Universal Healthcare & Innovations Indian Healthcare: Building Stronger Partnerships
To achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage, healthcare sector has recently made serious efforts in terms of forging partnerships- both Public-Private and Private-Private. The focus of these partnerships was on leveraging disruptions for the benefit of the healthcare ecosystem. The sector needs to decode the potential of New Technologies, Solutions, Delivery system and medical supply chain among others. Innovations would finally empower people with quality, access and affordability. The government has realized the urgent need to take the lead in encouraging and driving innovations. Stronger tie-ups to drive innovations would now play a catalytic role in achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage.
The world’s largest government-run health insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PM-JAY) under Ayushman Bharat Mission is completing a year of its successful implementation with positive outcomes in September this year. Now is the time to be prepared to take it to the next level. And for this, the Scheme needs to be driven by technology disruption or innovations. Realizing the critical role of technology disruptions, Ayushman Bharat Mission’s s implementing agency National Health Authority (NHA) recently entered into a partnership with NATHEALTH to enable a seamless pathway that streamlines all innovations ensuring that it scales and increases the efficacy of PM-JAY service delivery. Further, this collaboration provides an industry interface for testing innovations; providing mentorship and creating channels for facilitating support required for scaling these innovations. This is expected to bolster NHA’s effectiveness in implementing its innovation strategy, which is aligned with its vision of “Health for All”.
Health startups have been driving innovations in the country and these innovators would help shape the future of healthcare. For better outcomes, the industry needs to provide mentorship and market support to them. Funding from private capital and mentorship from clinical, technology, and business experts would go long way to create a new healthcare ecosystem.
It is very promising to note that key stakeholders have joined hands to curate the best healthcare innovations and start-ups from India. Assessing healthcare innovations through varied perspectives such as clinical, technical, impact, sustainability and scalability would enable an ecosystem for healthcare innovations to engage with Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY.
What the sector needs the most? Value-based healthcare, efficient management of population health, better insurance administration, adoption of digital health, data analytics, and operational excellence for service delivery of healthcare schemes have emerged key areas to drive the growth of the sector. With innovations, stronger partnerships among key stakeholders provide new momentum to the healthcare delivery system.
Cohesive collaborations are needed to create open platforms such as universities, start-up incubators, and accelerators, private industries, investors (private capital, grant-giving organizations and foundations) that will enable engagement between different types of innovation organizations.
A plethora of healthcare innovations are happening across the country and it is crucial to empower innovators by providing the right support. Now innovators, industry, and the implementing agency have come on a common platform thus enabling increased adoption of numerous inventions, leading to an increase in access to quality care delivered under PM-JAY.
Like NHA, two other partnerships in the sector would drive innovations further and bring in an integrated approach to deal with the challenges. NATHEALTH’s association with NASSCOM’s Centre of Excellence is also expected to improve the access and quality of healthcare in India through tech-enabled innovations. It is high and right time to leverage the benefits that the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Blockchain technologies, Augmented Reality(AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR) can bring to the healthcare sector. The sector needs to deploy emerging technologies to ensure better delivery of healthcare. This will be possible if health start-ups can leverage access to capital, mentorship, industry partnerships, and technology support.
Yet another collaboration, namely with global health-focused innovation platform Well Technologies Ltd ( Well Tech), aims to support healthcare startups with access to capital & market, industry partnership, mentorship and technology development assistance. This partnership plans to infuse seed investment of upto$ 1.5 Million. The joint initiative provides health start-ups with access to capital, industry partnerships, and product & technology support along with helping them scale to new markets. It is an accelerator program that supports startups to grow and to collaborate better with Government and industry.
Providing support to innovation through startups by leveraging the best tech products, solutions, and expertise, network, and capital partners will go a long way to create an enabling ecosystem. Under the agreement, the selected start-ups will be offered funding opportunities ranging from $0.5 million-1.5 million in a year. Entrepreneurship and a vibrant startup ecosystem is an absolute necessity to complete the circle of innovation in healthcare. These collaborations would go a long way to create a robust ecosystem for the healthcare sector and innovation would provide new momentum in terms of clinical outcomes, transparency, patient safety, supply-chain management and standardization of population health services with the help of new technologies.
Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, President, NATHEALTH