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Digital Healthcare: Transforming India's Healthcare Landscape, Beyond Just Delivering Convenience

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Lifestyle and body weight related wellness issues have been on the rise for quite some time, more so, in the post-COVID era. Much of this can be attributed to physical inactivity due to work from home constraints, distancing guidelines or just sheer laziness. There are many other factors taking a toll on our overall health, be it mentally or physically. These include several modifiable lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, unhealthy and unbalanced diet, wrong body posture, disturbed biological clock, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol abuse.

Mr. Amitoz Singh, Founder and CEO, Nirvasa


Add to that stress, which is the root cause of many harrowing health problems such as blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In many scientific studies, stress has been found to worsen or increase the risk of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, Alzheimers disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.


The extent of impact can be gauged from the fact that many young people today, complain of health problems which were earlier thought to be aged peoples’ problems, such as early balding, continued tiredness, poor sexual health, increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, unintended weight loss or weight gain, blurred vision, memory loss, slow-healing sores and frequent infections and injuries.


While we all are aware of these pertinent health issues, many of us tend to ignore these early signs until they start affecting our way of life deeply and oftentimes, that may be too late. Additionally, there are socially constructed taboos we are familiar with, which is the most pronounced in the domains of sexual health and mental health. People often shy away from opening up about their problems or seek help from qualified professional for the fear of being judged. As such, undiagnosed and underdiagnosed health issues often escalate into diseases that seldom are manageable at later stages in life.


Moreover, the Indian healthcare ecosystem has always been majorly focused towards offering treatment after someone contracts an ailment. Another issue is the lack of affordable accessibility to healthcare facilities and seasoned professionals. The good news is that, the accelerated pace of digitization and rapid adoption of technology has done away with many such limitations in the recent times. Many new age companies are coming up with efficient, affordable, high-quality healthcare technologies that are ready to be implemented and scaled. With the adoption of advanced technology, India is looking at a more buoyant future of Indian health-tech and expects to bridge gaps and focus towards a more preventive healthcare and disease management.


One such technology that witnessed burgeoning adoption over the last few years, especially during the pandemic, is telemedicine or the use of electronic or digital channels or media for the distribution of healthcare services, in situations where the patient and doctor cannot be physically present. Telehealth, of which telemedicine is an integral part, accounted for less than 5% of India’s overall healthcare technology segment before the pandemic. This number surged to 47% during the pandemic, as per data from Apollo Hospitals. Virtual diagnosis and delivery of healthcare services is no more just a distant dream. Many startups have emerged which made telemedicine and virtual doctor consultations, diagnosis and treatment, not only cost effective but immeasurably convenient, transparent, and trustworthy.


For instance, Nirvasa is one such startup that is leading the digital healthcare delivery space in India. Founded by Amitoz Singh in 2019, the Gurugram based startup is looking at solving many of todays lifestyle-related problems such as sexual health and performance, weight management, diabetes, hair & skin care, among others and it has a whopping growth story of 500% in last 1 year.


Nirvasa provides healthcare assistance to every Indian which are accessible from the comfort of their own homes, without having to stress about the hassles of joining long queues, taking leaves from workplaces or physically travelling for pharmacy visits or doctor check-ins. Nirvasa Healthcare directly connects the Patient to a healthcare professional through its no-queue digital health facility, with no waiting period involved. From then on, Nirvasa’s healthcare experts takes on complete ownership of diagnosis and treatments of patients.


The platform provides free of cost health consultations to 10000+ Indians per day. It also builds holistic healthcare plans personalised to every patients specific needs and requirements. It enables healthcare to be accessible and reachable for every Indian from any part of the country, thereby fostering a culture of confidence, safety and inclusion. Nirvasa as a digital health clinic is helping eradicate preventable primary health issues there by reducing secondary and tertiary health complications because of neglect happens at primary care level. This reduces the burden on Secondary and Tertiary care hospitalization and on Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the world’s largest health assurance scheme, that aims to provide health coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to vulnerable families living in any part of the country.


The digital healthcare delivery platform understands how sensitive the subject of mental health and sexual health is in the country. As per data by NIMHANS, over 80% of people suffering from mental health problems do not access professional care because of many reasons such as lack of knowledge, stigma and high cost of care. Mental health problems are now among the top leading causes of health burden globally. Similarly, sexual health issues are far more common than we may presume. Premature ejaculation (PE), desire disorders and erectile dysfunction (ED), are commonly reported amongst men in India. Lack of desire, pain during intercourse, and sex-related anxiety are the most prevalent, as per a study. Many of these issues are indeed very closely tied to a patient’s mental and physical health and not paying heed in time to such health problems often affect the family and contributes to divorce rates.


To address problems like these, Nirvasa Healthcare is creating an eco-system where patients with such health problems can call healthcare professionals directly and get diagnosis, consultation and treatment from the comfort of their homes, without the intervention of any intermediary. Nirvasa understands that such health problems need to be destigmatised and placed at par with other physical health problems. Also, more than medication or alternate therapies, diagnosis and treatment of such health concerns needs a holistic approach, including normalisation and redressal of issues, backed by innovative solutions. This is where companies like Nirvasa are making successful interventions.


Furthermore, considering that India and China remain the two countries with the highest estimated numbers of people with diabetes (79.4 million and 42.3 million, respectively) by 2030. Nirvasa Healthcare is planning to launch a Diabetes Healthcare Action Plan, which it will operate through its digital healthcare platform.


Digital healthcare has immense potential for a country like ours, in terms of addressing issues of access, affordability and quality. Health-tech is a vital component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is especially effective for those who may need to protect themselves from hospital-acquired infections.

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