In 2022, the total topline of $2.7 billion generated by businesses operating in this space represented 1-2% of the country’s overall healthcare market. This is expected to increase to 7-8% by the end of the decade, as per the joint report, titled ‘A Digital Pill for Revolutionising Healthcare’.
The overall digital healthcare market was divided across six sub-sectors: epharmacy, ediagnostics, teleconsultation, surgery aggregation, healthcare financing and fitness and specialty care.
In 2022, epharmacy maintained a lead with $1.1 billion in total revenue but represented only 3.5% of the overall retail pharmacy sector. This is expected to expand to $12 billion with 12-15% market penetration in 2030.
Similarly, in descending order, epharmacy is estimated to be a $10 billion market, surgery aggregation $5 billion, healthcare financing $5 billion, teleconsultation $3 billion, and fitness and specialty care $3 billion by 2030, the report said.
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BCG senior partner and managing director Priyanka Aggarwal told ET that epharmacy will continue to lead the pack in India, as it forms the largest spending area in the overall healthcare-related consumer spending pie.
According to Aggarwal, technology has changed consumer behaviour since the Covid-19 pandemic, with accessing healthcare digitally becoming a new habit.
Partnerships on the supply side, such as business-to-business or innovative insurance plays, have led to an evolution of ecosystems instead of siloed business models, Aggarwal said, adding, “We saw the capabilities and the infrastructure across the whole ecosystem upgrading. That was also going to lead to a lot of opportunities in the future.”
In spite of the slowdown in business and funding, founders in the space are using the time to recalibrate to more rational business models to create credible differences in the healthcare value chain, said Aggarwal, who co-leads the firm’s healthcare practice in India.
“Startups have realised over a period of time, especially after Covid, that it may not necessarily be a pure digital model, but having an omnichannel and an omnipresent approach is important,” Karan Mohla, partner at B Capital, told ET.
Regarding ‘patient capital’, which the healthtech sector requires, Mohla said companies need to be mindful of balancing aggressive selling with building trust and credibility.
“It’s much more about a pull than push-based approach that is needed. Over a period of time, healthcare tends to be very profitable. That is just the nature of the business,” he said.
B Capital, which counts unicorns PharmEasy and Innovaccer among its two India-origin healthtech bets, is a global tech-focused investment firm cofounded by Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin.