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Personalisation – Re-modelling the Indian Healthcare Industry

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Dr RB Smarta, Chairman and Managing Director – Interlink elucidates on personalised care being the future of healthcare in the country where one size does not fit all

With the advancement in technology, the entire healthcare industry in the country is moving towards personalised care. Personalisation is enhancing convenience of a stakeholder, be it the patient or consumer, a healthcare professional such as a medical doctor or a nutritionist or a medical/sales representative, to access information or using a product.

Personalised care will be the future of healthcare in the country as we have come to an era where one size does not fit all. Today a healthcare company personalises its messages as per its target group.

India will soon see an emergence of unique business models in the areas of healthcare and wellness selling. Like Netflix model, even in healthcare, we will be able to see emergence of subscription-based models and packages in the near future.

Some of the popular models could be – Wellness Clinic Model (where by paying a specific fee, an individual gets the benefit of a doctor visit, check up, diagnostic tests, disease management awareness programmes, all in one); Push Model (a package of a doctor visit for six months for a subscription fee); Conversation Model (patient will be able to chat with a doctor through an app by monthly subscription); Insta Visit model ( where paying an extra fee helps an individual get rid of excessive waiting period before meeting a well-known healthcare professional).

A pharma company today uses the power of Data Analytics to personalise marketing communications to a doctor depending upon his interest areas and behaviour patterns.

Thus if a doctor is having a scientific focus, the marketing communication would have elements of scientific research, trial data and statistics. If the doctor is innovation oriented, the marketing communication would be customised to include aspects of modern technology. If the doctor is a traditionalist, the marketing will follow a traditional approach.

Pharma companies have started using technology in the form of apps and gadgets to provide customised training to their MRs based on the latter’s strengths and weaknesses.

In pharma, producers are increasingly innovating in terms of formats such as drops and chewables as well as in personalising their offerings through products for specific ages and gender, all addressing unique and well defined indications.

The industry is slowly moving towards patient centricity involving holistic healthcare. In an effort to reduce side effects of chemical drugs, pharma companies are involved in research identifying therapies that have a good mix of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. With the same objective, major super speciality hospitals in the country have embarked on projects that integrates the western medical science with the eastern concepts of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani.

In order to increase the level of personalisation, we will be able to see more pharma companies shifting their prescription products to OTC and selling the products using online channels and social media. Patients and consumers would increasingly buy healthcare products from e-commerce sites. There would be emergence of more healthcare e-commerce companies on the lines of Pharmeasy, Netmeds, Lifcare and Healthkart. Companies will focus more on social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram etc.) opportunities to customise their OTC pharma and nutra products to their target groups.

Companies are leveraging the power of pharma research and data analytics to bring out products tailor made to the body type and specified body parameters of a specific individual. Technology like sensors combined with patient data would predict future specific conditions, lack of adherence etc.

Thus segmentation, customised messaging, technology, channels and patient needs would repurpose the industry to focus on personalised attention to alleviate the burden of diseases with innovative medicines.

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