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Fortis, Health Care at Home tie-up latest in growing home health sector

Advances in medical devices technologies and the availability of cloud computing have made it possible for startups to partner hospitals and drastically increase the range of home-based services

Harichandan Arakali
Published: Jun 13, 2017 01:56:27 PM IST
Updated: Jun 13, 2017 02:37:19 PM IST

Fortis, Health Care at Home tie-up latest in growing home health sector
Image: Shutterstock

Fortis Healthcare Services, a large chain of hospitals, outpatient centres and diagnostics labs, has tied up with Health Care at Home (HCAH), which is backed by the Burman family, the promoters of consumer goods company Dabur, to provide a range of services to Fortis’s patients.

The partnership adds to the growing home-based medical care ecosystem that is coming up around large cities in India, especially in Bengaluru, where venture capital (VC)-funded startups such as Portea Medical and Medwell Ventures are headquartered. The tie-up between Fortis and HCAH also initially involves a hospital in Bengaluru.

The partnership aims to provide high quality medical treatment to people within the comfort of their home. The hospital will extend this service to patients who need post-operative and rehabilitation care, Fortis and HCAH said in a press release on Monday.

“As advancements in modern technology grow, many medical services can now be done at home that were previously available only at the hospital. Many studies have shown that the effectiveness of treatment given at home is the most satisfying form of health care,” Gaurav Thukral, senior vice president at HCAH, said in the release. The home-based service is a cost-effective alternative to extended hospital stays or institutional care. It allows a patient to recover in the comfort and security of his/her own home, and patients receive individualised care designed to meet their specific needs and they get one-on-one attention, Thukral added.

HCAH is the result of a joint venture that the Burman family struck with Britain’s Healthcare At Home in 2013 to tap the UK company’s expertise in the area and provide a range of services in India’s metros. HCAH’s services include ICU care at home, cancer care at home, post-surgical care at home, and specialised nursing care at home to its patients, as well as basic services such as physiotherapy, medicine delivery at home and diagnostic services.

Businesses such as Bengaluru’s Portea, founded by entrepreneur Meena Ganesh, are also partnering hospitals to provide post-operative care or take over other services that could be effectively offered at patients’ homes — this also frees up beds in the hospitals so they can be utilised by patients who more critically need them.

Medwell, started by former Fortis Healthcare CEO Vishal Bali and Ferzaan Engineer, previously the CEO of the Indian unit of US-based clinical research provider Quintiles IMS Holdings, recently raised $21 million in series B funding to expand operations. The overall market for home healthcare in India is projected to double to as much as $15 billion in the coming two to three years.

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