Home healthcare: is it the next big evolution in the healthcare industry?

The general idea that a person may get after coming across the term “home healthcare” is healthcare provided to the patient at home or care outside the hospital.  One can refer to home care as a convenient, cost-effective, and efficient way of care at home, bringing the same experience as a physical hospital visit. The skilled medical professionals provide various therapies and diagnosis that all comes under home healthcare. The homecare includes essential components like diagnostics, hiring of therapeutics, home medical consultation services, medical supplies, and also telemedicine. Quite evidently, the home health care solutions have only managed to be at the initial stages in India as compared to other countries like the US which comprise 8% of the healthcare industry alone as home healthcare. 

But, the buzz of home healthcare is growing at a rapid speed, spreading more awareness of the implementation of such solutions. For the people turning old and reaching their 80s, healthcare at home is a complete necessity. This brings to light the concept of homecare among the new-age developers who are busy innovating some technology for it. The chief factors that contribute to the growing popularity of healthcare are personal care, highly affordable, and nuclear-family structures. Nowadays, mental illness has increased over a period of few years leading to more stress in work-life and no overall balance. This creates the need for therapy and other care that is conveniently available at home. 

There is a greater need for post-operative care as per the affordability and awareness. The care required by elderly people is often missing in a formal hospital setting, leading to negligence and low-quality care. The chronic diseases are on the peak as well as the elderly population is growing at a faster pace, bringing home healthcare in the picture. Moreover, the current system of families being nuclear and lacking social structure clearly states that the elderly are not being taken care of. The elderly population suffers the most in isolation and in need of quality care. 

Take a look at the factual data that says, the Indian home healthcare market is expected to grow to about $6.21 billion by the year 2021. Talking of the Asia-pacific home healthcare market which is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR rate of 9% till 2024. There are lesser no. of hospitals and limited facilities in terms of personalized care which gives rise to the need for home healthcare systems in India. While 40% of the patients admitted to hospitals suffer from chronic illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, COPD, the doctor-patient ratio stands at 1: 1,000. The realization has to be made now regarding the cost-effectiveness of the home healthcare system which poses that care in hospitals is generally 5x costlier. 

The question arises, what does the future look like for home healthcare in India? Is it going to stay back in the initial stages or leap forwards towards a big change? Exponential growth is expected in the years to come looking over to the hectic lifestyles of people, who spend most of their time traveling and therefore fail to spend quality time with their loved ones. 

Hence, home healthcare is the right solution and is going to serve lots of patients with the same complaints. It will open new doors of opportunities in the healthcare sector itself. The facility of ‘At home Genetics’ has been made possible and accessible as it can be by a simple DIY cheek swab by the individual at home. No big change can occur without overcoming the current challenges of the scenario.

 Some of the challenges that will be faced by the home healthcare industry are the distribution of skilled staff at home, time-based management, training staff, insurance cover, affordability, and reliability. It is necessary to build up a prior plan for dealing with these hardships and creating an effective home healthcare system. The purpose of home healthcare is to ensure the delivery of quality care at home. It is here for a strong reason that it aims to improve the patient experience for a better health system. The real sense of healthcare is important to be considered in the long run, keeping in view the current condition of our healthcare sector in India. 

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