Is India Ready for Telemedicine transitions post Covid
There are several reasons why India can be a good market for telemedicine services. The country has a huge population, well-educated people and a wide range of technology products. The convergence of these technologies can make remote medicine practical for many patients. There are problems, however, with telemedicine and there are already companies working in this field.
Telemedicine is the ability to diagnose patients through telecommunication methods, which has great potential in India. India is going to be the hub for telemedicine services in the world. Over the next few years, telemedicine services are going to become widely available, both in urban and rural areas.
Telemedicine is a portable form of healthcare that provides doctors with an opportunity to interact with patients via video conference or the option of answering patient questions remotely. These services are becoming more commonplace in health care. With the rapid growth in telemedicine services over the past few years, more patients across India now have access to telemedicine services than ever before.
Why it is important
Telemedicine is now a major delivery method for health services in India, with many services offered at very nominal prices. The sector faces several challenges, including low entry barriers for providers, technical competency and cost control. Telemedicine providers need to differentiate themselves through service quality and cost-effectiveness.
Telemedicine provides an easy option to meet customers virtually which can save a lot of time and hustle for both the customer and provider. Act as a boon for elderly patients, facing problems in going outside. Providing proper healthcare to patients suffering from chronic disease can be an easy job by using telemedicine practices. The hospital can now use trained agents to provide consultancy services to the customers.
India as a big country always faces the scantiness of healthcare workers. According to reports, India has one allopathic doctor serving at least 1,511 people, whereas the world health organisation says every country should have one doctor on every 1,000 people. Not only this, India faces scarcity in terms of trained nurses having a ratio of 1:670 against the WHO norm of 1:300. Being an overpopulated country India always suffers from a shortage of hospital beds. This problem can only be solved by using telemedicine as an alternative.
Types of Telemedicine
Telemedicine consists of three main types which are used to take care of the patient with the help of telecommunication methods
Store and forward - As suggested by the name, It eliminates the need for the medical practitioner to meet with the patient in person. The patient can instead provide specialists with information such as medical images and bio signals as needed upon acquiring them. Several medical fields, including dermatology, radiology, and pathology, use this technique.
Remote monitoring – remote monitoring is using a range of technological devices to monitor the health and clinical signs of a patient remotely. Medications such as this are used extensively in the treatment of chronic diseases like Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, and Asthma.
Real-time interactive service - Patients who require immediate medical attention can receive immediate advice through interactive services. Phone calls, online chats, and sometimes home visits are used for this purpose. The patient can provide a medical history and consult about symptoms, followed by a similar assessment as what is usually conducted during face-to-face appointments.
Market and supply now
The recent increase in the adoption of telemedicine by primary healthcare providers and patients themselves has spurred providers to explore new business models focusing on securing costs, enhancing patient care and utilizing new technology to improve workflow. Providers are balancing technology available today with pursuing additional efficiencies
While the pricing strategy may change over time, there are certain factors that continue to influence it. These factors include the consultants' experience, the experience of user base and demand, operating speed and quality, facility availability, technology issues, profitability and competition among other factors.
With a CAGR of 31% by 2025, the telemedicine market in India is expected to reach $5.4 billion by 2025. Rural healthcare services will be provided more effectively and at a lower cost, as well as reducing many infrastructural challenges. A number of new telemedicine platforms are emerging in India, including Phable, Practo, mFine, CallHealth, and Lybrate.