We see that on an average, there are at least 10 new startup’s every month across the country trying to address Health Care IT Problems. Are we really solving or are we complicating things?
According to IMS Institute for Health Care Informatics and Health Care IT News, there are more than 165,000 Health-related apps available and a mere 36 of them have 50% or more downloads. Just 10% can connect to a device or sensor and 2% can sync into providers systems (US App’s).
In the Indian Health Care app scenario; there are around 100 Apps and Websites which are addressing the Health Care segment (My personal research) and quite a few are coming up. Out of these 100, around 40% are catering to search (Doctor, Hospital, Diagnostic Center etc.), 22% are in the Wellness segment, 10% in e-Commerce (Medicine delivery), and the others are distributed in Nutrition, EMR/EHR, Medical Devices, Personal Health Management, Chronic Disease Management, Doctors Networking, Analytics etc.
If you look at the big picture and identify sectors in Healthcare which startup’s are trying to solve, majority of the solutions are coming out in Doctor Search, Booking online appointments, Home Tests and Medicine Home Delivery etc. One concern I personally see is that these solutions are being focused on particular region and this poses challenges for scalability. In India, where we have diversified Health Care models it is very important to understand the scalability, adaptability and acceptability for the solutions which we design.
The other vulnerable area specifically in Medicine delivery is that the control, distinction and distribution of duplicate / fake medications.
There are certain key contributing factors for Startup’s and large organisations alike to bare in mind while defining the problem and designing the solutions.
The Big Picture – It is very important for aspiring entrepreneurs who are attempting to solve Healthcare problems to understand the big picture as to how the system is structured and how can we take this solution to the maximum consumers. Also, one should understand if the solution which is being designed will scale up to address the problem at the Nation’s level and will it contribute to uplift Healthcare delivery. Why is this important? Because scattered solutions do not help.
Workflow oriented – When we design Technology solutions for addressing Health Care IT, the most important aspect we should understand is to create solutions based on the Health Care delivery workflows. Even though you design the best solution, if it is not following the delivery workflow, you are loosing consumers.
Scalability – The next important consideration. Why? Health Care IT is not a problem for a specific city / district / state. It is the Nation’s need. Diversifying solutions for each geographical location is not a viable solution. If not today, at a later stage we will need to codify and bring solutions to a common platform.
Adaptability – How are consumers adapting to the solution? India is a culture rich economy where we trust more from family, friends and acquaintances while attempting to utilise HealthCare services. How are we as Entrepreneurs attempting to address this scenario in the tools we build? Today, everyone is using technology to get suggestions and help for their requirements, but do not completely go with the solution they find, but definitely ask others around if it is a viable approach. We need to understand the adaptability of the solutions we design and this comes with additional research on what key areas are people likely to gain deeper understanding before attempting to utilise the services.
Contextual – (Will this solution help better the situation) – This goes next to understanding the big picture. The solution we design should be contextual and if required work in tandem with existing solutions to address the scalability and adaptability.
Data Security – Very important aspect of building Health apps. We need to builds systems/applications following he Data security rules because Health data is very vulnerable and it is the responsibility of the Entrepreneur to ensure security.
To quantify, Entrepreneurs wanting to address HealthCare IT, should begin with the end in mind, understand the System and help develop workflow solutions which contribute to the Macro level.