Start Your Business in a Growing Industry – Infectious Diseases By Avani Mishra - May 16, 2020 Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021 1319 The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has now allowed the export of all alcohol-based hand sanitizers, including alcohol-based hand sanitizers in containers with dispenser pumps. The Ministry of Commerce stated it in a notification dated 15.10.2020. It has also issued a notification to amend export policy of hand sanitizers. 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-19 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 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 Predictive healthcare – the panacea to present and future illnesses Telemedicine industry Drones based medical and essentials supply Counseling and Psychological Help Start-ups Yoga, Food and healing start-ups Market Scope Product Scope and Opportunities Securing Intellectual Property Rights Licenses, Registrations, and Other Approvals 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 start-up 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, smartwatches, 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, diagnoses, and prescriptions 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 the potential to change the course of the medical industry. It also has additional cost advantages such as reducing expenses on hospitalization 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. Start Your Business 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 for the 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. Counseling and Psychological help start-ups 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 start-ups in Business With novel kinds of viruses and infections increasing every day, 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 medical industry. Market Scope in Business With concerns over health rising globally, the market for the medical industry is very wide. It includes many countries with which India has trade relations. Recently, the USA has also asked India to export hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). As part of its Coronavirus treatment plan, which has the potential to renew healthcare exports from India. India is also a leading manufacturer of medical equipment, protective gear. It is pioneering research on 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 in Business Given the fact that the medical industry is the only savior 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. It supports applications for healthcare workers, virus outbreak predictors based on algorithmic visualizations. Moreover, robots for disinfecting and contactless delivery of services. The development of these technologies is likely to benefit a host of stakeholders and intermediaries. That is medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers, healthcare service providers, medical training, and health research institutes. Additionally, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, consulting firms operating in the sphere of medical counseling. Moreover, healthcare IT solutions providers, healthcare insurance companies, venture capitalists. Furthermore, 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 finalized 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, its process, its composition, and the methodology of its creation. It covers all stages in the spectrum – from conceptualization 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 favorably. In India, it can take up to five years to get a patent registration, 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 a 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. For example, testing kits for Coronavirus in India can only have manufacturing after 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. Additionally, consequently, a consumption halt, there exists businesses with their stock prices shooting through the roof. A recent example is the stock price of US Company Abbott that recorded an $18 billion surge in market share. After it announced a molecular diagnostic test that could deliver results in just 13 minutes. Thus, unifying and galvanizing the country towards better health would be one positive outcome of the virus. This is likely to ramp up our healthcare system for decades to come, and charter the medical business industry to a path of constant redevelopment.