Our HealthTech Strategy

Our HealthTech Strategy

Even before the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis upended the world, the Indian healthcare system has been trying to keep pace with increasing demand for infrastructure on the one hand and mitigating rising healthcare costs on the other. While there have been improvements in India’s ranking in health quality indices there is still a lot of work ahead. There have been some positive developments led by government initiatives (Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana etc.) and formalisation of healthcare delivery (backed by private equity and venture capital investments). Yet as a country we are still early in our journey of making the ambitious vision of affordable healthcare for all a reality. As impact investors, we strongly believe that technology can play a huge role in accelerating India’s healthcare journey and have therefore developed a focused HealthTech initiative since 2020.

As we studied the Indian HealthTech market, we identified four critical problems in the industry that we think technology can help solve:

  • Information asymmetry and lack of awareness: Lack of adequate credible / medically verified information, low awareness of nutritional requirements, disease symptoms, treatment protocols; This phenomenon cuts across income segments and the length and breadth of India.
  • Lack of access to healthcare products & services: Low penetration of physical infrastructure and medicines and low availability of qualified healthcare professionals, particularly in smaller towns and cities and for the Next Half Billion population;
  • Subpar quality of care: Low levels of early screening, lack of standardized diagnosis/ treatment protocols, incorrect / misdiagnoses due to lack of patient data;
  • Lack of affordability: high out-of-pocket expenditure, greater dependence on secondary/ tertiary care, high level of imports (MedTech, APIs)

Rising awareness and increasing proliferation of the Internet point towards an inflection point in the digital health ecosystem in India. Improving penetration of health insurance, a clear government mandate to improve healthcare through initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat, direct transfer of subsidies through the JAM (Jan Dhan– Aadhaar– Mobile) trinity, and clearer regulations should fuel some momentum in the space.  

In addition, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way doctors, patients, and providers interact and adopt technology solutions. All of this has created a unique opportunity for digital health to drive convenient, low-cost, and effective healthcare solutions to patients.

At Omidyar Network India, we’re excited to be investing in and partnering with bold entrepreneurs who are helping create a more meaningful life for Indians, by building inclusive solutions and disrupting the healthcare ecosystem in the country.

Our HealthTech investment thesis focuses on backing solutions that are:

  • Patient-centric, and with a clear path to cater to the Next Half Billion
  • Technology-led
  • Focussed on a demonstrable improvement in patient health outcomes

We are actively looking for investment opportunities in the following areas :

  1. Healthcare Delivery to increase access to affordable and quality healthcare
    Distribution and delivery of healthcare products and services such as e-consultations, e-diagnostics, e-pharmacy, remote monitoring solutions, corporate wellness programs, and online-to-offline solutions such as the utilization of excess capacity for non-critical surgeries and at-home care.

    Information awareness in terms of credible and relatable health content and access to doctor-patient or support networks, information for preventive care, and knowledge platforms for care providers.
  2. Health IT/infrastructure to deliver better quality of care
    Quality cares solutions that help providers and practitioners deliver better patient care and generate predictive insights on patient health for early diagnosis/treatment, leveraging the emerging electronic healthcare records ecosystem of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)
  3. Digital Therapeutics to deliver affordable, quality preventative healthcare
    Evidence-based therapeutic interventions driven by high-quality software solutions to track, prevent and treat chronic medical disorders or diseases such as diabetes, cancer, orthopaedia thyroid, hypertension, obesity, CVD, PCOD etc.
  4. Financing / Insurance to improve affordability
    Savings, loans, and insurance offerings (including group/ corporate insurance) for patients to finance medical expenditures such as surgeries, critical illnesses, chronic care and home devices.
  5. MedTech to improve screening quality and improve access to diagnosis (opportunistic)
    Affordable, locally developed hardware and/or software solutions that are clinically approved for medical use (FDA, CE Mark), including medical devices, used for diagnosis/treatment either at point-of-care or at home

The power of technology can fundamentally change healthcare by bringing patient centricity to the core of health delivery through innovative business models that can help shape the future of health in the country.

As we go through an extraordinary period of transformation in healthcare, we look forward to the next wave of mission-driven founders building bold solutions solving the challenges in the healthcare ecosystem and making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to the Next Half Billion.

Image credit: Mathematica.org