Last 18 months have been brilliant for technology companies in the healthcare space. Macro trends have started to emerge, paving way for possible consolidation in the next four to six quarters. Practo is clearly leading the doctor booking/discovery space, and players like Lybrate with differentiated products are creating their own niches. Companies like NetMed and Ziggy have raised tens of millions in pharmacy delivery. There is also lot of activity in the EHR/data analytics space, but the focus is towards the developed markets.
Here is a brief overview of the market, the problems faced today, and possibly how the future would look like in the next three to five years.
There are three kinds of healthcare markets in the world, and each has its unique set of problems and appetite for disruption.
Most of this inefficiency/corruption is difficult to prove and thus not documented openly. However, anyone wanting to solve major problems in healthcare must be aware about it and account for it in their models.
Most doctors take kickbacks, in either cash or kind, to market all other healthcare-related services – hospitals, pharmaceutical brands, and diagnostic centres. These kickbacks are significant in value and not only add to the overall costs, but adversely affect the quality of treatment by limiting choice.
It is difficult to question the authority of doctor and there is no way of knowing how good or bad their opinion is. User reviews and information displayed in appointment booking portals can only help in determining the customer experience, but they don’t talk about patient care outcomes. A better indicator would be assessing long-term patient care outcomes, cost of treatment for a set of symptoms, and mortality rate among similar cases – compared across doctors.
A) Discovery and information
B) Preventive healthcare
Customised preventive health check-ups based on patient history and lifestyle (something we are trying very hard to perfect at Medd).“Instead of just waiting for a doctor — could you get a test every quarter and begin to look at your biomedical data similar to how you look at your credit card data” – Elizibeth Holmes
E) Consequences and outcomes
Health tech is the next frontier for innovation with possibility of real impact happening. It will require far more than individual genius. The ability of the market to find an optimal solution, along with empathy of the policy makers will define our future.