Healthcare service delivery in India once meant hospitalisation or consultation and treatment at a clinic or health facility. But the Covid-19 pandemic and the fast-emerging developments in digital health in the last couple of years are changing that concept for good. As the first and second waves of the pandemic threatened to overwhelm India’s healthcare system with the shortage of hospital beds, oxygen, manpower, and critical care equipment, home care emerged as a vital pillar by providing quality and safe care at home.
Before the pandemic hit home, 60-80 per cent of demand for home care used to be driven by senior citizens seeking supportive long-term care at home. But today, new avenues of care delivery are available to those in need with advanced, specialised healthcare that is available on-demand and accessible at home. It reduces the burden on hospitals and also limits the chances of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). It can also be much cheaper than hospitals since service providers use available capacity in patients’ homes. It has the potential to address the long-standing challenges of shifting disease profiles, changing the population pyramid, transitioning family structures, and the rising costs of care.