With internet penetration increasing rapidly, e-healthcare in India is fast catching public attention and is poised to contribute significantly to the overall healthcare market, industry experts said.
"Currently the overall health care market in India is about USD 150 billion. But the way internet penetration and awareness about health care is increasing in India, the e-health care services would grow at a very healthy rate. I expect that very soon, it would contribute about 2 per cent in the overall health care sector," Credihealth Managing Director Ravi Virmani told PTI.
The government is also in the process of starting an e-healthcare service that will intensify health awareness in the country. E-healthcare services include helping people contact and interact with good doctors, buying medicines and taking e-prescriptions.
Credihealth, which is a web portal, provides wide range of services like health tests at discounted rates, searching different doctors across the country and arranging direct interactions with medical professionals.
Sharing similar views, another industry expert said that though the e-health care sector is at nascent stage, it will register phenomenal growth in the coming years.
"Use of internet and mobile phones will push the growth of the sector. It will have a favourable share in the overall health care industry," Vivek Srivastava, CEO of Health Care at Home India said.
Further, Virmani said that e-healthcare also helps in increasing transparency in the sector as this is eliminating the role of middlemen engaged in the segment.
"We have started virtual clinics where a patient can directly interact with a doctor. We also provide rate lists for different medicines and tests. It helps people in comparing prices," he said, adding that thousands of people are accessing the web portal to avail the services.
He also said that e-healthcare is helping boosting medical tourism in the country.
Patients in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq are visiting different web portals which is helping them in choosing doctors and hospitals from their home country.
Through telecommunication revolution, e-healthcare service delivery has become convenient in smaller cities also.