ePharmacy Waves will Quake the Traditional Market by 2020

Jaipur, 20th June, 2018:


With internet penetration in India, the country has become a large playground of disruption of various traditional sectors by changing customer behavior through startups. Earlier it was a battle on eCommerce and major players are Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon; then it was of Logistic Management Startups; Later it was Fin-Tech Startups and major focus was on eWallets, Investments, Banking and Tax Return solutions. Now it is headed towards disrupting healthcare market where even Govt. of India is also making moves. Niti Ayog has set Healthcare as one of those five areas where it will focus on Artificial Intelligence Solution Development to avail healthcare services equally to all citizens of the country.


On the contrary, a report on Global Healthcare Sector Outlook 2018 mentions the increasing popularity of mobile communication devices for health services and information. From wearable fitness trackers to smart devices to cyber networks, the mHealth market has doubled in just four years. In fact, there are more than 100,000 mHealth apps currently available, and health app market revenue was projected to grow to USD $26 billion by the end of 2017. While these devices and services encourage consumers to be engaged participants in managing their own health, fitness, and general wellness, broader benefits may be reaped as well. From the perspective of population health, where 75 percent of all health costs derive from preventable conditions, feedback devices like these could be enormously helpful in facilitating healthy behavior change.


Speaking on Customer Behavior, Mr. Manish Mehta, Founder of MeraPatient App, says; “Like Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Uber and many such more new players, have changed the behavior of customers in the respective sectors of level ground, it is now turn of a Healthcare sector to inject innovative marketing strategies and change the customer (patients) behavior. However the only challenge here is the demand is driven mostly ‘by reference and not by choice’. It is as per doctor’s subscription which drives demand of ePharmacy in most of the cases.”


India has comparatively the lowest ratios for a doctor per 1,000 patients amongst the developing countries. One-to-One interaction with a doctor is not only a time-consuming process but also an expensive one, especially in the private sector. But the behavior of patients generally found in India is always in favour of one-to-one consultation by doctors. Even though government hospitals and state-run health centres offer consultations either free of cost or at subsidized pricing, it’s not easy to get an access to these services for all citizens through mHealth due to lack of internet usage education. In this case, a trained healthcare staff that can play a dual role of providing education on using internet and consulting on health services will be in demand in the industry.


The most common challenge in shifting customer to mHealth is ‘technology adoption’, which is highly influenced by values and beliefs, ways of being, and identity. Progress on adaptive challenges is not about prevailing logic or data. Actually, adaptive challenges require leadership behaviors that can lead practices and approaches that marketer need to preserve and what need to discard.