The Role of Healthtech Firms in Revolutionizing Primary Care in Rural India
The entire field of healthcare has experienced a drastic change since the advent of technology. While several sectors adopted technology at quite a rapid pace, the healthcare industry has faced a small amount of resistance with the same. However, in recent times, the entire healthcare industry has paced itself up to adopt these trends in technology to improve the ultimate quality of care. However, while the healthcare setting in urban areas has been fast enough to adopt technology, rural India has still not reached its mark. There are several aspects of healthcare in rural India that largely affect the quality of care provided. One of the main challenges in the earlier times used to be the lack of technology available in rural areas that made different aspects of healthcare challenges.
However, there have been several healthtech startups and companies that have been working towards improving the quality of healthcare in rural areas by introducing different technologies and methods to aid the entire system. Healthtech startups in India have come a very long way. With a series of technologies such as IoT, AI, ML and others, there has been a tremendous revolution across different departments in healthcare. These healthtech firms have changed the entire scenario of healthcare with respect to making healthcare equipment reasonably priced to facilitate primary care, improving the health outcomes of patients in rural India.
The increase in trend
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, most healthtech startups have been focusing on improving and enhancing access to a better quality of healthcare. The convenience of accessing healthcare has also been a parameter that these startups have been focusing on. There has been a rise in innovative solutions that have been formulated to address and deliver a good quality of patient care. For instance, many of these healthtech firms have also introduced the concept of 24/7 primary care to make sure that patients can avail themselves of the care they need at any time. This also allows hospitals in rural India to cater to the healthcare needs of the rural population instead of having them transferred to an unban healthcare facility.
There have also been other healthtech firms that have introduced tracking algorithms that keep a track of different vitals of the patient such as heart rate, blood pressure, sleep cycle, metabolism, blood sugar levels, and many others. This allows hospitals to track patients better and gain a comprehensive understanding of the patient. Ultimately, this approach contributes to an increased quality of care with time.
Changing the dialogue
In the entire layout of rural India’s healthcare challenges, one of the main aspects that faces the most challenges is the amount of access that is provided in rural areas. Across the entire supply chain of the hospital setting from general medical practitioners to tertiary care hospitals, providing necessary access to the patients has been a recurrent challenge. It is important to note that care has been undergoing a continuous process of shifting from the hospital to a clinic.
One of the main reasons for adopting this method of technology with respect to healthcare is due to the significant amount of population in rural India that is devoid of primary care. Plenty of individuals fail to meet their primary care needs mainly due to accessibility issues and challenges. The shift from traditional methods adopted in healthcare to a more digital aspect has helped provide better care especially in the subset of primary care. This has helped the healthcare industry grow and expand its infrastructure on the whole.
The shift to technology
While several markets in the west have adopted technology in their healthcare systems, the same may not be reflected in the Indian ecosystem. One of the key reasons for this change in adoption is that India is a consumer-led healthcare ecosystem. There are several other aspects that vary between the west and India. In India, a very marginal amount of patients use insurance. Moreover, there is zero outpatient insurance available in the current scenario.
With several challenges as such, the introduction of technology and aiding softwares by several healthcare firms have helped revolutionize the field of primary care in rural India. The contributions by these firms have allowed healthcare facilities to provide better primary care outcomes while simultaneously improving patient satisfaction and engagement rates.
Overall, primary care in rural India has been underserved for decades. With the introduction of healthtech firms primarily focusing on improving reach, accessibility and the quality of care, this scenario has experienced a shift. Better healthcare and better health outcomes have been made a possibility by these firms.