By Shardul Nautiyal
Ayush start-ups will soon turn into unicorns with growing demand for Ayush products in the global market. The market demand is also propelled through initiatives taken by the Union Ayush Ministry, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the three-day Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit (GAIIS) in Gandhinagar which started on April 20, and will conclude on April 22, 2022.
He further added that within the first few months of 2022, 14 startups alone in other sectors have turned unicorns.
Emphasizing that this is the first investment summit focused on Ayush aimed at attracting investments to make India a Global Ayush Destination, he emphasized for increased investment in Ayush as there is limitless scope of investment and innovation in this sector.
Prime Minister also announced that the Centre would soon introduce a special Ayush visa category for foreign citizens willing to take advantage of traditional medicine. This he said will help in accessing Ayurvedic therapies and help promote medical tourism in India.
Prime Minister further informed that Ayushmark is also being developed which will be stamped on products to enhance credibility and quality assurance of Ayush products globally.
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of AYUSH, Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel, Gujarat Chief Minister and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.
“More study is needed, including with clinical trials, to help bring the benefits of traditional and complimentary medicine into wider use, as appropriate, in health systems. The inclusion of traditional medicine in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases by WHO will help to establish reliable data on the use of traditional medicine,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization emphasized.
“We are exploring innovative study designs and the use of artificial intelligence to document the impact of traditional medicine practices, in cases when standard randomized trials are not possible or are difficult to undertake. For traditional medicine, innovation should also mean a process of adaptation and evolution,” he concluded.
While commending Prime Minister Modi and the Indian Government for their commitment to harness the power of innovation in public health through Ayurveda, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization said, “I was able to witness this first-hand yesterday, with my visit to the All India Institute of Ayurveda in Delhi. I heard about Holistic Ayurveda and Panchakarma treatment in the Ayurveda Paediatric Department, as well as holistic traditional recipes and therapeutic diets.”
“I also learned that the hospital data is managed with an Integrated Hospital Management System, which is an encouraging sign of using technology to marry traditional medicine with modern methods. It is heartening to see the efforts of the Ayush Ministry to foster this spirit of collecting data for research in the traditional medicine community,” WHO Director General added.
“India’s public health leadership was already demonstrated by the launch of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Innovations, which was launched on World Health Day 2022, at the Kalam Institute of Health Technology in Vizakhapatnam,” he further informed.
The Ayush sector is also growing signficantly – by 17% per year since 2014. The Ayush industry is projected to reach 23 billion US dollars by the end of this year.
WHO Director General further explained that the history of traditional medicines’ usage in our modern society is profound, with medicines derived from natural and herbal products being used for the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, malaria and many other maladies. Even aspirin is derived from natural sources. And yoga, for instance, has been associated with improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and may be helpful for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.