Leading pharma companies entry into digital healthcare will bolster personalized care in India, says GlobalData

Since 2019, there has been an increase in the adoption of digital health technology in India, with collaborations between pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and digital health solution providers improving communication between patients and physicians, in turn improving the delivery of quality healthcare. This exciting space, which has attracted the likes of major Indian pharma companies, will bolster personalized care, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

In July 2021, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) established ‘Svaas Wellness Limited’, to address patient needs, improving outcomes, and enhancing patient experience. Svaas is offering a multi-service platform combining doctors, laboratories and diagnostics, pharmacies, and insurance under one roof. Svaas collaborated with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company to roll out a pilot program and will deliver its solution through ICICI Lombard’s ILTakeCare app, initially in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, India.

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The digitalization of pharma services will allow companies to create more value through improved collaboration between various stakeholders and deliver quality healthcare to patients. These services will be of immense help, especially in a large country like India, where the number of doctors per 1,000 people is less than one, as per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data published in December 2020.

“The digital health initiatives by Indian pharma companies will improve the current healthcare practices while paving the way for innovation-driven success for companies. Furthermore, these platforms allow companies to engage effectively with physicians and patients and collect data from patients. With patients’ consent, patient-related data can generate superior insights and decision making to improve personalized care and support services.”

According to GlobalData’s ‘Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center’, the following Indian pharma companies have launched digital health initiatives in the last three years.

In addition to the DRL and ICICI Lombard digital health collaboration, pharma companies have stepped up activity in the space, including Lupin Pharma. In June 2021, Lupin announced that it would enter India’s digital healthcare space by providing a Digital Therapeutics (DTx) platform for doctors and patients.

The importance of using technology in healthcare has also been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hampered the regular healthcare services for chronic patients and those from remote locations. In response to that, the Government of India published new guidelines for telemedicine practice in March 2020.

Mr Vale concludes: “In India, digital transformation has been gradually increasing over the last few years and COVID-19 has further highlighted the need for such development. Companies are keen to leverage opportunities to generate more revenue besides benefitting patients and HCPs with their products.”

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