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E-health growth fuelled by online pharmacies

Close-up view on conceptual keyboard - Pharmacy (blue key) E-health concept.The e-health segment in India continues to grow with online pharmacies leading the way. 

Currently valued at US$1.2 billion, Bengaluru-based firm Red-Seer Consulting estimates the e-health sector to reach US$16 billion in the next five years with online pharmacies fuelling the increase in its value. Uptake is also projected to swell, with 57 million Indian households anticipated to use e-health services by 2025 compared to 4.3 million at present. As previously reported by Health Issues India, online pharmacies are expected to grow sevenfold by 2022 alone to US$3.7 billion. 

“Indian consumers face a host of challenges in the traditional healthcare system – be it availability of specialists or medicines at a nearby pharmacy or long waiting times to get diagnostic tests done,” Red-Seer Consulting chief executive officer and founder Anil Kumar is quoted as saying by The News Minute. “We believe e-Health platforms have a strong potential in changing the experience of the Indian consumer across the entire spectrum of outpatient services, across doctor consultation, diagnostics, and pharmacy.” The growth, Kumar posits, will be “driven by positive reception from both consumers and providers along with supportive Government regulations and investments.”

The growth of e-health in India will come as part of India’s healthcare industry’s broader growth, the report states. “The $135 billion Indian healthcare industry is on an exciting growth trajectory, with [the] Indian Government prioritising healthcare as one of the key focus areas for the next few years,” the report says. “The Government plans to increase its healthcare spending from the current 1.6 percent to 2.5 percent of the GDP [gross domestic product] until FY [fiscal year] 25.” By 2025, the report estimates the healthcare industry overall to grow to a US$353 billion by FY 25. 

Overall spending on health will increase to 7.1 percent of India’s GDP by FY 2025. Private spending that year is expected to be valued at US$228 billion, according to the report, with government spending to total at US$125 billion. 

The report “Indian E-health at Tipping Point” can be accessed here.

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