TechEmerge: Technology Meets Healthcare in India

Healthcare in India
When it comes to healthcare, developing nations face the challenges of accessibility and affordability. This is particularly true for healthcare in India.

To address these challenges and introduce potentially game-changing technologies to the world, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group recently launched TechEmerge in India.

The program is being implemented in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy as well as the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Described as the first of its kind, TechEmerge is a new program offering matchmaking and funding to companies with proven innovations for developing markets. The initial pilot program of TechEmerge will focus on healthcare in India.

Data on India’s Healthcare Market

  • Today, a staggering seventy percent of India’s 1.2 billion population still live in rural areas and rural communities with limited access to hospitals and clinics.
  • India only spends 4.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare, compared to 18 percent in the U.S.
  • According to a 2014 Forbes report, 70 percent of Indians who are able to access clinics and hospitals have to pay for their healthcare expenses out-of-pocket.
  • The World Bank predicts the current $3 million Indian healthcare market will grow into a $280 billion market by 2020.

The IFC will be accepting applications from technology companies interested in bringing their business into the Indian healthcare market through March 6.

Innovators will be selected through a competitive process. Those selected will be rewarded with funding and guidance from TechEmerge. Winning applicants will also be invited to meet with providers of TechEmerge healthcare in India to discuss commercialization of their technologies in the Indian market.

Ruzgar Barisik, a Senior Investment Officer with IFC’s Venture Capital team said, “We expect that Indian healthcare providers participating in the program will gain access to a global network of health technology innovators while innovators have the opportunity to commercialize of their technology in India and form new business relationships.”

Barisik also said, “Around a dozen leading private sector healthcare providers in India have signed up and are looking for new technologies for point of care, remote monitoring, patient engagement, and telehealth, among others.”

The launching of successfully selected technologies will begin in June and hopefully, a change in healthcare access and affordability.

Kara Buckley

Sources: Footprint2Africa, Forbes India, TechEmerge 1, TechEmerge 2, TechEmerge 3
Photo: Flickr