Investment In Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centres Needs To Increase Exponentially: Saurabh Kochhar

Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and CEO, Meddo Health speaks to BW Businessworld about healthcare trends in 2023 and the ask from the budget allocation

What should be the budget focus this year when allocating for healthcare? 

With COVID impacting China, the world looking for alternate producers of APIs and more start-ups coming in, the expectation from the 2023 budget focus should be an influx of more energy and capital in the existing initiatives. In order to strengthen the core programs on health, the investment in Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres needs to increase exponentially.  

It will also be interesting to see how the Government plans to leverage the rapid inflow of start-ups by refreshing its perspective on public-private partnerships like they are doing with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).  

How has the healthcare industry transformed in the last year? 

Digital health has seen the most movement in the last year, with even the Government eyeing this sector for massively accelerating the delivery of quality healthcare across the country. The creation of more than 30 Crore ABHA IDs is a testament that people are ready for a revamp of healthcare delivery within the country. The DHIS scheme announcement by the NHA is another step in the direction of improving digital transactions in the country.  

Aspects private players need to focus on in 2023?  

Adapting technology and the advancements being made in intelligent technology to improve care delivery for the patient, is one key aspect that I believe would shape up significantly in 2023. A variety of advancements are being made, from e-consultations and telemedicine to real-time diagnosis and access to digital therapeutics provided by immersion technology tools. With the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), robotics, and data management practices hospitals have become smarter, and workflows are enhanced. Machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable technology are all set to become critical tools for healthcare providers and organizations to perform more efficiently. 

One healthcare area that needs a push from the Government? 

Adaptation of technology but with ABHA, paving way for innovation from new HealthTech players providing a range of services like enhancing patient experience, enabling clinical decisions, remote health management, and niche services like PCOD / menopause management / fetal monitoring. Another area of HealthTech that should get significant attention is cyber security and the laws surrounding it.  

Healthcare trends we will see emerge in 2023? 

Enhancement in players on the supply side should continue to pick up traction, this also means that the patient, has access to a variety of information from multiple sources, is more aware, and seeks more transparency in the process. The concept of walk-in patients is also giving way to the preference for the convenience of at-home virtual consultations and/or treatments wherever possible. Customers also prefer digital storage over carrying papers and files around. Large chunks of primary healthcare will move to digital or remote at home. This would push more digitisation across the industry. All efforts of digitisation in the industry will push us closer to a more inclusive sector. 


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