Managing the future of healthcare with tech, investment and insurance

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Tamil Nadu recently organised the first edition ‘TN MedClave 2021’ on ‘Managing the Future of Healthcare’ in association with MedPiper Technologies & JournoMed as a supporting partner. The event featured more than 25 distinguished speakers. Here are some edited excerpts from the event.

Things have started changing rapidly since 2017 when we got a new National Health Policy. Another major milestone in the healthcare sector happened in 2019 when the national Digital health Mission was launched. 

When we think of the future of healthcare in India, in addition to human intelligence and human empathy, things like artificial intelligence for predictive care, centralized command system, and AI-based telemedicine consultation come to the forefront. 

Managing the future of healthcare

Managing the future of healthcare actually relies on areas like sanitation, drinking water, nutrition, education, preventive health care, and curative health care. The future of healthcare depends on wellness which will be driven by technology. So, we should start working in that direction as it is rightly said that the best way to predict a future is to create it. 

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Unless we manage these areas, we will have to spend a huge amount of money to manage healthcare.

The future also depends on manpower or the workforce. We often talk about adding to the workforce as far as doctors and nurses are concerned, but the allied healthcare professionals are often neglected. Allied healthcare, which is distinct from the medicine and nursing sector, includes professions like Chiropodists/podiatrists, Dietitians, Speech and language therapists among others. These professions also play an important role in making the healthcare sector robust.

Quality is a very important part of the patient journey and as we look at the future. It’s important to recognize that everything we do improves patient outcomes so that the journey of patients becomes easier. Digital care is also a major part of the journey which provides empowers us to use the data effectively which ultimately helps in improving clinical decision making. 

Investment in healthcare

In the last 6 years, we have seen a greater number of investments in the overall healthcare industry but the number of investments in the hospital industry has gone down.

We are yet to see a lot of social impact funds, enter the industry. For investors, investing in a hospital chain is like any other investment that they would make in their portfolio. When we are talking of a private equity fund, they have the option of investing in any vertical within healthcare. The investment within hospitals is slowing down a bit because there are many more avenues that are coming up. 

There have been some changes in the private equity mindset also. Earlier, There was a greater inclination towards multi-speciality hospitals but now the focus is shifting towards single speciality hospitals. 

Technology stories are fundamental drivers of everything that’s going on right now in the healthcare sector. This has forced stakeholders to think through strategies and ecosystem partnerships a bit. It’s a realignment of the ecosystem and business models and capital. Health care companies, capital providers and entrepreneurs are figuring out, what’s the best way in which they can jointly create health care through technology. 

Insurance and healthcare

We know that the health insurance sector has played a vital role to play in the development and the progress of health care in this country. As we now know, it contributes almost 29% to the general insurance premium. 

The ability of the healthcare industry to provide quality healthcare facilities to the community is based largely on how well insurance penetrates into the community and how robustly the insurance sector grows.

When we talk about insurance, it may not just be private insurance. It also includes state-sponsored or government-supported insurance.

Times are not far off when insurance will become mandatory. Like, what we have for the vehicles. All vehicles have to be insured. Similarly, any baby who is born needs to have health insurance. Each and every person who is going to enter the hospital, is going to come with a card which will cover everything. This is the future.

Note- The article is based on inputs from speakers at the CII event. Some of them are as follows- 

  • Dr. S Chandrakumar Chairman CII Tamil Nadu
  • Mr. Adel J Chairman CII TN MEDCLAVE 2021
  • Dr. Jayalal President Indian Medical Association (IMA)
  • Dr. S Gurushankar Chairman Meenakshi Mission Hospitals
  • Dr. Suneeta Reddy Managing Director Apollo Hospitals Enterprises
  • Dr. Sathish Devadoss Convenor, TN Healthcare Panel & CEO, Devadoss Hospitals
  • Dr. Rohini Sridhar Sr VP – Medical Services – Hospitals Division Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd 
  • Mr. Sameer Mehta CEO Mehta Hospitals 
  • Ms. Aiswarya Vasudevan Group COO Neuberg Diagnostics 
  • Mr. Arjun Ananth CEO Medall

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