New Delhi: Technology-focused start-ups in the healthcare sector are helping bring down the cost of care by segregating each healthcare function and offering it as a specialized product or service to consumers.
By fragmenting each service like fitness, dietary supplements, hospital automations, and so on, the industry has now started catering to ‘consumers’ as opposed to ‘patients’, according to a study conducted by Kalaari Capital and Grant Thornton.
The study, titled BillionFit: Technology Redesigning Healthcare, looks at new-age healthcare start-ups like Practo, Curefit and GOQii.
Such start-ups are using data analytics, wireless interfaces, and cloud-based communication among others to bring down costs, it said.
The study narrowed down some important sub-segments in healthcare.
For example, the dietary supplements market in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12% over the next four to five years, according to the study. The wearables market is expected to assist this growth.
Along with dietary supplements, consumers are also using technology to monitor fitness levels using wearables and other fitness trackers and sensors. The fitness technology market in India is expected to double to $250 million by 2023, the study said. Close to 90% of this is expected to come from fitness wearables. However, smartphone penetration will be key a variable in its adoption.
Lack of digitised health records and the reliance on ‘people more than technology’, and medical and drug malpractices are some of the problems in the mainstream healthcare sector in India. Start-ups are also solving this using the cloud computing to store healthcare data and automating patient-doctor interaction.
Additionally, start-ups in the mobile health space use a mix of physical labour, portable devices and Internet based platforms to bring diagnosis and monitoring at the doorsteps of patients.
Fitness sector: dietary segment and wearables
Some of the emerging start-ups in the dietary segment include Truweight, Sprout Life Foods, Raw Pressery and Zago. These start-ups sell high-protein function foods offline, while start-ups like Curefit manage both food content and fitness training.
Emerging start-up brands in the fitness tech segment include Endomondo which uses mobile apps to track fitness levels, UE Lifesciences’ portable breast scanner, Sensoria’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based sportswear, and Athos, which integrates wearable sensors in clothes.
Hospital automation tech
Start-ups like ICT Health offers admission/revenue cycle management, while Practo helps automate the doctor consultation model by scheduling visits online. Attunes Technologies, Vita Cloud and Dr. Lal PathLabs are emerging start-ups that use cloud-based tech to automate hospital records, lab tests reports and medicine stocks.
Mobile health tech
Some of the emerging examples include Portea, Medwell Ventures, and Callhealth which bring healthcare services like lab diagnosis, tests, etc. directly to home. Companies like Healthcare at Home and Care 24 enable the patient to outsource specialised post-diagnosis care like managing post-surgery chronic pain, home IC and therapy.