In a survey that we recently conducted on the state of readiness of patients and consumers to take care of their health, it was interesting to see that almost 87.5% of the respondents were using digital resources to learn and manage their health, symptoms if they were sick and possible remediation.
Now this is in line with the responses globally in countries like Iceland and Sweden where almost 80% of respondents were using online resources to learn more about themselves. It is encouraging to see that we using our digital smart phones for more than just entertainment or social media.
While number is encouraging the subsequent question shows that there is a huge market, for digital health tools at the consumer level. Sometime ago I had expressed my views on this topic which appeared in The Economic Times, where I had stated that India was ready for such interventions and this is an area which will see rapid growth. The next level of innovation in healthcare would come from consumers.
There is a huge white pace here which was validated by our next question, “I am comfortable taking health decisions based on the tools available today”. What we intended to see was if users could us information online to take their own health decisions. Not surprisingly the numbers dropped from 87% to almost 54%.
So there is huge whitespace in tools that consumers can use. While a lot more work has to be done on validating and making health information available online into reliable sources, a lot more needs to be done to develop tools that can help these consumers manage their health on the same.
Lets continue this dialogue but would love your views on the same.