India’s preventive healthcare sector – fitness, wellness, foods and supplements, early diagnostics and health tracking – is projected to reach $197 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 22%, driven by emerging technologies and a new wave of innovative healthcare technology (HealthTech) startups, said a recent report.
A report by consulting firm Redseer Strategy Consultants in collaboration with Chiratae Ventures and Amazon Web Services (AWS) said that these HealthTech firms are leveraging cloud computing to build and scale their applications. These applications generate, digitise and analyse vast amounts of health data using advanced technologies such as internet of things (IoT), data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and more.
More than 50 preventive HealthTech firms have raised approximately $1 billion in funding cumulatively over the last three years to tap the preventive health opportunity across segments such as nutrition management, condition management, lifestyle monitoring, health check-ups, and mental and physical wellness, the report said.
It further said that over 30% of the top 50 funded preventive HealthTech startups leverage AI/ML for use cases such as medical image analysis, document extraction, chatbots, personalisation, and health risk prediction.
Onco, for example, a patient-centric care management platform for cancer, uses sets of pre-trained AI solution modules will utilise Precision Health AI’s proprietary data to predict a patient’s cancer stage, treatment journey, flow through the healthcare system and survival rate. Bengaluru-based HealthifyMe, a health and wellness app, also leverage AI (through a virtual nutritionist) and allows users to track nutrition, fitness, calorie intake, water intake and calories burnt, has about 20 million downloads on Google Play Store.
While India has traditionally focused on curative care, since the Covid-19 pandemic, preventive care has increased in importance across the Indian population. The rollout of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) will further augment the availability of data and utilisation of these technologies.
The survey also showed that health-conscious individuals who now spend on an average between ₹4,000 and ₹10,000 on various preventive healthcare practices annually - including tracking health monitoring devices and apps - are willing to pay up to 50% more in the future. Start-ups can unlock the potential of preventive healthcare in India with the help of right technologies and partnerships, believes Amitabh Kumar, Senior Manager, Redseer Strategy consultants.
The report further showed an increased number of diversified corporates and healthcare businesses entering the preventive health space, by partnering with startups or building their own programs and digital platforms for better health outcomes and at lower costs.