B2B AssignmentonE-Commerce in B2B market for Health care sector
Dr. Krishna Kishore
Institute of Management
CHRIST (Deemed to be University)
Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors – both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players.
Indian healthcare delivery system is categorized into two major components – public and private. The Government, i.e. public healthcare system comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas. The private sector provides majority of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros, tier I and tier II cities.
India’s competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals. India is also cost competitive compared to its peers in Asia and Western countries. The cost of surgery in India is about one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe.
The healthcare market can increase three fold to Rs 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2022.
India is experiencing 22-25 per cent growth in medical tourism and the industry is expected to double its size from present (April 2017) US$ 3 billion to US$ 6 billion by 2018. Medical tourist arrivals in India increased to 1.07 million in January 2018 from 0.98 million in January 2017.
There is a significant scope for enhancing healthcare services considering that healthcare spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is rising. Rural India, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the population, is set to emerge as a potential demand source.
In 2017, the Government of India has provided grant-in-aid for setting up of AYUSH educational institutions in States and Union Territories.
India is a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. India’s healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing sectors and in the coming 10 years it is expected to reach $275 billion.
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. Besides, Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep.
Indian healthcare sector is much diversified and is full of opportunities in every segment which includes providers, payers and medical technology. With the increase in the competition, businesses are looking to explore for the latest dynamics and trends which will have positive impact on their business.
India’s competitive advantage also lies in the increased success rate of Indian companies in getting Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approvals. India also offers vast opportunities in R&D as well as medical tourism. To sum up, there are vast opportunities for investment in healthcare infrastructure in both urban and rural India.
Over the past few years, healthcare industry is expanding their service which is led by the technology driven features enabling it to make more affordable and efficient for the patience. Also, health-tech has been buzzing with startups helping in hospital management systems, doctor discovery, delivery of medicines, and now more importantly home healthcare services. Home as a virtual hospital – that’s the future. Home healthcare in India remains a sector where caregivers are treated more as maids and man-servants. Let us find out some leading home healthcare service providers in India whose services can be easily availed by the patients by visiting their websites.
Scope of E-commerce in health care sector
The Internet has created both opportunities and threats that providers of all stripes must eventually confront to remain viable businesses in the new economy. Although business-to-business (B2B) innovations offer great hope in reducing costs and providing other efficiencies, electronically connecting with patients is a particularly challenging frontier.
E-commerce is also riding the wave of growth in the healthcare tech sector. This is because healthcare is the next big thing in the online retailing space as there is large amounts of untapped potential. The increase in life expectancy together with the increase in demand for quality healthcare products has increased the demand for healthcare supplies as a whole. A good example of e-commerce innovation in healthcare is the recently-launched golden-concepts, an online e-commerce platform selling elderly medical products. The golden concepts provides a wide range of products from adult diapers to wheel-chairs. Such companies are making healthcare more accessible for patients all round.
Anyone who has had experience with care giving will understand the trouble of purchasing medical supplies for their patient. The highly recurring usage of diapers, milk feeds, body wipes and the list goes on. This means that caregivers have to frequently visit convenience stores to restock their depleting supplies. Going from one store to another to look for a variety of products is not only time consuming but also very frustrating. Buying medical supplies online is far more advantageous than buying them from a physical store. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing medical supplies online:
Convenience: You will never have to inconvenience yourself by having to purchase and transport around large amounts of bulky diapers and/or milk feed. Online purchase allows you to purchase more items and get it delivered right to your door step. In addition, most online stores operate 24 hours a day, which means you can place your order at any time throughout the day.
Lower Prices and Discounts: Online prices are more transparent than physical stores as consumers are able to compare across a large range of sellers. Retailers are also able to charge a lower cost as managing an online shop has significantly lower fixed cost than traditional retailers. Furthermore, online stores frequently offer special deals and discounts which ranges from flat discounts of 20% to free delivery services.
Wide range of Products: Buying medical supplies online saves you the trouble from going to various medical stores to look for different products. There is usually an overwhelming number and variety of products at online stores. It is important as it becomes easy to compare the prices and features of different companies to make an informed buying decision
Feedback and reviews: Most online stores have a platform for consumers to provide genuine feedback from people who have used their products. This will help you pick the most suitable product by getting first-hand advice from people who have used it before so you know what to expect.
Quality: With regards to medical supplies, quality is extremely important. A disregard of quality for medical supplies may have a severe impact on the life of the patient involved. Ensure you do your own due diligence by reading the product specifications and descriptions carefully to ensure that there is no room for disputes. Also, try to look for an online store which offers products from trusted vendors and reputable manufacturers that are well-known in the medical industry.
B2B market for healthcare
The medical tourism market in India is projected to hit $3.9 billion mark this year having grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 27 per cent over the last three years, according to a joint report by consultancy firm KPMG and industry body FICCI.
The inflow of medical tourists is expected to cross 320 million by 2016 compared with 85 million in 2012. The medical tourism industry in India gets maximum patients for heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery and dental care as the cost of treatment in India is considered to be the lowest in Asia, much lower than Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
A key competitive advantage India has in medical tourism is the cost effectiveness it has to offer to its patients. Besides the western markets, the SAARC countries have been an important source of medical tourists for India. The Indian Medical Electronics industry is currently valued at around 1 billion and has been growing at an average rate of 17% for past couple of years.
It is strongly believed that growth will outperform the pace, resulting in the Indian Medical Electronics market reaching close to USD ~6.5 billion by the year 2020.
The Medical electronics industry has witnessed a double digit growth in recent years and this growth trajectory is expected to continue due to the rising incidence of chronic diseases, increased urbanization and a growing elderly population and increased awareness about latest technology solutions to save augment life and rehabilitation.
Disruptive B2B startups
The first wave of change technology brought in healthcare was in the B2C segment. Now, B2B is ripe for disruption, and a number of healthtech startups are leveraging AI, data analytics, and other advanced techs to make quality and affordable healthcare services available to corporates.
One such player is HealthAssure, which claims to be a one-of-its-kind aggregator platform with a focus on primary healthcare, specifically meant to cater to B2B requirements. The platform, which offers comprehensive solutions, from managing complex requirements of large institutions to providing customized plans for individuals, says it has more than 3,000 centers and is present in more than 1,000 cities across India.
HealthAssure provides companies and organizations access to credible primary care centers including the services of general physicians, cardiologists, dentists, and other specialists.
It has developed a unique Health Risk Assessment tool for assessing the health risk or status of individuals, which can also be customized for each individual, and accordingly, solutions can be provided.
HealthAssure today has more than 3,000 centers in more than 1,000 cities across India. While these numbers speak of exceptional success, they have not been easy to arrive at. Like any other startup, HealthAssure had its own set of challenges when it started out — from attracting the right talent to hurdles in establishing a vast network of healthcare providers.
HealthAssure is also looking at implementing technologies such as AI and ML to expand its business. It plans to incorporate AI to map the customer journey with a view to improving the customer experience on its platform. It also plans to mine all the data it has collected so far to forecast customer needs and requirements.