When India got Independence in 1947, average life expectancy was 47 Years and today, average life expectancy is at 66.21 Years (we rank 139). Japan leads the list with average life expectancy at 84 Years followed by Spain, Andorra, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore and San Mario at 83 Years. The country with the least life expectancy is Sierra Leone at 49 Years.
Previously, technological solutions in Healthcare have been focusing on advancing the care (how to provide better solutions), but now, we are focusing on advancing the care process (how to deliver better solutions).
In the Indian context, Tech startup’s focusing on Healthcare have increased over the last few years. This is good and it will help bring Healthcare to the fingertips.
Most of the startups are focusing on providing “services”, meaning, connecting the consumer to the service. Apps for finding Doctors, finding Services available, e-Commerce, Wellness etc. This is a good approach. All of us have an inherent fear for Health. We are over cautious and we generally tend to avoid visiting the Doctor/Hospital and also at times go with self-medication. The technology today is focusing on providing introductions to the end user to managing Health proactively. With the advent of apps for monitoring nutrition, work out’s, doctor appointments, enrollments into wellness programs, the common person is now getting to understand how to manage and monitor his/her health.
Also, with Health programs getting advertised, many who did not have an understanding of various health scenarios are now getting educated. If you are someone who is born after 1990’s, chances are that your parents are maintaining your health record with all the vaccinations were given and the history of your well-being.
Biggest health problems cannot be solved in one day and the approach is painstaking. Governments should focus on building the infrastructure and organisations (startups and the big one’s alike) should help support the initiatives by connecting people with the care providers.
There is no short-cut’s especially in managing Health of individuals and the nation alike. Connecting the dot’s proves pivotal in creating a healthy nation.
In the next decade, I am sure India would be in a much better place in creating a healthy environment for all of us. With initiatives like the Aadhar (UID) slowly gaining popularity, am sure solutions would stem out connecting people to Government (to prioritise their health initiatives), Insurance firms coming forward to provide better Insurance assistance and Hospital’s connecting to communities to provide better proactive care.
Personally, I think we should look at various models across the globe and adapt what worked well into the new system we are creating. India being the world’s second most populated country, if we create a system which works, then the entire landscape of Healthcare in the world would change.