Dissecting India’s Healthtech
India's healthtech startups were growing rapidly even before the pandemic, but Covid-19 has ushered in a new age. This series dives into the trends, startups business models emerging in the wake of Covid-19.
In India, as in most developing economies, policy leads and innovation follows. And as we saw in our previous article, healthcare policy has not exactly been the strong point of India’s government despite high profile schemes such as Ayushman Bharat. Even where the policymakers have shown the gumption to forge forward-thinking policy, there has been some hesitation. And now the Dissecting India’s Healthtech Playbook turns to the one policy decision that will have the biggest impact on healthtech.
The National Health Stack, which is a set of essential APIs, recently went live for testing. When implemented in the right manner, it will make telemedicine and other healthtech possibilities a reality with safety, interoperability, security and reliability being the primary pillars. If that sounds familiar, it’s because India has already reaped the benefits of something like this in the past.
We have seen it in how India Stack — Aadhaar, UPI, Digilocker, digital banking and now account aggregator — has transformed fintech, digital payments, commerce in India. Envisioning a similar cohesive future for healthcare, dozens organisations and companies — National Cancer Grid, Swasth Alliance, LiveHealth, DRiefcase and others — have begun testing the newly built National Health Stack APIs in the past few weeks. But there’s still a long way to go before there’s full-fledged innovation built on the health stack.
“It will take a few months before all the APIs get authenticated and certified by an empanelled ecosystem of certification agencies,” iSPIRT Foundation’s core volunteer Siddharth Shetty, who has closely worked on the National Health Stack project, told Inc42.