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Home Healthcare–A Big Hope for Real Care

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A section of observers believe that the Indian home healthcare sector is actually in its nascent stage. However, its growth trajectory is considered to be very strong. But what is consolidating the potential of home healthcare industry while making it a popular choice? explores Sandeep Datta of Elets News Network (ENN).

Th e very mention of ‘Home Healthcare’ suggests it is something related to medical care which can be provided at a patient’s home.

UNDERSTANDING HOME HEALTHCARE

To understand it a little properly one can visualise how care is provided by skilled medical professionals in terms of skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

It can also include skilled, non-medical care, such as medical social services or assistance with daily living from a highly qualified home health aide.

Home healthcare is unique as a care setting not only because the care is provided in the home, but the care itself is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care given in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Home healthcare encompasses many elements including diagnostics, hiring of therapeutic and monitoring devices, home medical consultation services, mobility devices, medical supplies and telemedicine.

In India, the adoption of home healthcare solutions remains at an initial stage. If we compare our country with nations like the US, where home healthcare comprises 8.3% of the $280 billion healthcare industry, India lags behind severely comprising merely 2% of the spend, a leading daily stated recently.

Also read: Home healthcare startup Portea raises venture debt of Rs 25 cr

But the growth rate in India is much higher. This is driven by a few key factors.

WHAT’S MAKING HOME HEALTHCARE POPULAR?

As the number of elderly people is rising in the country, there is a growing tendency among people to prefer medical care within one’s homely environs. That makes it a good enough reason to be the favourite choice of a lot of people, at least who understand it.

Some of the key factors popularising the home healthcare can be mentioned as personalised care, affordability, and growing nuclear family structures.

Also, affordability and awareness are driving the need for post-operative care. High stress and the badly influencing work- life balance are other contributing factors to a growing demand for home care.

Meanwhile, many of us may have observe how the kind of personal and constant care that elderly patients usually require is usually found unavailable in formal hospital settings.

Apart from that, the growth rate by which people aged above 60 is growing, is faster than the rest. It is expected to move from 8% of total population in 2015 to 19% by 2050. Besides, increasing incidence of chronic diseases is one of the key factors.

Socially saying, one cannot ignore the fact that in the present nuclear family system, informal support structures are proving to be a failure to take care of the aged or the chronically ill.

Most of us know how a lot of children are unable to give quality time to parents. It’s pushing the elderly population into social isolation leading to depression and loneliness.

FACTUALLY STATING…

The global home healthcare market is projected to reach $364.69 billion by 2022 from $220.76 billion in 2016 registering a CAGR of 8.8%.

The Asia-Pacific home healthcare market on the other hand, is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of about 9% from 2016 to 2024.

The Indian home healthcare market is expected to grow to around $4.46 billion by 2018 and $6.21 billion by 2020.

A LOOK AT HOME HEALTHCARE – INTERNATIONALLY

The global home healthcare market is projected to reach $364.69 billion by 2022 from $220.76 billion in 2016 registering a CAGR of 8.8%. The Asia-Pacific home healthcare market on the other hand, is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of about 9% from 2016 to 2024, according to a media report.

The Indian home healthcare market is expected to grow to around $4.46 billion by 2018 and $6.21 billion by 2020, the report added.

HOME HEALTHCARE – THE NEED OF THE HOUR

Looking at the number of hospitals or limited facilities, especially in terms of critical and personalised care segments, home healthcare ecosystem needs to be boosted in the country.

A study by the ICMR reveals that while India accounts for 20% of the global disease burden, it accounts for merely 6% of global hospital beds and 8% share of doctors and nursing staff.

As in India the doctor and patient ratio stands 1: 1,000, nearly 40% of the patients admitted to hospitals suffer from chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Despite this most of the people fail to realise that while a patient admitted to the ICU in a hospital setting pays between Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 per day, a similar set up at home may range from merely Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000 per day, a media report said.

Home healthcare thus saves on real estate and infrastructure as the model effectively operates at 15% to 30% reduced costs in comparison to hospital expenses for similar treatment.

A report by Cyber Media Research revealed that home healthcare has the potential to replace up to 65% of unnecessary hospital visits in India and reduce hospital costs by 20%.

INDUSTRY SPEAKS

HOME HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY — NEAR FUTURE

Home Healthcare is constantly on the rise and it is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Considering the lifestyle of people working in corporates and travelling approximately two hours to work, and not spending quality time with family has made “At Home Healthcare” the most sought after service for any individual, says Neeraj Gupta, CEO & Founder, Genes2me.

“With an ever growing demand of ‘At Home Genetics’ which doesn’t require any external sample collection facility but a simple DIY Cheek Swab which is done by the individual themselves has made it all the more easy, comfortable and simple for making ‘At Home Genomics’ possible and accessible to the masses.”

“The Indian home healthcare market is expected to grow to around $6.21 billion by 2022 whereas not even 1 percent of it is tapped by major players in the healthcare industry,” he adds.

Talking of challenges of ensuring quality home healthcare, Gupta said, there are quite a few challenges faced by various diagnostic centres currently. Some of them are allocation of skilled staff at home, time management, training staff, lack of insurance cover, affordability, and reliability.

According to Pawan Gupta, Co-Founder, Curofy, the challenge is “getting the right personnel and making sure the right personnel has not only the skill but also the emotional intelligence to deal with Indian sensibilities.”

Talking of the home healthcare industry, he says, home healthcare is our step towards a truly quality healthcare. Home healthcare today ensures that you get the best treatment and recovery. It is here to stay for the simple reason that it has dedicated people in the industry.”

Asked with urbanisation and stress fast affecting people, is home healthcare set to become an integral part to avail for the present-day working population, the Curofy Co-Founder, says: “Most definitely.” “I believe this will soon become legitimate part of the treatment process,” he adds.

Conclusively saying, it is important to take home healthcare seriously especially in view of the existing healthcare facilities in the country. It looks immensely significant when one weighs this option in terms of cost and access to provide real sense of healthcare.

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