a necessity for 21st century healthcare, Health News, ET HealthWorld
Co-founder and COO, Portea Medical
India’s healthcare industry is responsible for meeting the needs of over 1.3 billion people. The growing incidence of chronic disease among such a large population has created capacity challenges for conventional healthcare facilities, and this is where the demand for home medical equipment is soaring. By using medical devices and wearable clothing at home, people with noncommunicable diseases are able to comfortably self-monitor their vital signs in a better way. With the increase in life expectancy, the geriatric population is also growing faster than ever, propelling the demand for medical devices available in the home.
The medical device market in India is expected to cross the $ 50 billion mark by 2025. Device manufacturers around the world are monitoring this emerging demand rapidly and focusing on meeting it more effectively. . Artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are already increasingly integrated into these devices to improve decision-making, monitoring and performance capabilities. Unlike in the past, medical devices are no longer used exclusively by commercial healthcare providers, but also by end users. Households in India are familiar with portable devices such as blood sugar monitors, portable blood pressure monitors or heart rate meters etc.
The proliferation of home medical equipment is helping people reduce their reliance on clinical support and disease and diagnostic facilities for every need. It eliminates the need to spend time and money on chronic health tests such as blood sugar monitoring. Since most healthcare expenses in India are still borne by patients and their families, medical devices offer greater cost benefits to the economically weaker segments of society. Buying affordable home health devices helps them save on recurring costs of testing and make healthcare more accessible to them. Keeping this cost dynamic in mind, we are witnessing the focus of R&D programs on the development of less expensive and more precise equipment. The potential scale of demand for such devices in India is large enough to justify cutting costs without hurting the sustainability factor for device makers.
An encouraging aspect of this demand is that the majority of India’s population lives in Tier II, Tier III cities, small towns and rural areas of the country. The increase in demand in these areas bodes well and today, conventional and home healthcare providers are focused on improving the accessibility of medical devices in these areas. We are seeing the strengthening of device distribution channels in cities like Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Madurai and others that have so far remained under-penetrated.
This growth is driven by various factors such as increased awareness of health care needs as well as increased per capita income. Internet access and smartphones have reached almost all parts of the country and people are looking for a better quality of life, regardless of where they live. In addition to raising awareness of health solutions and possible medical devices, it is the growing burden of chronic diseases and also the recent pandemic epidemic that has greatly increased the demand for such equipment.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many apprehensions have arisen among people, especially those suffering from co-morbidities. These conditions require constant monitoring of patients’ vital signs and in the aftermath of the pandemic people prefer to do it at home. This is crucial for healthcare providers as well as for patients as home self-monitoring eliminates the risk of catching Covid-19 or other infections for caregivers and patients. In addition, modern medical devices offer remote monitoring facilities through the integration of the Internet and a smartphone. Healthcare providers can get real-time visibility of the patient’s condition without having to visit a physical facility such as a hospital or clinic.
Even when the spread of the pandemic is contained and things return to normal, medical devices will continue to play a key and facilitating role. They will ensure uniform and quality access to health care in every nook and cranny of the country, even where physical health and diagnostic facilities are not available. There is no doubt that healthcare transformation is a critical requirement and personal / portable medical devices are the future!
(DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily subscribe to them. ETHealthworld.com will not be liable for any damages caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly)