Wearables, IoT devices, healthcare apps have significantly increased digital health access points for customers. The evolving nature of the digital health industry in India can be witnessed through the improved personalization and value-added services delivered to the consumers. To further multiply the digital health touchpoints, new healthcare delivery models are coming up to cater to specific healthcare needs and deliver a satisfying experience. Below are a few emerging healthcare delivery models:
1. On-Demand Healthcare
The healthcare industry is beginning to welcome on-demand services for consumers who are already accustomed to receiving services anytime and anywhere from demand-driven brands such as Zomato, Uber, etc. Among the various digital healthcare services, e-pharmacies in India such as Medlife, Pharmeasy, have made a significant profit by making medicines and drugs available to customers in no time.
Quick booking of appointments, receiving digital medical reports, settling medical fees online, scheduling doctor visits, all of this can be done through smartphones. On-demand healthcare is gathering attention among consumers, especially millennials, needing mental health counseling, follow-up appointments, and quick recovery from wounds and minor illnesses. Due to the provision of healthcare anytime and anywhere, reduced expenses due to lessened hospital visits, deep interaction with patients, the on-demand healthcare model is growing. Express Care offered by Cleveland Clinic allows patients to consult virtual doctors in matters of non-life-threatening conditions like allergies, rashes, or back pain.
This model also allows medical practitioners to work flexibly, depending on their schedule. It also lets the doctors appoint and cancel the dates of visits depending on their availability. For instance, besides being a clinical app for patients, Doctor on Demand has features such as email, payment system, messaging, etc. that help doctors to manage their patients.
2. Social Health Networks or Peer-based health networks
This model allows people and medical professionals to share views and hold discussions on health-related issues. This model also allows the doctors to address people’s health issues without any geographical barrier, motivates people to share their health experiences, and facilitates health literacy. As people belonging to different age groups are well versed and active on social media, social health network serves as an effective solution to encourage people to look after their health and provide emotional support to others. Any platform based on this model can also push people to create awareness through health-related campaigns.
This model also facilitates maximizing health-related conversations and allows the exchanging of information among patients, medical professionals, and doctors- one-to-many and many-to-many conversations between patients-patients, doctors-patients, doctors-doctors. Even though this model is still at its developing stage, it is sure to gain momentum because people are starting to be upfront about their health problems, especially mental health issues. Organizations following this model can also leverage health data and provide effective health solutions. HealthUnlocked is a social networking service that empowers patients and promotes relevant health-related content. It focuses on building online support groups where patients can give health recommendations and insights to other patients. Medikoe launched We, a social network that publishes health-related content from qualified doctors and allows patients to connect with doctors. It is like any other social media where people can follow health professionals, and search, share, like health-related articles. It also encourages people to take up health challenges and updates people on upcoming health campaigns.
3. Proactive Intervention
Chronic diseases account for more than 55% of total deaths in India. Increasing awareness and the use of healthcare technologies are prompting people to opt for preventive healthcare services to manage unexpected health issues. Proactive care lessens the chances of health deterioration through active dialogues between doctors and patients. Telemedicine is one such way through which health outcomes can be improved. As it facilitates easier transmission of patient data and increased access to HCPs, it holds the potential to reduce the mortality rate in India. This instant healthcare service provider model also allows remote monitoring of patients as health records can be transmitted in no time.
As the model is compatible with wearable sensors, medical information such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc. can be monitored easily which helps in the early detection of diseases such as asthma, hypertension, heart-related diseases. Fitness trackers that are compatible with mobile applications help people in monitoring their health data as well. Health Care Originals developed ADAMM, an intelligent asthma monitoring wearable system that is attached to the upper body. It detects symptoms of asthma attacks- body temperature, heartbeat, cough rate, etc. Rubi Life is a MedTech company that uses nanotechnology in an elastic maternity band to monitor fetal activity in high-risk pregnancies. It sends alerts to the mother’s phone in order to prevent premature births, stillbirths, and to also avoid negative outcomes.
4. Personalised Medicine & genomics
This model aims to improve the effectiveness of medicine by leveraging the patient’s health history, genetic characteristics, and lifestyle. Personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine improves health outcomes without any side effects. The unique genetic composition of patients helps in predicting disease and curing it before it starts affecting the body. This model disrupts the one-size-fits-all model as it takes into consideration the genomic composition and forms a pattern by observing a body’s reaction to drug dosages, thus promising accuracy.
This model also reduces the trial and error inefficiencies and proves to be beneficial for medical professionals as it can reduce the failure and cost of pharmaceutical trials.
K&H Personalised Medicine Clinic is the only healthcare facility in Hyderabad, India that provides personalized healthcare based on genomics, DNA analysis, and a patient’s medical history. As the genes are affected by diet, exercise, stress levels, and environmental factors, the K&H clinic takes into consideration all these factors to form a proper treatment strategy.
The emerging healthcare delivery models are aiming for cost-effective solutions that can save time and instantly cater to patient needs digitally. The digital healthcare market is growing at a compound annual growth of 27.41% during 2019-2024, and according to a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, telemedicine services in India have the potential to replace in-person consultations by 30-40%. This shows that people are appreciating contactless solutions and are used to immediate gratification. While some of the healthcare delivery models are still at their nascent stage in India, some are experiencing good growth. As digital health consumers are starting to demand more, the emerging healthcare models have to make sure that they cater to their diverse needs instantly and efficiently. Moreover, as healthcare facilities are unevenly distributed, the upcoming healthcare delivery systems should also make sure to maximize their touchpoints in order to reach every corner of the country.
Know about our work in Digital Health and how we have helped clients such as Suraksha Diagnostics, Abbvie, Religare Health Insurance, and SBI Health Insurance build mobile and web applications improving their operational efficiency and customer experience.
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