Rising medical apps come as much-needed aid to healthcare in India
Healthtech in India is a growing industry. A report by the Confederation of Indian Industry [CII] and Deloitte found that the industry is worth $4.9 billion and is expected to grow 17% year-on-year. The healthcare sector itself is projected to be worth $280 billion by 2020.
Yet, despite this, there is still an issue with regards to the available treatment in the country. According to the same report, there is less than 1 physician for every one thousand patients in India, compared with 1.9 per every one thousand in China, and 2.5 in the US. The public healthcare system is broken, receiving less than 1% of India’s GDP, and 65% of Indians unable to access modern medicines.
The biggest cause of death in India is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for 24.8% of all deaths, and leads to someone in India dying from a heart attack every thirty-three seconds. But it is not just concerned with those more predisposed to suffering heart attacks. According to the Times of India, there is an increasing number of heart attacks among young people.
After cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease affects which is responsible for 10.2% of deaths each year, whilst tuberculosis is the third most common killer of Indian people, with 10.1% of citizens dying due to it per annum.
But some companies and organisations, such as Health Tech India and Portea, are looking for ways to help India’s healthcare problem. The privatisation of the healthcare sector has led to more and more companies adopting technology as a means to deliver efficient healthcare to patients and has led to the growing healthcare IT market in the country.
The Health Tech India conference took place between the third and fifth of February of this year. The conference was designed to provide a platform for companies to showcase the latest technology in the healthcare industry. It was supported by Government of India and Ministry of Health, as well as several associations within the healthcare industry.
The Pune region in the western state of Maharashtra is responsible for 4 out of 10 healthtech startups in the country. With around three hundred startups emerging from the area which have received around $200 million worth of investment.
To combat the heart attack epidemic, there are at least two organisations who have developed, or are developing, medical apps to assist citizens suffering from heart attacks.
One, The Heart App, helps users recognise signs of an upcoming heart attack so they can seek treatment. With many experiencing symptoms between twelve and seventy-two hours before suffering a heart attack, the app lets users search for symptoms and hopefully get themselves checked-in before disaster strikes. It is available for download on Android and iOS.
Another is Heart Attack, a recently developed app by the Cardiological Society of India, that finds victims of heart attacks the closest hospital with immediate available treatment. The app launches on September 29th, World Heart Day and will be available exclusively in Delhi, for the time being.
Finally, there is Portea, a platform which connects users with medical professionals for assistance with services such as vaccinations, pharmacies, doctor consultations, and lab tests. But instead of having users book appointments online and having them travel to a clinic to wait fo be seen, Portea offers home visits. This should go a long way in assisting the aforementioned 65% without access to medicine.
The spread of internet availability across the country has given many citizens access to technology that without a connection, they would never be able to experience. Because of this, many more Indian citizens are able to receive the necessary healthcare required. These platforms are offering patients effective and vital tools in their quest for better health.
India has problems regarding proper healthcare, but with further penetration from healthtech startups and organisations they seem to be starting to solve that crisis.