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India's preventive healthcare sector to reach $197 bn by 2025: Report

IANS | July 21, 2022 04:10 PM

NEW DELHI: India's preventive healthcare sector, which includes fitness and wellness, foods and supplements, early diagnostics and health tracking among others, is projected to reach $197 billion by 2025, accounting for approximately 36 per cent of the overall healthcare industry, said a report on Thursday.

According to the report by strategy consulting firm Redseer Strategy Consultants in collaboration with Chiratae Ventures and Amazon Web Services (AWS), India has traditionally focused on curative care as opposed to preventive care.

However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, preventive care has increased in importance across India, growing at a CAGR of 22 per cent during 2022-25, as compared to 15 per cent for the curative sector.

A survey conducted with over more than 1, 000 individuals reveals that at least 40 per cent of the respondents were highly inclined towards preventive health. Another survey conducted with a group of over 300 health-conscious individuals (HCIs) showed that they actively track different aspects of their health such as lifestyle, physical wellness, and more, to maintain and prolong wellness.

Further, the report revealed that these HCIs spend on an average between Rs 4, 000 and Rs 10, 000 on various preventive healthcare practices annually and are also willing to pay up to 50 per cent more in the future.

"India is looking to effectively deliver quality healthcare to a billion people through rapidly evolving technology that can provide affordable, accessible and personalised healthcare, " said Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman Chiratae Ventures.

More than 40 preventive healthcare technology (HealthTech) startups have raised approximately $1 billion in funding over the last three years to tap the preventive health opportunity across segments such as nutrition management, condition management, lifestyle monitoring, health checkups, and mental and physical wellness.

They are leveraging cloud computing to build and scale their applications, which generate, digitise and analyse vast amounts of health data using advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

For instance, over 30 per cent of the top 40 funded preventive HealthTech startups leverage AI/ML for use cases such as medical image analysis, document extraction, chatbots, personalisation, and health risk prediction.

The rollout of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) will further augment the availability of data and utilisation of these technologies.

"Cloud technologies like ML, analytics, and IoT have the potential to open new channels to help monitor health and wellness, decrease the cost of care, improve collaboration, make data-driven clinical and operational decisions, and enable faster development of new therapeutics and treatment paths, " said Kumara Raghavan, Head - AWS Startups India, Amazon Internet Services Private Limited.

Further, the report also said that not only startups, but diversified corporates and healthcare businesses, are entering the preventive health space by partnering with startups or building their own programs and digital platforms.

The Indian consumer is expected to benefit from the shift from curative to preventive, with the delivery of better health outcomes and lower healthcare costs

"Startups can unlock the potential of preventive healthcare in India by focusing on the 3A's -- awareness, accessibility and affordability for consumers. Creating more HCIs, tapping into existing ones and leveraging partnerships with corporates, providers, and insurers ways that can help move in this direction, " said Amitabh Kumar, Senior Manager, Redseer Strategy consultants.

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