Financial management posted on : Jun 19,2018

Emerging Trends In The Online Sectors Of Indian Healthcare Industry

We all are aware how digital marketing has taken over the various sectors in India. When it comes to the healthcare industry, digital marketing is lagging behind by at least a couple of years but that doesn't mean the industry has stopped growing. Currently, as per the numbers in 2017, global healthcare is a trillion dollar industry and Indian healthcare sector contributed around $160 billion in 2017 which is almost double than what it was 5 years back.

There are various factors that have led to this kind of growth such as easier access to quality healthcare services, increase in income and increase health awareness. In addition to these, there has also been an increased demand for tier 2 and 3 cities for quality healthcare services as people all over India understand the importance of a good healthcare system.

India has an edge for sure when it comes to the healthcare industry as it is a large pool of healthcare professionals and the costs of overall medical care and surgeries are significantly lower as compared to the other Asian and western countries. This also makes us think as India being a possible medical tourism and research and development hub. Apart from having highly qualified personnel at a lower price, India also offers alternative medical therapies like Ayurveda and Yoga and also a widely English speaking country which makes us strange.

India’s obvious advantage is the large pool of medical professionals and the dramatically lower medical costs as compared to other Asian and western countries. The surgeries reportedly cost one-tenth of that in the US or Europe, making it a lucrative location for medical tourism and even R&D. Other than being widely known to be an English speaking country, alternative techniques like Ayurveda, Yoga and Unani make it stand out while being compared to other competitive regions.

If we are to believe the numbers, it is estimated that there will be over 550 million Internet users by the end of 2018. The online healthcare industry has led to a lot of productive health-related communication among people online. It is making people get easy access to doctors and also connect with patients having the similar health issues. People want to know about real stories not only to gain knowledge but also to be inspired by real life situations and how to overcome the same. With the available information online, doctors are sharing information globally and are most definitely improving the medical and health services across the world.

There are a lot of start-ups that have launched apps and websites where we can browse through the top doctors in your area or city and also find out what are the reviews of the doctors and how the patients experiences have been with the doctor. In today's time, we can just book a doctor's appointment by just pressing a click button on a website or a mobile app.

It's pretty obvious that with the increasing number of mobile phone users in India, mobile marketing has a tremendous potential. Through mobile apps and various other marketing strategies, these start-up companies are definitely going to have a great future. Today, even clinical research is moving on from traditional methods of paper data collection to all digital ways to research.

Challenges

As we all know, technology also comes with its own challenges. This trend of all the information is available online and interactions with millions of people lead to a lot of confusion among the people and at times few of them tend to self-diagnose or over analyze the situation leading to negative implications. It is extremely important that each patient understands that he or she can get all the information and guidance online but if they have a medical condition they should see a medical professional.

Secondly, in India building trust through online portals will be a challenge initially. Already few sections of the society are gaining trust in digital marketing and also lot of new gadgets like the smartwatches are in the market which helps us track our heart rate, our calories intake, etc but we all definitely need to work towards building people's trust and making technology available at a much more reasonable prices so that it can reach out to urban and rural population . If we are successful in achieving this balance there is no looking back for the online sectors in the Indian healthcare industry.

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