Viewpoint: Health-Tech Startups Can Make India a True Innovation Hub
Whenever we talk about disruption in any industry, the existing gaps or snags within the space are the driving force behind it, especially when the gaps have reached a point of deficit. It is only at this stage of extreme deprivation that we see truly innovative solutions emerge. And there are plenty of examples to corroborate this fact. Be it the telecom revolution in India that took place in the late 90’s, led by the then newly formed private telecom sector in the country, or the more recent and still growing “Uber” led disruption for the public transport system in India or even the world. Most industries that have seen transformation at any point have benefited from the lacuna that existed before that particular industry was set on a path of resurrection.
If there is one industry in India today that is on the brink of such a disruption it is the healthcare industry. The healthcare sector, which stood at $73.92 billion in 2011, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 per cent to $280 billion in 2020 as per industry reports. This growth cannot happen without the right policy framework in place and infrastructure to support its growth. India currently spends 4.2 per cent of its GDP on healthcare, with just 1 per cent being contributed by the government, amongst the lowest globally.
So, yes, the government does have its work cut out as far as reform work and larger public spending participation is concerned. However, with the right balance of public-private partnerships the sector could benefit greatly from delivering technology-based solutions that increase health awareness and ultimately drive deeper engagement.