Out-of-hospital care: Looking back to think ahead | The Financial Express

Out-of-hospital care: Looking back to think ahead

The last year also saw the emergence of some new start-ups in this segment catering to different requirements under home healthcare like eldercare.

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Takeda Biopharmaceuticals India Pvt Ltd will also collaborate with an independent external agency for monitoring of the project.

By Vaibhav Tewari

In the last two to three years, the concept of healthcare has changed for good, largely owing to the pandemic which upturned global medical systems in ways unimaginable before. For the healthcare community, a large part of these years was about ensuring people have a place in hospitals to get cured – of COVID and health conditions otherwise. Then there were those who required oxygen and care at home. This is where outside of hospital care became the front and centre from the perspective of healthcare delivery. People began to see value in what home care can deliver and it went on to become imperative from just a new service and a nice-to-have! From a larger industry perspective, the year 2022 was also about strategic discussions around the value that home care can bring to the ecosystem and how public-private partnerships can be leveraged.

The year gone by

As per a Frost and Sullivan report, the Indian homecare sector is growing at the rate of 20% to 25% YOY. Although approximately 90% of this sector is unorganized, it has grown immensely in the last year from a need perspective. Startups in this segment are expanding into different areas related to out-of-hospital care. While this is one aspect, even some hospitals are now beginning to offer this service. There is also a third aspect wherein players in this segment are in discussions with multiple hospitals to provide home care services to patients who might need them, thereby freeing up beds for the critically ill. The last year also saw the emergence of some new start-ups in this segment catering to different requirements under home healthcare like eldercare.

One area of this sector that has grown in demand is supply of medical equipment at home. Despite being an operationally challenging business to build, it is safe to say that players are looking at the homecare segment more strategically – something that forms that backbone of the developments that we are likely to see in 2023.

What lies ahead

From a sector perspective, the big focus in 2023 will be around how hospitals and pharma companies can leverage home care more and support patients in their journey towards recuperation. A major breakthrough in the last one year has been the fact that some insurance companies have started covering home care under their ambit. Although a major transformation towards this end might take some more time, the start has been made. We will also see a lot of importance being given to solution-driven initiatives such as reaching out to patients and supporting them at home leveraging technology. The driving force in all this will be a collaborative approach with both the government and private sectors looking at how they can leverage their respective strengths.

In conclusion

As we move further into a new year, there are certain expectations from the home care segment. At the outset, it is imperative that the IRDA expedites the inclusion of home care as part of the larger healthcare ecosystem, which can usher in a much-needed transformation. It will enable a certain percentage of home care to be covered as part of insurance, akin to how it is done in countries like the US. For patients, it would make a lot of aspects easier since healing at home is a faster process. There is also a need to bring in specific policies around geriatric care and ensure their implementation. During the pandemic, there was a lot of real action on ground, supported by the government. Even as the population of elderly is set to increase in the years ahead, it is important to take similar steps in the area of geriatric care as well to ensure measures are taken ahead of time. Outside of hospital care has the potential to become the panacea that the medical community is waiting for – it can not only reduce the cost of curative healthcare but also ensure that those who are building the future of the country and those who have already contributed to it can lead a better quality of life.

(The author is a Co-founder & CEO, Portea Medical. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)

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First published on: 17-03-2023 at 09:00 IST
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