Digitalization in India
is spearheading the growth of innovative health tech startups, presenting a unique opportunity to resolve challenges facing the nation's public healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored accessibility, affordability, and availability in India's healthcare infrastructure.
Despite the low public investment and poor service quality, the rise in digitalization offers a silver lining. India's government and state bodies prioritize the health sector, leading to initiatives like the Unified Health Interface (UHI) under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). The UHI aims to connect patients and healthcare providers, facilitating discovery, payments, and access to health services across applications.
The digitization wave has also increased health tech startups, contributing to a burgeoning health industry projected to reach $5 billion by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 39%. An example of this impact is seen in Bidar, Karnataka, where a health tech startup effectively managed the second COVID wave.
To enhance public healthcare, there must be an increase in intent and investments, customized policies for specific geographies, and a more flexible, practical approach to training and upskilling healthcare professionals.