance’s from day 1 even though the cost of such compliance could be killing enough.
Doctors are tough
According to the study, it is calculated that the doctor-patient ratio in India is as bad as 1:1700, and in rural areas the ratio goes down to 1: 160,000. The number of doctors is inadequate in our country and hard to acquire.
Even they do not have time to look up to the digital technologies through which they can do better. Getting hold of the doctors today is very tough.
They are overburdened, treated with a lot of respect and this creates a huge entry barrier in making them adopt new technology that can change their and their patients’ lives in the long term.
The development of the sector is moderate which makes it difficult to adapt. With few startups in this in healthcare space, there are not many plans of action to draw reference from. Thus the monetisation plan would be a trial.
Well being tech new businesses, regardless of whether as doctor-patient platforms, specialist, lab aggregates, have discovered it extremely difficult to earn back the original investment or even find an effective model.
As the industry manages the lives of the people, individuals – most take it for granted that it is the duty of the health care professionals, Government, and hospitals to treat them even if they are not able to recover their costs.
The social point related to the business is one of the significant root causes that it’s tough to monetize in education, healthcare, and in other sectors.
Lack of healthcare mentors in India
Right mentors, partners, and experts are essential for any startup because right mentors guides you regarding the plans of new businesses, positive and negative points of any startup, way of doing business, and how to use a strategy so that you can analyze each and everything very clearly.
Well-trained medical professionals are essential in healthcare organizations but are in limited supply given the vastness & sheer numbers of our country.
The number of investors and mentors is very less which is another challenge for health tech startup. As most of the startups fail in this sector, investors are naturally apprehensive about investing.
Need to connect with technology
From last many years, we are using internet and now we cannot imagine our life without it. In recent times, Internet of things have been added so many opportunities to consumers and business.
IOT simply means making decisions on the basis of analytics which includes extracting data, processing data, and storing data. This helps in predicting the outcomes and also helps in taking the best preventive actions.
Healthcare sector is the fast adopting, as IOT helps boost productivity, reduce cost, and improve the quality. This is the way through which one can also boost patient engagement.
Just think of a BP/ECG monitor connected to a central system. Precious seconds can be saved that can save many lives.
Add to it advanced robotics, then you are talking about solutions at the supply end.
Health Tech startups are working on supply side, demand side and also on preventive care side. They need right mentoring, timely fund infusions & policy support to bring a visible change in the Health Care Industry.
We await the change with a lot of hope, are you the one bringing it?