Vinod Giri, Founder & CEO, DialDent

• What are your views on the Healthcare market in India vis-à-vis the global market?

Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace through services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players. According to market report the overall Indian healthcare market is worth around USD 100 billion and is expected to grow to USD 280 billion by 2020, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.9 percent. There is a significant scope for enhancing healthcare services considering that healthcare spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is rising. The market opportunity, consisting of customers in right age, socio economic class, and likely incidence of existing dental health issues in just 18 top cities is over Rs 6000 crores.

Considering the widening gap in coverage and rising cost of healthcare services in the country, telemedicine which offers remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients via videoconferencing or Internet has the potential to address the gap. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian government strongly support telemedicine and independent research studies show that 70 per cent of the OPD cases do not require any in-person visit, yet people in India may feel the need of going to OPD. Slowly and steadily people are accepting this fact and soon with increasing Internet/Smartphone penetration and lower data costs, telemedicine will disrupt the status quo of Indian healthcare system. Outside these, dental care is tiny outside the large cities and it does not exist in rural markets. That also is a massive opportunity. 

Besides this market, there are tremendous opportunities in value added services such as dental insurance which is non-existent in India and an area where our mobile operations are a big advantage over fixed clinic operators.

• Your thoughts on budgetary allocation in healthcare?

The union budget 2017-18 has come up with many great things for the healthcare and startup industry. The Bharat Net project of the government deserves applause since it will enable the startups in healthcare space to connect with the rural population. The idea of the reduction in corporate tax for MSMEs having revenues less than 50 crores will help the companies to prosper in the segment. I thank the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for relaxing the external commercial borrowing system. The healthcare sector is likely to witness a spike with this good budget.

• What is your vision for Health and Family Welfare? What were the challenges you faced while implementing health services?

The most important challenge Dialdent has is to make people aware that most of them have dental issues and it is important to have them looked in to regularly. Only way to truly unlock the value in dental market is by encouraging prevention.

Second challenge Dialdent faces is that many people associate dental care with heavy machines, and they need to get over the doubts that same services can be delivered by technology which is compact and portable. Once they witness it, they are won over. But that is the challenge of any new idea.

Having said that, Home delivery of product and services is growing rapidly in India. It’s evident in all spheres, home delivery providers are overtaking traditional delivery models just like the movement to on-line purchasing. It appears to be the way to go in future. Dialdent is rightfully betting on the assumption that in a few years’ time people would expect everything at doorstep. That will include non-critical medical services, medicines, medical products etc. It is already happening in India across products groups such as – Food, Provisions, Laundry, Medical, Services, Home Maintenance & Repairs, Pet grooming, Services, etc. to name a few.

Today, there are over 20 international healthcare brands in India with several corporate hospitals. However, a large section of the ‘private healthcare delivery segment’ is scattered and quality of medical care continues to remain a matter of concern. What is your perspective on monitoring the quality of private healthcare?

Dental service providers today are either standalone dental clinics, or dental clinic chains. They invest in clinics but do very little to get customers to clinics. They instead wait for patients to come to clinics which they will do onlywhen having a pain or difficulty. 

The fundamental difference Dialdent has with such clinics or clinic chains is that instead of waiting for patients to come to it, Dialdent goes to them using its mobile clinics. It also helps them discover dental problems early and then leads them in to the dental care ecosystem smoothly by checking and treating them in their own comfort zones – be it their office or homes. It takes the clinic to patients, instead of making them come to clinic. Mobility is what separates Dialdent from current operators.

Technology backbone is another differentiating factor. Most dental care providers have no or limited ability to capture, mine and leverage patient data. Dialdent has its own technology platform which not only makes customer interface easy, it also helps company monitor, dissect, cross tabulate and use patient data.

• What according to you are the areas where government should invest to make healthcare available to everyone on the go?

The healthcare delivery environment in India has distinctive challenges. Currently, the sector is facing the challenges of accessibility, infrastructure, and quality. Some other challenges faced by Indian CIOs in adopting IT into the Indian healthcare system. Although government is spending a lot in health sector. Indian technology solutions providers, irrespective of their size, have an opportunity to use the disruptive technologies like cloud and mobility and change the way healthcare is provided in our country and create a sustainable competitive advantage in the market place. It is clear that the disrupting technologies like cloud and mobility will be a major driver in changing the face of Indian healthcare industry and making India a healthy nation. It is imperative that both healthcare providers and technology providers need to show agility, and out-of-the-box thinking capability to come out with innovative solutions to contribute to this growth journey.

Government should increase the public spending on health and needs to take a holistic approach like development of standard treatment guidelines, prescription audit, quality assurance methods, incentives for low-cost medical device manufacturing, investment in health education and care delivery infrastructure and usage of modern day technology

• What are the policies interventions that the healthcare sector in the state needs to align with the healthcare objectives at large at the national level?

To serve larger number of people, governments should spend more on public sector healthcare outlets. Though economic growth is accelerating in a rapid pace. With the budgetary allocations are high with the government would upgrade the basic healthcare infrastructure in india in order to make medical services affordable easier in the coming times. Consumers are growing more aware of their needs, demand quick service and less waiting time. People now demand better health service and do not want to travel long distance. Hence these services will definitely fuel the growth of health sector. The cities are very attractive to healthcare players because of tax sops and increasing incomes from families. Adding technology also playing a prominent role to uplift the health through communication systems, imaging devices to provide diagnosis to the rural patients. 

• Anything else you would like to tell us?

Today, healthcare organizations need to streamline their IT infrastructure, to be able to provide simple, quicker, and more efficient healthcare service or delivery. The healthcare solutions promote a new productivity model whereby the ultimate winner is the patient, who will now have instant equitable access to the best clinical expertise.


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