Since the early 2000s, India has been making considerable efforts towards its goal of digital health innovation. The country has developed cutting-edge technology in areas such as telemedicine, mHealth, and eHealth. This is in part due to India’s growing populous and its corresponding need for innovative healthcare solutions. With an ever-growing population, the country needs to have a strong digital health infrastructure in place.
The growth of India’s digital health space in 2022
The digital health space in India was expected to further expand by 2022. As the year entered into the frame, the growth was fuelled by multiple factors.
The 2010s witnessed the introduction of the National eHealth Authority (NeHA) in 2016. NeHA is responsible for developing and implementing a national eHealth strategy for the next decade.
Another success milestone was the introduction of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission brought into the public domain in January of 2022.
These initiatives helped to create a cohesive vision for the sector and encouraged investment from both private and public entities. The objective of the government has been to promote innovation in digital health and market it as a means of immediate alternative.
Another contributing element has been the relative ease of access to technology. With over 700 million smartphone users, the pandemic period saw a significant surge in the use of mobile health (mHealth) apps and services.
As most of the working population stayed within their homes giving personal health a higher priority, online healthcare access grew in demand simultaneously.
In addition, the number of internet users also increased sharply, reaching over 550 million in 2022, up from 460 million in 2017. These opportunities prompted e-health companies to provide online healthcare services such as telemedicine, online consultations, and remote patient monitoring.
Reasons behind the growth
The Development of India’s Digital healthcare sector can be attributed to multiple reasons. First things first are the Indian government’s increasing support of the digital health space, with initiatives such as the “Digital India” program and the establishment of a Digital Health Authority.
Second, is the steadily growing widespread awareness about healthcare. With the increasing income potential and better living standards, there has been a growing awareness among Indians about the benefits of using digital technologies for healthcare purposes. As a result, people don’t want to take any second chances when it comes to a good and fit, healthy body.
Thirdly, technological advancements. Crucial online health space advancements have made it possible for providers to offer more innovative and easy-to-avail solutions that meet the needs of patients. This promotes the aspect of affordable healthcare, especially with the middle-class and lower-middle-class populations in mind.
The growth of India’s digital health sector is also being influenced by the growing expenditure in the healthcare segment. The country’s healthcare expenditure is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13% between 2017 and 2023, reaching Rs 10 trillion (US$ 149 billion) by the end of 2023. This will positively impact upcoming developments in new digital health platforms and solutions.
The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the rise in awareness about the benefits of digital health solutions, and the government’s initiatives to promote digitization in the healthcare sector, serve as a shining example of their efforts in terms of revolutionizing the healthcare sector and making it available for all those who may need it.
As a result of these developments, India is likely to emerge as one of the world’s leading countries in terms of digitized healthcare by 2022. This will benefit both patients and providers alike, as it will enable faster diagnosis and treatment, increased efficiency, and reduced costs.
The future look for India’s digital healthcare space in 2023 and beyond
The future of India’s digital health space is looking very bright in 2023 with a sharp focus on 2030. There are some reasons for this, such as the increasing demand for online, 24/7 health services, the growth of mobile technology, and the expansion of e-commerce.
One of the key drivers of India’s digital health sector is the growing demand for quality healthcare services. This is being driven by both an expanding population and rising levels of affluence, along with a growing awareness of the benefits of using digital technologies to improve healthcare outcomes.
Another important aspect pushing the Indian health space forward is the rapid expansion of mobile technology. Over 60% of India’s population now has access to a mobile phone, giving rise to a large base of potential users for digital health services.
Hence, mobile phones are playing an increasingly important role in delivering health-related updates with initiatives such as m-health gaining ground rapidly.
And at last, one of the key drivers behind India’s impressive growth in the digital health space has been the rapid expansion of e-commerce. This has given rise to many innovative online platforms that are providing convenient access to high-quality healthcare services at affordable prices.
India’s digital health sector holds great potential. The citizens of this country require innovative healthcare solutions, and India has a strong IT sector that is well-equipped to develop such solutions. In the next five years, there will be a greater focus on preventive healthcare and more use of technology in healthcare delivery. The government is also expected to diversify its investments significantly in this sector, which will help drive innovation and growth. There are already several startups in this field that are making a significant impact and we can expect even more creative solutions to emerge in the coming years.
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