Companies are targeting home care solutions ad offerings as research findings state that, health outcomes are better for long term care when such intervention is provided in familiar surroundings and in a timely fashion.
Home is where the real healing process begins
Startups as well as established players in the healthcare space are targeting specific age groups who need long term healthcare solutions.
From geriatric care to paediatric support for special children and oncological support to cancer patients at home, the clinic has now moved to one’s own nest.
Consider Apollo Hospitals. This healthcare provider is looking to ramp up its home healthcare services under its banner Unique Home HealthCare by first strengthening its backend. “TCS is building our IT platform for home healthcare for paediatric nursing and physiotherapy for the elderly,” chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, Prathap C Reddy, said.
“Worldwide, research has shown that health outcomes are better for long term care when such intervention is provided in familiar surroundings and in a timely fashion,” Apollo Hospitals COO Subbiah Viswanathan said. And, according to industry estimates, the country’s home healthcare market is pegged in the Rs 12,000-24,000 crore range.
Home medical care startup Portea Medical, which would raise additional funds later this year, currently has 35,000 households across India as its clients. Of this, 30% are in the post-operative category while 40% of customers are older patients who have some form of chronic medical history.
Changing lifestyle and demographics are also playing a part in the home turning into a mini-health centre. For serial entrepreneur Meena Ganesh and co-founder of Portea, it was personal experience which endorsed her belief in long term healthcare assistance.
“Some years ago, when a family member fell sick, my brother and I took turns to be by his bedside. At the same time, we had our respective families that needed to be looked after. There are many others who face a similar predicament today and hence the growing need for geriatric assistance,” she said.
Moving forward, Portea is looking to ramp up its offering for mothers and newborns as well as cancer treatment back home. “Currently 10% of homes are opting for mother and child services but we see this rising in future. Cancer and palliative care will also be a big focus area for us,” she added.
Some other startups like the city based India Home Health Care are looking to take the services (especially in the geriatric segment) to the next level by adding emotional and other physical support offerings in addition to pure medical assistance.
The company is looking to train attenders to become cooks as well as drivers for the elderly and we are looking to introduce such services at a monthly package of Rs 20,000. “When it comes to our financials, we don’t go by individual profit or loss of a patient. Rather, we work on overall gross (40%) and net margins (8%),” founder and director of India Home Healthcare V Thiyagarajan said.
India Home Health Care already has a strategic investor Bayada (a US-based player in the home health care space) which picked up 26% in 2013.
Industry observers also state that in times to come insurers who also bat for home health solutions especially when it comes to care for seniors. Currently, 60% of healthcare expenses in India are paid in cash by patients themselves. “To enhance care continuum and to prevent re-admission especially of seniors to hospitals, insurers would themselves advocate for such solutions,” Apollo’s Viswanathan said. This he said would become more predominant as insurers start picking up a larger pie of the health care expenses.