Healthcare startups use up and coming technologies like artificial intelligence, block-chain, machine-learning algorithms, IoT, etc to solve inefficiencies in delivery of healthcare services to the people.
Currently, the healthcare industry faces many challenges. Governments are not able to respond effectively to these issues. Thus, a space is created for new healthcare startups to devise innovative solutions to problems currently besetting the healthcare industry.
Challenges Faced By Healthcare Industry
- Gaps between supply and demand of healthcare workers; especially nurses
The healthcare industry is facing a wave of retirements among experienced nurses, resulting in a loss of valuable expertise and exacerbating the shortage. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the strain on healthcare systems and increased the demand for nurses, leading to burnout and exhaustion among existing staff.
- Rising costs; quality healthcare is quickly becoming more expensive
The cost of quality healthcare is escalating at a fast pace, making it increasingly unaffordable for individuals and families. This trend poses a significant challenge as it hinders access to essential medical services and raises concerns about the affordability and sustainability of providing high-quality healthcare to all segments of the population.
- Ageing population; particularly in richer societies
Richer societies are experiencing an ageing population, characterized by a significant increase in the proportion of older individuals. This demographic shift poses challenges such as healthcare resource allocation, pension sustainability, and the need for age-friendly infrastructure and services, emphasizing the importance of adapting policies and systems to address these evolving needs.
- Cyberattacks; like the one on AIIMS servers by Chinese hackers
Chinese hackers recently targeted the servers of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in a cyberattack. Such attacks pose serious threats, potentially compromising sensitive data, disrupting critical systems, and endangering the privacy and security of individuals. Strengthening cybersecurity measures is crucial to prevent and mitigate such incidents.
The healthcare system uses digital transformation to improve the quality and reach of healthcare services to the masses. It is necessary in a country like India where a large part of the population still doesn’t have access to quality healthcare.
In a report released by NITI Ayog in 2021, 30% of the Indian population is devoid of health insurance. That means if a medical crisis were to befall any of these 42-crore people, they would be without any financial aid whatsoever and left to fend for themselves.
However, there are several challenges faced by startups in the healthcare industry. Let us have a look at them below:
Challenges Faced by Healthcare Startups
Lack Of Funding
Healthcare startups require a lot of capital to develop and scale their products and services. However, the funding ecosystem in India is not very supportive of healthcare ventures. According to a report by Tracxn, healthcare startups raised only $1.8 billion in 2020, which is less than 10% of the total funding raised by Indian startups. Moreover, most of the funding goes to established players or late-stage startups, leaving very little for early-stage or niche startups.
Healthcare is a highly regulated sector in India, with multiple laws and authorities governing different aspects of it. Healthcare startups have to comply with various rules and regulations related to licensing, quality, safety, privacy, data protection, taxation, etc. These regulations can be complex, ambiguous, and time-consuming to navigate. They can also vary from state to state, creating further confusion and inconsistency.
Low Awareness And Adoption
Healthcare is a sensitive and personal domain for most people. They tend to trust traditional or familiar sources of healthcare more than new or innovative ones. Therefore, healthcare startups have to overcome the challenge of creating awareness and trust among their potential customers. They also have to deal with the low penetration and adoption of digital technologies in the healthcare sector. According to a report by IAMAI and Praxis Global Alliance, only 10% of Indians use online platforms for healthcare services.
Competition And Differentiation
The healthcare sector in India is highly competitive and fragmented. There are many players offering similar or overlapping products and services in the market. Healthcare startups have to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a unique value proposition for their customers. They also have to deal with the threat of imitation or disruption by larger or more established players.
Talent And Skill Gap
Healthcare is a domain that requires specialized knowledge and skills. Healthcare startups need to hire and retain talent that has the relevant expertise and experience in the healthcare sector. However, there is a shortage of such talent in India, especially in emerging areas like digital health, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, etc. According to a report by NASSCOM, India needs 1.4 million skilled professionals in digital health by 2025.
How Jobizo Overcame Challenges To Solve Staff Shortages In Indian Hospitals
Jobizo is a healthcare startup that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to match nurses and medical employers. Jobizo’s platform faced initial skepticism, but the team persisted. They persuaded people of the platform’s benefits and filled the healthcare gap. They used auto-rickshaw ads and on-ground sales to promote their revolutionary tech.
Jobizo’s model is simple. For healthcare employers, the web app uses AI and ML to find the right healthcare worker based on their profile and location. This saves time and hassle of hiring. Clients can communicate, interview, and track candidates through a terminal.
Medical employees can search and apply for jobs through the mobile app. The app shows opportunities based on their location and expertise. They can schedule interviews and get paid through the app: App Store/Play Store.