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  • Writer's pictureGagan Jha

TELEMEDICINE :- Revolution And a Business Investment Opportunity In an Indian Health tech Industry

Updated: May 19, 2021

Access to medical care is a virtuous and primary human right and it becomes an obligation for a nation to provide health services to all people irrespective of their locations, even in an area where services might be unavailable.  

Telemedicine is the solution to it.

WHO defines Telemedicine as, The distribution of health care services, where Patients and the healthcare professionals are separated at a distance. the health care professionals by using technologies of information and communication for the exchange of necessary and suitable information for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing medical education (CME) of health care providers, which are in the interests of advancing and caring of the health of individuals and their communities as a whole

History of Telemedicine in India

Telemedicine activities started in India in 1991, But the Indian government acknowledged the potential of Telemedicine in the year 2000. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) organized the first nationwide SATCOM based telemedicine network in 2001

The unprecedented pandemic ( COVID-19) has set a new benchmark for the Telemedicine / Digital health industry in India.

Pertaining to the current pandemic situation GOI launched new guidelines for `telemedicine, which were earlier governed by several statutory guidelines in India. A new regulatory framework may attract more investment to this segment as now have more clarity for this business model.

The future of Telehealth will not only be limited to distant consulting but a variety of applications in patient care, education, administration, and public health. It not only provide quality care to the number of masses but also served as a tool for research and evaluation and for continuing education for healthcare providers.

Scope and Market of Telemedicine in India

In India, around 65% -68 % peoples reside in rural areas where there is not enough healthcare facility and healthcare professionals. As per one report, there is a shortage of around an estimated 6 Lacs doctors and 2 Mn nurses in India. Currently, India only has a ratio of one government doctor for every 1,139 people approximately, But the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1:1,000, which shows there is a huge gap between the population and healthcare providers.

Telemedicine is an Industry that bridges the healthcare gap between rural India and urban India and can accomplish the unmet healthcare needs of such remote areas.

Telemedicine will shorten the time of consultations and improve the quality of healthcare services in remote village areas and even removing many of the infrastructural challenges. The telemedicine market in India is expected to reach $5.5 Bn by 2025 with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31%.

If properly implemented it may lead to a Digital boost, new startups/entrepreneurs in India through investment in this Digital space.

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