According to the WHO, health technology refers to the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.Advancing health technologies increases the health care costs.Health is a major financial problem and a serious issue the world over. Investment in health technology is essential for long termfinancial stability and to improve efficiency, support consistent delivery of quality health care and to avoid high-cost inpatient settings.
According to an ICRA industry report on Healthcare, India invested 5.1 % of its GDP on health in 2001. The health market is estimated at $30 billion and includes retail pharmaceutical, healthcare services, medical and diagnostic equipment and supplies. The private sector dominated in the health care market and this increased participation by the private sector in healthcare services is stimulating change in the Indian healthcare industry.Government of India has endorsed tariff and non-tariff measures that have further stimulated health care marketdevelopment by allowing more hospitalsto offer critical care services. These investments are expected to lowered health care cost for patients suffering fromlife threatening diseases.
The Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Indian Healthcare Federation estimatesthat there is an investment opportunity of approximately US$25 billion over the next 8-10 years to establish health technologiesand other facilities that will put the sector on the global healthcare map.
Health information technology improves the delivery of healthcare services and efficiency levels. Telemedicine improves accessibility of to health care facilities for the patient living in remote areas. Telemedicine has a great investment potentiallyin that is changing the lives of over 600 million people in rural India.
Many people in India have access to cell phones that opens for a potential healthcare in the form of mobile health solutions.Investments in VAS (Value Added Services) related to health will be a major investment & revenue generator. Telemonitoring reduces hospital and emergency room visits.Telephonic disease management increases enrolment rates.In metropolitan cities, mostpeople have access to Internet. Telehealth has a great investment potential and is the key to success of chronic and rural healthcare.
Laboratory & diagnostic services: imaging and pathology labs
Outsourcing of laboratory testing and diagnostic services is set tobecome big business in India. According to a study on theIndian healthcare industry, the US$ 864 million diagnostics andpathology laboratory testing business is growing at a CAGR of20 per cent. As part of its cost-cutting efforts, Britain maycontemplate shipping blood and urine samples from NationalHealth Service (NHS) patients to India for clinical tests andget the test results over the Internet.
The biomedical devices market in India is unofficially estimated at around US$ 1.5 billion and about 80 per cent of this is met through imports. Cardiology equipment constitutes about 20 percent of the total market, followed by imaging systems -accounting for 15 per cent. Telemedicine services can create a demand for diagnostic medical equipment such as X Ray machines, CT scanners, Doppler’s ultrasound scanners and electrocardiographs.
In conclusion investment in health technology is beneficial for both the health care provider and for the patient. Health technology has a potential to reduce health care cost the by shifting care away from higher cost inpatient settings and the benefits associated with this technology are projected to outweigh investment cost. Rising opportunities bringan increasing number offoreign investors to India.