Start Your Business in a Growing Industry – Infectious Diseases

Last Updated at: April 10, 2020
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Start Your Business in a Growing Industry - Infectious Diseases

The Coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill. As more than 3 crore people across the world are locked down, stock markets are crashing and the rupee weakening – the economic impact of the CoVid 2019 is only beginning to get worse. While the Asian Development Bank predicts that the cost of lockdown to the Indian economy could be almost $29.9 billion, The Confederation of Indian Industries has estimated that given the losses mounting in the financial sector, India could take more than six months after the lockdowns are eased, for all the business to return to normalcy. However, despite these bleak economic predictions, there exists a silver lining for certain businesses, such as technology-powered startups in the medical industry.

Science – our only weapon against infectious diseases

At a time like this, we are only furthering our belief – that science is the only cure to win the battle against Coronavirus. Integrally related to harnessing this benefit of science is the art of making it available at profitable rates through creative business development. In this post, we highlight some of the evolving business areas, rooted in helping the world cope better with pandemics such as the novel Coronavirus and also discuss ways to take your medical startup to fruition.

Predictive healthcare – the panacea to present and future illnesses

It is believed by scientists that the Coronavirus was spreading through Italy, one of the top three global hotspots, through the first 50 days without any significant symptoms. Similarly, in China – many thousands of asymptomatic patients quickly turned into virus carriers. This led to a large number of silent spreaders, who could not be monitored. As the world makes advances in healthcare surveillance through multiple mobile apps, smart watches, data trackers in our phones that can monitor minute details from our sleeping pattern to our heart rate – the prospects for predictive healthcare systems are only getting brighter.

Telemedicine industry

Industry reports predict that the telemedicine industry is growing at a compounded annual rate of more than 18.5% every year. Telemedicine is the most versatile medical technology that makes remote operations, diagnosis and prescription possible. It is also being harnessed for health education, and delivery of healthcare to remote and inaccessible locations. With many rural districts in India facing an acute shortage of doctors and the closing of city borders in almost every state in India – telemedicine is nothing short of a boon. With increasing mobile and internet penetration in India and the world, telemedicine has potential to change the course of medical industry. It also has additional cost advantages such as reducing expenses on hospitalisation and emergency visits. At this crucial time when access to hospitals is also barred for non-emergency services, consultations with doctors through internet technologies could deliver safe and quality healthcare without the risk of exposure.

Get free legal advice now 

Drones based medical and essentials supply

With increasingly stringent lockdowns not just globally, but also in India – an aggressive containment strategy such as the Bhilwara model that aims at total lockdown of a city – surveillance over quarantine violators is being done through drones. This presents a unique opportunity of delivery of essential supplies like medicines via drones. Through the use of drones, supplies could reach vulnerable groups faster, without human participation, and in tough terrain and climatic conditions.

Counselling and Psychological Help Startups

Aside from the political, economic and health effects of the Coronavirus – there is an emerging threat of mental ill-health. Psychologists are now calling this “epidemic of despair” that yields a host of depressions, anxieties, isolation arising from fears of losing jobs, our loved ones and the thought of an uncertain future. This is also been seen to cause fits of rage, anger, suicidal tendencies, alcoholism and drug addiction across different ages. Online applications offering dedicated services of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical healers are on the rise.

Yoga, Food and Healing Startups

With novel kinds of viruses and infections increasing everyday, there has been a renewed surge in preventive healthcare forms – notably exercise, yoga, meditation and healthy food. Similarly, musical instruments, relaxing music and sound healing are also upcoming forms of creative healing.

Starting your business in one of these emerging fields of medicine and infectious disease care

Starting a business can be hard, involving multiple decisions, insights and procedural work. To make your work easier, here are a few product and business development tips that you can refer to while deciding your field and form of business product in an emerging field of the medicine industry.

Market Scope

With concerns over health rising globally, the market for medical industry is very wide and includes many countries with which India has trade relations. Recently, USA has also asked India to export hydroxycholoroquine (HCQ) as part of its Coronavirus treatment plan, which has potential to renew healthcare exports from India. India is also a leading manufacturer of medical equipments, protective gear and is pioneering research in low-cost ventilators. With limited resources and many developed countries in Europe and the USA running out of medical supplies, India’s medical industry stands to gain from this crisis.

Product Scope and Opportunities

Given the fact that medical industry is the only saviour of humankind from potentially fatal and novel diseases, there is a renewed global focus of businesses towards finding solutions. These are leading us to newer physical products like testing kits, ventilators, protective equipment, sanitation systems. However, this isn’t all, newer technologies are also on the rise – these include diagnostics procedures, gene technologies, apps that allow tracing details of contacts, support applications for healthcare workers, virus outbreak predictors based on algorithmic visualisations and robots for disinfecting and contactless delivery of services.

The development of these technologies is likely to benefit a host of stakeholders and intermediaries such as medical equipment manufactures and suppliers, healthcare service providers, medical training and health research institutes, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, consulting firms operating in the sphere of medical counselling, healthcare IT solutions providers, healthcare insurance companies, venture capitalists and investors familiar with the medical industry, Government and regulatory bodies, etc.

Securing Intellectual Property Rights

One of the foremost tasks to cross off your list, once you’ve finalised your business idea is to secure ownership of intellectual property. If you’re developing an app – its logo, your business trademark and the technology behind it must be registered and patented at the earliest. A patent protects the way something is made, its process, its composition and the methodology of its creation. It covers all stages in the spectrum – from conceptualisation to development and improvisation of the product or technology. This enables you to secure exclusive rights over the idea and would deter competitors from copying your business processes. Additionally, the grant of a patent also helps an investor assess your business more favourably. In India, it can take up to five years to get a patent registered, from the date of filing.

Licenses, Registrations and Other Approvals

As a start-up working in the medical and healthcare sphere, many licenses and regulatory approvals may be required. Since “Health” – is state subject, there can be state government rules and regulations to follow. Moreover, since “Infectious diseases” are a part of the Concurrent list, there may be significant manufacturing and approval guidelines from the Centre as well. For example – testing kits for Coronavirus in India can only be manufactured after an approval by the Indian Council for Medical Research.

Conclusion – Skyrocketing market shares and the golden future of medical business

While a global recession is inevitable as a cause of the industrial, transportation and consequently, a consumption halt, there exist businesses with their stock prices shooting through the roof. A recent example is the stock price of US company Abbott that recorded a $18 billion surge in market share, after it announced a molecular diagnostic test that could deliver results in just 13 minutes.

Thus, unifying and galvanising the country towards better health would be one positive outcome of the virus that is likely to ramp up our healthcare system for decades to come,  and charter the medical business industry to a path of constant redevelopment.

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Start Your Business in a Growing Industry – Infectious Diseases

918

The Coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill. As more than 3 crore people across the world are locked down, stock markets are crashing and the rupee weakening – the economic impact of the CoVid 2019 is only beginning to get worse. While the Asian Development Bank predicts that the cost of lockdown to the Indian economy could be almost $29.9 billion, The Confederation of Indian Industries has estimated that given the losses mounting in the financial sector, India could take more than six months after the lockdowns are eased, for all the business to return to normalcy. However, despite these bleak economic predictions, there exists a silver lining for certain businesses, such as technology-powered startups in the medical industry.

Science – our only weapon against infectious diseases

At a time like this, we are only furthering our belief – that science is the only cure to win the battle against Coronavirus. Integrally related to harnessing this benefit of science is the art of making it available at profitable rates through creative business development. In this post, we highlight some of the evolving business areas, rooted in helping the world cope better with pandemics such as the novel Coronavirus and also discuss ways to take your medical startup to fruition.

Predictive healthcare – the panacea to present and future illnesses

It is believed by scientists that the Coronavirus was spreading through Italy, one of the top three global hotspots, through the first 50 days without any significant symptoms. Similarly, in China – many thousands of asymptomatic patients quickly turned into virus carriers. This led to a large number of silent spreaders, who could not be monitored. As the world makes advances in healthcare surveillance through multiple mobile apps, smart watches, data trackers in our phones that can monitor minute details from our sleeping pattern to our heart rate – the prospects for predictive healthcare systems are only getting brighter.

Telemedicine industry

Industry reports predict that the telemedicine industry is growing at a compounded annual rate of more than 18.5% every year. Telemedicine is the most versatile medical technology that makes remote operations, diagnosis and prescription possible. It is also being harnessed for health education, and delivery of healthcare to remote and inaccessible locations. With many rural districts in India facing an acute shortage of doctors and the closing of city borders in almost every state in India – telemedicine is nothing short of a boon. With increasing mobile and internet penetration in India and the world, telemedicine has potential to change the course of medical industry. It also has additional cost advantages such as reducing expenses on hospitalisation and emergency visits. At this crucial time when access to hospitals is also barred for non-emergency services, consultations with doctors through internet technologies could deliver safe and quality healthcare without the risk of exposure.

Get free legal advice now 

Drones based medical and essentials supply

With increasingly stringent lockdowns not just globally, but also in India – an aggressive containment strategy such as the Bhilwara model that aims at total lockdown of a city – surveillance over quarantine violators is being done through drones. This presents a unique opportunity of delivery of essential supplies like medicines via drones. Through the use of drones, supplies could reach vulnerable groups faster, without human participation, and in tough terrain and climatic conditions.

Counselling and Psychological Help Startups

Aside from the political, economic and health effects of the Coronavirus – there is an emerging threat of mental ill-health. Psychologists are now calling this “epidemic of despair” that yields a host of depressions, anxieties, isolation arising from fears of losing jobs, our loved ones and the thought of an uncertain future. This is also been seen to cause fits of rage, anger, suicidal tendencies, alcoholism and drug addiction across different ages. Online applications offering dedicated services of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical healers are on the rise.

Yoga, Food and Healing Startups

With novel kinds of viruses and infections increasing everyday, there has been a renewed surge in preventive healthcare forms – notably exercise, yoga, meditation and healthy food. Similarly, musical instruments, relaxing music and sound healing are also upcoming forms of creative healing.

Starting your business in one of these emerging fields of medicine and infectious disease care

Starting a business can be hard, involving multiple decisions, insights and procedural work. To make your work easier, here are a few product and business development tips that you can refer to while deciding your field and form of business product in an emerging field of the medicine industry.

Market Scope

With concerns over health rising globally, the market for medical industry is very wide and includes many countries with which India has trade relations. Recently, USA has also asked India to export hydroxycholoroquine (HCQ) as part of its Coronavirus treatment plan, which has potential to renew healthcare exports from India. India is also a leading manufacturer of medical equipments, protective gear and is pioneering research in low-cost ventilators. With limited resources and many developed countries in Europe and the USA running out of medical supplies, India’s medical industry stands to gain from this crisis.

Product Scope and Opportunities

Given the fact that medical industry is the only saviour of humankind from potentially fatal and novel diseases, there is a renewed global focus of businesses towards finding solutions. These are leading us to newer physical products like testing kits, ventilators, protective equipment, sanitation systems. However, this isn’t all, newer technologies are also on the rise – these include diagnostics procedures, gene technologies, apps that allow tracing details of contacts, support applications for healthcare workers, virus outbreak predictors based on algorithmic visualisations and robots for disinfecting and contactless delivery of services.

The development of these technologies is likely to benefit a host of stakeholders and intermediaries such as medical equipment manufactures and suppliers, healthcare service providers, medical training and health research institutes, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, consulting firms operating in the sphere of medical counselling, healthcare IT solutions providers, healthcare insurance companies, venture capitalists and investors familiar with the medical industry, Government and regulatory bodies, etc.

Securing Intellectual Property Rights

One of the foremost tasks to cross off your list, once you’ve finalised your business idea is to secure ownership of intellectual property. If you’re developing an app – its logo, your business trademark and the technology behind it must be registered and patented at the earliest. A patent protects the way something is made, its process, its composition and the methodology of its creation. It covers all stages in the spectrum – from conceptualisation to development and improvisation of the product or technology. This enables you to secure exclusive rights over the idea and would deter competitors from copying your business processes. Additionally, the grant of a patent also helps an investor assess your business more favourably. In India, it can take up to five years to get a patent registered, from the date of filing.

Licenses, Registrations and Other Approvals

As a start-up working in the medical and healthcare sphere, many licenses and regulatory approvals may be required. Since “Health” – is state subject, there can be state government rules and regulations to follow. Moreover, since “Infectious diseases” are a part of the Concurrent list, there may be significant manufacturing and approval guidelines from the Centre as well. For example – testing kits for Coronavirus in India can only be manufactured after an approval by the Indian Council for Medical Research.

Conclusion – Skyrocketing market shares and the golden future of medical business

While a global recession is inevitable as a cause of the industrial, transportation and consequently, a consumption halt, there exist businesses with their stock prices shooting through the roof. A recent example is the stock price of US company Abbott that recorded a $18 billion surge in market share, after it announced a molecular diagnostic test that could deliver results in just 13 minutes.

Thus, unifying and galvanising the country towards better health would be one positive outcome of the virus that is likely to ramp up our healthcare system for decades to come,  and charter the medical business industry to a path of constant redevelopment.

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Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.