Renting Medical Equipments for Geriatric Home Care

By Mr Vaibhav Tewari

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Home healthcare has come a long way in India. Statistics indicate that the global market for home healthcare will reach $364.69 billion by 2022 from $220.76 billion in 2016 registering a CAGR of 8.8%.[1] Although the adoption of this model is still at an early stage compared to other countries, the demand is increasing rapidly. The drivers of growth include the rising geriatric population, growing incidence of chronic diseases, and demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems.

Mr Vaibhav Tewari, Chief Operating Officer, Portea Medical

Mr Vaibhav Tewari, Chief Operating Officer, Portea Medical

The population of elderly in India is set to cross the 340 million mark by 2050 and is the second largest in the world. The elder population requires personalized care, much more than the clinical care given in formal hospital settings. For the care givers also, taking care of elderly is a highly emotional and often stressful task, thus comes the need for professional home health care. A report by Cyber Media Research revealed that home healthcare has the potential to replace up to 65% of unnecessary hospital visits in India and reduce hospital costs by 20%. The hospital beds can also be used for chronically ill patients in need of institutionalized care.

Availability of trained attendants and highly specialized affordable devices are the 2 factors that make the core of the home healthcare demand. Many equipments that were earlier restricted to hospitals, are now freely available for rent and purchase for home use. From ICU at home and complete respiratory support to motorized wheel chairs and beds, everything is available from high quality suppliers and manufacturers. Portea rents out hundreds of sophisticated devices that have M-to-M functionality and are used by our in-house doctors to monitor patient condition 24X7. And interestingly most of these patients come to us through digital channels. Everytime a patient is discharged from the hospital, and advised a device, his family members search on-line for suitable suppliers, rather than blindly going to the nearby chemist shop for suggestion.

As per a recent report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global medical equipment rental market size is expected to reach $64.07 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.4. Medical equipment is a broad term that covers everything from walking aids to blood sugar monitoring devices. Medical equipment promotes safety and disease management in assisted living and elderly care at home. The idea is that rather than just referring the patient and family to a healthcare device, the approach adopted is more holistic and personalized. The demand is primarily for respiratory devices, home ICU setup, as well as devices related to diabetes care and management. A majority of people fail to realize that while a patient admitted to the ICU in a hospital setting pays between Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 per day, a similar set up at home ranges from merely Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000 per day.[2] Renting medical equipment thus saves on real estate and infrastructure as the model effectively operates at 15% to 30% reduced costs in comparison to hospital expenses for similar treatment.[3]

An ever-increasing population and increase incidence of chronic diseases have spurred the demand for innovations that reduce or eliminate hospital stays. There is growing investment in products/solutions that enable home care, remote monitoring, tele-health and self-monitoring. Medical equipment rental is a very high-potential segment from both the patient need and innovation perspectives.