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Consumers are warming to the idea of home healthcare providers to get complex procedures and diagnostics done without having to step out—even beyond the pandemic.

Though covid gave tailwinds to home health diagnostics, the industry is expected to continue growing at 15-19% a year to touch $13 billion by 2025 from $5.4 billion currently, according to Redseer Consulting.

In spite of a rising number of home healthcare startups such as Portea Medical, Care24, HealthCare at HOME (HCAH), Tribeca Care and hospital chain-led homecare services Apollo Homecare and Max@Home, only around 1% of India’s home healthcare market is organized, as consumers often opt for alternatives in their neighbourhoods.

Home healthcare includes critical care of intense respiratory and neurological ailments, physiotherapy, elderly care, and post-surgical care.

“Home healthcare is largely an unorganized market. This pushed organized firms to bring in newer solutions such as quarantine care during covid. Customers seeing a risk in contracting the virus, hospitals advising patients to leverage healthcare at home and insurers looking at new products for this segment are some key drivers for the home health diagnostics market in India,” said Kushal Bhatnagar, engagement manager, RedSeer.

With the fear of infection, customers are postponing diagnostics involving physiotherapy, while the demand for critical and post-surgical care has surged, which is pushing the organized home health care market to grow at 40% annually compared with 25% pre-covid, Bhatnagar added.

Meena Ganesh, managing director and chief executive officer, Portea Medical, said even insurance firms that didn’t cover this space earlier have started doing so.

“Individuals are willing to take complex hospital-based procedures at home now like chemotherapy, dialysis and post-cancer supportive care. That’s a shift in mindset. There needs to be a synergy between healthcare at home, at the facility, and through digital mediums. While people have experienced the convenience and overall benefits, even states think care at home has to be bettered,” Ganesh said.

In the past six months, Portea has supported 170,000 people who tested covid positive with consultations and monitoring at home.

Healthcare at home can be 40% cheaper compared to hospitals, with home medical care facilities costing anywhere between $107 and $143 per day ( ₹8,000 and 10,500). This is due to the elimination of labour charges and room rentals.

Bhatnagar added that even hospitals are able to leverage a 20% reduction in costs and infrastructure investments through these models, making it a lucrative segment.

Remote health monitoring startup Dozee, which recently raised ₹12.5 crore from Prime Venture Partners and 3one4 Capital, said it has seen a 5X jump in sales of its remote health tracking device.

It has seen a 3X growth in visits on e-commerce product pages as well as on its website since pre-covid.

“After covid, the consumer view on healthcare has changed as there is considerable awareness on wellness and health monitoring. What covid did was educate customers especially those at higher risk. This has led to a higher uptake of medical monitoring devices and facilities at home. Also, with a large migrant population, individuals are buying health-oriented products for parents in small towns and cities,” said Mudit Dandwate, CEO and co-founder, Dozee

Dozee is also looking at a platform play, where clinics and hospitals can execute home healthcare services, as it looks to reach 100,000 customers in 2022.

Despite the push, home healthcare will contribute to only 3.7% of overall healthcare market in India by 2025 against 3.4% in 2020.

By 2025, only 2.4% of India’s home healthcare sector will be organized. In the US, organized firms contribute to 6-8% of its overall healthcare market.

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