The Indian healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries. With an estimated size of 100 billion USD in 2015, the industry in India has the second largest compounded annual growth rate CAGR (11 percent) among all BRIC countries.
In the last decade, the Indian healthcare has made a substantial progress. The government has been trying to improve the standard of public health by making huge investments in the infrastructure.
Despite the various initiatives undertaken by the government and private players, the Indian healthcare ecosystem faces numerous challenges including an elderly population, a shift in the disease burden, inaccessibility to healthcare in the rural areas, manpower shortage, low insurance access, inadequate public sector investment and inconsistent quality standards.
There is a need for a major intervention and digital technology can prove to be a game changer and change the landscape of the Indian healthcare. Telemedicine can help bridge this gap and increase accessibility and quality of healthcare while reducing the cost of healthcare. It has helped bring down provider and patient costs as well as provide care in the most remote areas.
Telemedicine in India has helped revolutionize healthcare delivery in India where the majority of the population lives in rural areas and is still struggling with poor access to healthcare. Telemedicine has helped in providing access to qualified healthcare providers, specialized consultations, timely diagnosis, effective course treatment to the rural population, hence bringing down the inconsistency in healthcare offerings between the rural and urban areas.
Telemedicine is one among the fast-emerging segments of health care that are gaining massive attention for its extensive growth and usage. As per a report by ASSOCHAM, India’s telemedicine market, which has been growing at a CAGR of over 20 percent, holds the potential to cross $ 32 million marks by 2020 from the current level of over $ 15 million.
With limited resources and much of population living in remote, rural areas (68 percent), telemedicine has the potential to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare in India, where there is a dearth of physicians and specialists. It is transpiring into one of the critical components that aides in quality healthcare delivery with major impact on cost and convenience and beyond.
Telemedicine has helped in increasing access to affordable healthcare and provide emergency and intensive care services with the aid of specialized professionals from urban areas. It has also helped in early diagnosis and treatment which has further enhanced health outcomes.
Telemedicine has created the possibility of remote monitoring of patients’ health by collecting and sending medical data through electronic means for immediate interpretation. From online appointment booking to teleconsultation, patient management systems, online pharmacies, in-home health care and consultation in alternative medicine, telemedicine caters to a wide range of healthcare needs of the young and the old.
The increasing demands of the healthcare industry can only be met in the immediate future by employing new and innovative solutions. Shortage of doctors in rural areas, high patient volume, rapidly increasing availability of high-speed digital network and growth in the availability of hand-held monitoring devices are some of the factors that will lead to the growth of telemedicine in India and change the healthcare landscape. Overall, the rise of telemedicine has also been changing the current paradigm of health care, allowing improved access to patient care along with enhanced health outcome in cost-effective ways.