Innovation is the Key to Success for Startup

Date:   Friday , March 04, 2016

Headquartered in Kolkata, iKure Technosoft specializes in developing affordable and innovative solutions for collecting healthcare data in villages using either computers or mobile phones; thereby enabling doctors at multiple locations to collaborate and extend quality care to the rural patients.

India\'s healthcare market is growing at a strong CAGR of 16 percent, and is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020. The significance of healthcare as an economic development opportunity has increased manifold at both national and international level. India is rising as the fastest growing startup base worldwide and stands third in technology-driven product start-ups; the conducive ecosystem here holds great potential for healthcare start-ups.

However in order to tap the growing potential, innovation is the key to success. India\'s healthcare sector is notorious to change. As it provides huge opportunity for successful businesses to flourish, it also possesses a myriad of challenges which must be effectively addressed.

India\'s healthcare system is not only suffering from major underdevelopment, but it is also confronting multiple healthcare crises caused due to increasing population and disease overburden. Compared to its peer countries, India remains below in key healthcare indicators; including its allocation of services and healthcare professionals. For example, the ratio of doctors per 1000 population is 0.6 in India, whereas 3.31 and 1.53 in the U.S. and China. Similarly, the ratio of beds in hospitals is at a level below 1 (0.7) per 1000 population, whereas, global picture is starkly ahead of India. Moreover, insufficient hospitals, medical staff and high rates of morbidity & mortality in low income areas continue to be major challenges of healthcare system. Further, limited public healthcare expenditure weighs down the system that is already inadequate to its existing challenges.

A study by the organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports, per-capita spending on healthcare in India is only $157; way below compared with an OECD average of $3484. While health spending tends to rise with income, India stands below in healthcare expenditure, compared to any other OECD country.

With the current healthcare system offering no clear solution to tackle the healthcare challenges, technology innovation is the key to address the gap in new ways more effectively, with better quality and low costs. The changing ecosystem is witnessing a splurge of technology driven innovative healthcare models. As technology is becoming a major solution for improving accessibility and affordability of care across distant remote settings, the power of technology can be harnessed to achieve positive health outcomes. For example, it can be used for epidemic outbreak tracking, health workers\' training and capacity building as well for diagnostic support and supply chain management.

Outbreaks of communicable diseases like cholera, TB or dengue are common in rural settings. Technology can be used to capture and transmit data on disease incidence, which will create a positive impact in clinical outcomes such as reduced mortality, increased life span and decreased contraction of diseases in rural pockets. Additionally, the rural workforce gap can be bridged through technology training and capacity building. Empowering the core community members with technology training will improve healthcare delivery up to the last mile. The cadre of trained health workers will be a vital linkage between doctors, patients and community and can act as a first point of care where there are no formal healthcare facilities.

The indigenous potential of the technology to ameliorate the limitations of rural settings can also be used to provide secondary and tertiary care where access to specialists is limited. Thus, technology enabled healthcare solution can effectively bridge the rural-urban healthcare gap, facilitating care and coordination between patients and healthcare facilities. In the coming years, India\'s healthcare sector will witness its massive usage for healthcare service excellence.

While addressing the staggering demand in India, healthcare innovation is often hard to crack. It requires patience and perseverance, given the adamant mindset of the core community members. It is hard to persuade people to adapt to new technology and new ways of thinking. Thus, in order to achieve fulfilling results, it is important to study the market and know the real need on the ground.