Trends That May Dominate Healthcare Industry In 2022

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been massive disruptions across different
industries, apparently hitting the healthcare industry the hardest. Shortage of medical oxygen
supply, wastage of vaccines due to lack of cold storage facilities, and acute shortage of staff, were
among the biggest obstacles for India in fight against the Covid-19 pandemic this year. But
thankfully, the healthcare industry effectively managed the outbreak with the support from the
central and state governments. The pandemic also almost entirely changed how the healthcare
industry in India operates. On the positive side, the country witnessed a significant increase in the
use of telehealth among people, rise of diagnostics and equipment, as well as health infrastructure
up gradation in both the public and private sectors.

Trending the year 2022, healthcare industry experts Dr. Pranav Sharma and Mr. Amit Singh of
Doctorpreneur Academy have shared their views on the trends expected in healthcare,
telemedicine, medtech and pharma industry in 2022. Here’s what they say
Healthcare market
The healthcare market can increase three-fold to Rs. 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2022,
“Despite initial hiccups, the healthcare system in India managed to withstand the pandemic. The
different efforts in manufacturing of medical equipment, disposables, drugs and the most recent
vaccine efforts made by India have placed us as a global leader. India is full of opportunities for
players in the medical devices industry. The country has also become one of the leading destinations
for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic
facilities, thus catering to a greater proportion of population. The country’s competitive advantage
lies in the increased success rate of Indian companies in getting Abbreviated New Drug Application
(ANDA) approvals.

Telemedicine
According to Dr. Pranav Sharma, there’s been almost an 80 per cent rise in consumption of digital
healthcare services after COVID-19. “Although there has been slow adaptation of digital tools in the
healthcare industry, everything changed with the outbreak of the pandemic. The effect of healthcare
technology and digital solutions was felt in many different ways than we could have expected.
During the lockdown, both the patients and the healthcare practitioners realized the importance of
digitisation,” he said.
Healthcare service providers are increasingly adopting telemedicine and remote patient monitoring
to virtually manage patients, predict and prevent illnesses, and improve clinical outcomes. “Digital
technologies like extended reality, cloud systems, big data, and artificial intelligence are taking the
centre stage to enhance user- experience and increase process efficiency. These technologies have
accelerated digital health, remote patient monitoring and timely clinical protocols. In the coming
years too, digital health applications and therapeutics, personal health wearable’s, and AI, NLP
(neural language processing), robotics process automation or the RPA-enabled process accelerators
in clinical prediction, operational transformation and compliance improvement will further drive and
shape the future of healthcare.”

Sharing his views on the recent changes in the digital healthcare industry, he said, “The awareness of
digital healthcare has been on the rise, with more people across geographies embracing it. We also
saw an increase in those prioritizing their health and fitness by giving importance to maintaining a
healthy lifestyle. The increased interest in prioritizing one’s health can be attributed to factors like
technological advancements and ease of access to credible information and better healthcare
services.”


Medical Technology

Talking about the expectations in medical technology, Mr. Amit Singh stated, “from now onwards,
the rule of 4 beds per ventilator will become more of a reality. With telemedicine and app-based
online pharmacies becoming more of a constant surrounding our daily lives spurring innovations in
related devices and equipment, the coming year will also see more action in big data, AI and
machine learning based disease prediction technologies, apart from a push to more sophisticated
surgical devices meant for a range of conditions such as neurological, cardiovascular, oncological,
orthopaedic or musculoskeletal conditions
However, for AI-based ventilators to become a reality, “more time would be needed.” “While makein-
India has gained momentum with the view to become more self-reliant, the Chinese products
have received a setback. This means that quality will determine the entry of new products and more
rigorous quality checks will increasingly become a norm. The coming year will also see major
investment and focus on medical device components and parts in the country. At the same time,
given the surging omicron cases outside India and a repeat of the same not totally being out of
question in India, Covid-related devices and equipment will continue to remain a focus of attention
of manufacturers in the country in the coming year,” added Mr. Amit Singh.


Health infrastructure

The year 2021 was a challenging one for India’s health sector as the lethal second wave of Covid-19
resulted in an unprecedented number of deaths and unparalleled suffering for countless others in
the country. “It did, however, serve as a valuable lesson for the entire healthcare industry, leading to
the resurrection and upgrading of health infrastructure in both the public and private sectors. We
not only have a completely functional oxygen plant but are also now fully equipped to face new
challenges, such as Omicron, with a team of experienced doctors and paramedical staff,” shared Dr.
Pranav Sharma.
Thus after the Covid-19 pandemic, government and organizations have become more focused
towards building digital infrastructure and preventive healthcare. These efforts will surely pave the
way to a brighter future for the healthcare industry in the years to come.

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