Written By: Dr. Amit Mishra
Public Health Entrepreneurship: NextGen Healthcare
What is needed in the global healthcare business market today is a new innovative model of public services for solving public health issues, and that is possible only by entrepreneurial thinking!
How developing countries like India exploit the talent and the potential of Young Entrepreneurs to tackle the country’s public health challenges is a hot topic all over the world? It is expected that the Indian Healthcare market will reach Rs 26 Lakh Crore by the year 2022. The hospital industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 17 percent to reach about Rs 600 Lakh Crore by the year 2022.
The rising incomes, increasing health awareness (due to the digitization era), lifestyle diseases (diabetes, cancer) and the increasing accessibility of health insurances, altogether have been the key drivers of the Healthcare market in India today.
In recent years, India has been facing a growing burden of diseases and a critical shortage of health system resources, lack of basic infrastructure and qualified medical professionals, doctors, and surgeons.
It is the need of hour to urgently fix the basic health concerns in the sector of infectious diseases (Tuberculosis, diarrhea, Hepatitis A & E, typhoid fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis or Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, AES, malaria, leptospirosis, and rabies), NCDs (Non-communicable diseases), lifestyle diseases, and the emergence of new pathogens causing epidemics and pandemics.
In addition to that, the problem of the malnourished child due to poor sanitation and the mortality of about 7% before the age of five are some other major issues to be tackled in urgency. What other issues need to be tackled?
One critical issue which may be solved by public health entrepreneurship drive is the eradication of unemployment in India which has soared in recent times to its highest level in the last 20years (7.2%, According to February 2019 report). With an aim to provide essential public health services, Entrepreneurship in the Public Health sector has vast scopes for budding Entrepreneurs for Startups business.
They can plan projects in Surveillance, Diagnosis and investigation of health hazards and health issues, Providing Information, education, and empowerment to women, Mobilizing community partnerships and action in identification of health issues, Designing of policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
Enforcement of laws and regulations providing safety, Linking people to required personal health care, Arranging workforce for competent public and personal health care, Assessment of effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of health services, and Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health issues.
In recent month, the outbreak of a common vector-borne infectious disease meningitis or encephalitis caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites in Northern part of India, elicited a massive response from the public authorities. Japanese encephalitis (JE), mostly caused by viral Infection in Asia with about 50,000 clinical cases reported annually, is primarily a disease of children which is caused by a single-stranded RNA flavivirus in which the membranes around the brain gets inflamed.
JE virus is transmitted to humans through the biting of an infected mosquito, predominantly Culex species. The 3 of the most commonly identified etiologic agents in acute encephalitis are Herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and enterovirus. Transmission of these viruses mainly occurs in rural agricultural areas, in hot & humid season (Month of May-June).
Probably due to its viral cause, there are only a few therapeutic options that are commercially available to deal with this fatal disease. The use of DRACO, a double-stranded RNA activated Caspase Oligomerizer against RNA viruses as a therapeutic approach in the treatment of viral diseases like Japanese Encephalitis Virus has a great potential in the future.
With the interim budget allocation of Rs 62,398 Crore for the year 2019-20 which is about 1.3% of the total budget, Modi2.0 Government in Healthcare sector, in addition to the launch of the world’s largest government-funded healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat, has confirmed its commitment towards the healthcare of common man.
Young Entrepreneurs should bring new ideas for improving human health and make the dream true of a Healthy and Wealthy India. Here the collaboration of basic scientists, clinical investigators, public health professionals, and Entrepreneurs are required to develop a common language for describing disease mechanisms to improve human health in India.