How healthtech startups are impacting regional healthcare ecosystem

With digital health setups such as phygital centers, online appointments, online booking for diagnostic tests, and the availability of home delivery of medication, the reach of healthcare in regional and rural areas is no longer an issue.
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There has been increased disruption in the field of healthcare over the past few years. Since the pandemic, the entire globe has experienced this trend across different sectors, with the healthcare sector being at the forefront.

There have been several different types of innovations coming up in the healthcare field that have led to a monumental change to the infrastructure and operations of the sector. The first half of 2020 experienced a peak acceleration of digital health activity across the world. More importantly, it also had a great impact on the regional healthcare ecosystem.

Rise of healthtech startups and accelerators

The year 2020 saw a boost in the number of healthtech startups. These startups were spread across different departments of healthcare such as telehealth, radiology, diagnostics, therapeutics, and others. Overall, it contributed in improving the quality of healthcare offered to the public. Moreover, these new innovations also bridged several pre-existing gaps that were prominent in the healthcare sector.

The rural parts of the country had several shortcomings with respect to accessibility, quality of care, and others. With healthtech startups and the digital invasion in healthcare, these gaps were bridged in the most effective manner.

In addition to the rise in healthcare startups, there were several different initiatives launched by the government as well as private venture capital firms to support the increase in innovation. These accelerator programmes provided various kinds of support such as funding, mentorship, etc.

Impact of digitisation on regional healthcare systems

Earlier, rural and regional areas experienced lack of access to quality healthcare. However, digitisation has worked wonders in this area. With digital health setups such as phygital centers, online appointments, online booking for diagnostic tests and blood tests, and the availability of home delivery of medication, the reach of healthcare in regional areas is no longer an issue.

In addition to bridging accessibility issues, digitisation has also allowed for increased and more accurate analytical validity. Identifying the different metrics of a person’s healthcare data and using different ML and AI algorithms allows scope for prediction of potential downfalls and early intervention.

In essence, early intervention can help drastically reduce surgical intervention by 99 percent and improve the quality of life of a patient and can also reduce the potential risks associated with the treatment of a particular condition.

Moreover, having electronic health records also not only allows for easy transfer of a patient's profile and medical files but also can help in identifying future disease in advance to another establishment or hospital if needed. Doing so ensures better quality of care and also enhances the level of personalisation for patients.

Clinical utility is another important aspect to consider with healthcare digitisation. With respect to clinical utility, some of the most important areas that can be benefited are intervention, quality assurance, pilot trials, analysing health risks, identifying economic benefits, availability of facilities and personnel, and monitoring of the patient.

Role of established firms across healthcare ecosystems

While healthtech startups and small-sized businesses or companies have had a strong foot into improving healthcare, some of the established companies have also contributed. These companies typically have a surplus amount invested in research and development to make further advances down the line. This, they believe, will significantly contribute to the evolution of the regional healthcare ecosystem.

One of the main functions of these tech giants is that they will supply the underlying capabilities across the different layers of healthcare based on its need.

While these tech giants have the resources required to create monumental change in the field of healthcare, it is also key to consider the role of healthcare professionals in this chain of decision making.

Including healthcare professionals and medical experts can be greatly beneficial as it can help provide meaningful outcomes in the healthcare sector. Healthcare stakeholders have partnered with these tech giants to enforce certain rules and policies surrounding healthcare such as the HIPAA compliance rule, privacy and security, patient confidentiality protection, and others.

As a result, many tech giants have inculcated this process, thereby helping expand several healthcare facilities across different areas at an inexpensive cost.

Moreover, it has also helped hospitals reach their goals on a massive scale as these tech giants have the right resources that aids mass expansion. This has resulted in contributing towards bridging the gap of lacking amenities, lacking resources, and poor accessibility.

In a nutshell

The improvements in healthcare in recent times have resulted in improved outcomes for patients and other stakeholders. Both healthtech startups and established companies have played a role in contributing to this change in the regional healthcare ecosystem. Moreover, several accelerator programmes and funding opportunities have also helped throughout this process.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)