India-UK trade mission promotes business ties in healthcare

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A four-day trade mission brought 13 top British healthcare providers to India

UK and India intends to strengthen business ties through partnerships in the healthcare space. The Chairman of the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS), Sir Malcolm Grant embarked on a four-day trade mission to India with a delegation of 13 top British healthcare providers to promote collaborations between the two countries. The India tour, covering New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, is aimed at addressing the changing needs of medical provision as disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, wearable sensors, and virtual reality become increasingly commonplace.

In Mumbai, the team participated in the inaugural India-UK Createch Summit yesterday. The summit was initiated towards generating Indian investment in their country. A day-long summit brought together over 100 British companies from healthcare, film, music, immersive technology, industrial design and sport sectors as part of a series of trade missions to meet leading Indian businesses to discuss opportunities for collaboration and trade between the countries.

During the healthcare session, Grant, said technology can help lower the cost of health services in India. “We are at a tipping point in healthcare. Use of data, technology, and innovation in services can help. Miniaturisation is a great future prospect, imagine a portable MRI machine will make diagnostic tests so much simpler,” he said.

Maharashtra’s Health Minister, Deepak Sawant who was also present at the summit said that Maharashtra needs a boost in telemedicine to tackle the dearth of healthcare professionals in the state. Sawant, while addressing the India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai, said the UK’s National Health Service suggested motorbike ambulance, which has been a success in Mumbai. “We started 10 motorbikes in Mumbai, which have treated 1,200 patients in the last three months. We will soon have 10 more in the city,” he added.

“We need to communicate with patients, doctors and healthcare workers. There is a shortage of doctors, and to fill that gap, there must be technology to communicate real time. Telemedicine is the need of the hour,” Sawant said. He added that the current telemedicine infrastructure does not yield psychological support to patients. He further urged the UK-NHS team to continue supporting the state with their knowledge and expertise in providing top-notch care to the people of Maharashtra.

The summit was followed by a roundtable meeting top CEO from the city. The meeting included an elevator pitch by British companies on their products and services that they wich to bring to India.

A similar meeting was also held in Delhi, earlier this month. In Hyderabad, they will visit the site of an Apollo Hospital.