COVID-19 Is Expected to Increase the Demand for Telemedicine Market in India
The last one and a half decades have been crucial for the adoption of digital technologies in India. The increasing adoption of smart mobile devices in the market had a significant impact on modes of exchange and interaction with data.
Telemedicine services were started in India in the form of pilot projects, backed by several organizations, including Government of India, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, state governments, Indian Space Research Organization, and several other institutions.
Currently, a significant presence of healthcare systems in India is concentrated in the urban areas, creating a gap in accessibility for the rural regions. As indicated by the illustration above, 75% of doctors in India are concentrated in cities and urban areas, while most of India’s population resides in rural areas.
According to the market intelligence report published by BIS Research, the India telemedicine market was valued at Rs. 380.22 crores in 2019, and is expected to be valued at Rs. 1,765.56 crores, by the end of 2025, registering a CAGR of 23.89%, during 2020–2025.
One of the factors which has emerged as a key driver for the growth of the India telemedicine market is the implementation of social distancing norms. Telemedicine was initially conceptualized to bridge the gap between the urban and rural parts of India, in terms of healthcare.
One of the key challenges which hampers the growth of the telemedicine market in India is the lack of awareness amongst the people living in rural areas. Citizens must be educated on the importance of healthcare and the methods to receive treatment. Additionally, the healthcare infrastructure in rural areas must be improved to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in incidents which have brought about significant changes in the way business is conducted. The healthcare industry is facing the same downfall. The pandemic is expected to boost government spending on further enhancement of telemedicine infrastructure in the country.
Telemedicine has enormous potential in addressing issues pertaining to the last mile reach of healthcare. For a country such as India, it is crucial to utilize telemedicine for healthcare access to rural and remote areas apart from other applications, such as training, management, and education in the healthcare sector. Before COVID-19, the country witness fast growth in telemedicine as an upcoming sector in healthcare.
The telemedicine market in India has a mix of well-established players which have been in the market for nearly two decades, and relatively new players, which commenced operations in the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant demand for telemedicine services, as citizens are advised to remain indoors. The longevity of the pandemic is expected to have long-term effects on healthcare delivery systems in the country, making telemedicine a lucrative field. Thus, it is expected that there will be a new stream of market entrants over the course of the next few years.