The home ICU business grew 400 percent in FY18 as more patients and their families prefer to have ICU at homes
Home intensive care units or ICUs are fast catching up with patients requiring prolonged hospital stay as they prefer having those services in the comfort of their bedrooms — saving on steep hospitalization bills, eliminating commutes and having lower risk of hospital-acquired infection.
Spotting the trend, Healthcare at Home, the Noida-based out-of-hospital healthcare service provider backed by the Burman Family of Dabur, has started turning patient homes into ICUs through use of technology without compromising on the personal touch of attendant paramedics.
How does it work?
Typically, the bedroom of the patient will be sanitized. The home ICU set up includes a portable ventilator to aid patient breathing, a suction machine to remove accumulated phlegm and a monitor to keep track of the vital body parameters. A nursing attendant is provided on 24-hour basis.
Healthcare at Home follows the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor.
The attendant nurse keeps a tab on the vital body parameters and digitally transmit updated condition of patient to the treating doctor and the family on real-time basis through a tablet.
An intensivist — or critical care specialist — remotely monitors patients through a command centre and ensures all the protocols are followed, even remotely replicating morning-evening rounds as done in a hospital.For services of intensivists, Healthcare at Home tied up with CritiNext.
CritiNext is an electronic Intensive Care Unit (eICU) facility developed by Fortis Healthcare and GE Healthcare.
All this comes at half the cost that an ICU charges in a private hospital that range anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per day.
Insurance companies too have started covering patients getting treatment in home ICUs through domiciliary hospitalization cover — for expenses of hospitalization at home in cases where the condition of the patient is such that he cannot be taken to hospital or if hospital beds are unavailable.
Steep growth trajectory
Healthcare to Home currently employs around 1,500 people including nurses, physiotherapists and nutrition counselors, among others.
“We don't have any doctors, we work with the doctor of the patient. So doctors prescribe and we execute,” said Vivek Srivastava, co-founder and CEO of Healthcare at Home.
The company has so far delivered 25,000-odd ICU days of patient care translating to around 6,000 ICU beds.
Currently, home ICU services are available across nine cities, providing care to terminally-ill lung patients, cancer, stroke, accident and end-of-life patients.
The home ICU business grew 400 percent in FY18 as more patients and their families prefer to have ICU at homes.
Five million patients in India require Intensive Care Units (ICU) and only 70,000 ICU beds are available in hospitals, while around 85 percent of those ICUs don't have dedicated intensivists.
The rise in ageing population and higher disposable incomes, too, have created demand for home ICUs.
“We have to create that capacity, which will take years in hospital setting, so we are utilizing beds available at patient homes. It also helps hospitals because ICU beds that are choked now will be freed up to treat more patients,” Srivastava said.
In April last year, Healthcare at Home has raised Rs 250 crore of private equity investment from Singapore-based Quadria Capital.
In addition to home ICUs, Healthcare at Home provides a multitude of clinical services as well as cross-sells drugs and devices for pharmaceutical and medical devices companies.Srivastava said he is targeting the company to reach Rs 1,000 crore milestone by 2020.