Business ideas waiting in the Healthcare Sector
Healthcare Sector in India is poised to grow to $280 Billion USD by 2020. The investment required in the next 10 years is to the tune of $86 Billion USD, majority of which will be contributed by the private sector. All this investment will need require lot of people that need to be integrated in this sector and IT backbone will be needed to be able to service the ever-growing Indian population.

Some of the opportunities I see that are up for grabs in the healthcare sector
  • Training – There will be requirement to train people to handle emergencies, health care, education services. What better way than to have 3D virtual areas to train people across regions. Players like are already available in the US market. We will need similar business models in India, that can take into account multiple languages and varied cultures
  • Communities – Another big aspect is building communities (online/mobile) that can form a symbiotic relationship with other stakeholders and make sure that the remote corners of India can avail healthcare. These communities can be around following
    • Patients – people with similar problems being able to talk and discuss their problems and potential treatments with each other. We make use of multiple medicine streams – Allopathic, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga and what not. At times, when we discuss our medical problems, cure in one stream might be better than the other. These patient communities can help people connect with each other. The community can create wiki’s (user generated content) around their problem that can become important sources of knowledge and information for others.
    • Physicians – Another community can be around physicians and some of their experiences when treating different problems. The physician community can also contribute towards a knowledge wiki (from physician perspective) that can be useful for physician in far flung area’s and even disseminate knowledge among tier 2 physicians. Physicians can blog/podcast to discuss case studies.
    • Donors communities – Unlike US, we do not have donor list or communities which can be accessed and available online. There are privacy concerns but I do not think those are insurmountable.
    • Pharma Companies – The Pharma companies can come together to create communities with their patients (their clients) to discuss the usage of the various drugs and their administration mechanism. People can share their experiences. E.g. Biocon can lead a community around Diabetes, where you promote healthy lifestyle. The Pharma companies can also tap into the various medical insurance firms, because it is in their interest to have a healthy community.
    • Clinical Trial Companies – Another great community can be around clinical trial patients, where the potential patients or existing patients can tap into each other, bringing a lot more transparency in the working of these companies.
    So, overall I believe a great number of ideas/sub ideas can arise from building these communities. The whole user generated content from these communities can be precursor to a great knowledge base that can be tapped from all over the world.
  • Location based services – currently, the existing location based services help you find friends or restaurants or places of interest. Another use of such service can be in case of emergencies. E.g. a physician can opt to register on a location based service. In case of emergency, the people raise an alert online. The online service automatically scans the vicinity for a physician who has opted for such thing and he can be notified immediately. The physician can then tell the service, whether he can attend the emergency or not, leading the online service scanning for next available physician. With the kind of traffic we have, such a service can be of immense potential. Further, such a service can SMS based.
We are seeing more and more adoption of mobiles phones in India, any service that allows access to such communities and knowledge base over SMS will be of immense help. The cloud computing will enable the implementation and scalability of such idea's.

Let me know, how do you find these idea’s and what else you think might be useful in the context of the Indian healthcare sector.

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