With over six months since WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic and over 21 million confirmed cases globally, there is a need for innovation in our healthcare infrastructure.
While the pandemic has reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, it has also given us the opportunity to build robust and much needed fundamental and structural reforms. Our warriors from the Healthcare and MedTech sector at the frontline have been adopting collaborative approaches to support the governments, communities and individuals in their battle against COVID-19.
The current situation has firmly established the need to work even more collaboratively across all level - building a digital framework to a scalable infrastructure or agile healthcare delivery system.
In the upcoming Episode 2 (S3.E2) on ’Funding for Partnerships’, our India2022 team of Pavan Sannuti and Dr Vandana Sarda talk to the panel about their perspectives on collaborations and partnerships and funding priorities aligned to these, in the face of the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19.
Insights from the session
On the panel with Mrs Manjula Kalyanasundaram, Managing Director, SBI Foundation and Dr Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, existing COVID-19 priorities were discussed. The Wadhwani Foundation has been aggressively recruiting healthcare companies in helping them accelerate and re-engineer their products to support the requirements of COVID-19. Their vision remains to have innovations for going beyond ‘First in India, Best in India’ to ‘First in the world, Best in the world’. Their goal is to find the next generation of healthcare innovations for the public healthcare infrastructure through their USD 100 million Catalyst Fund initiative and scale the innovations through partnerships and technology.
SBI Foundation has been at the forefront of responding to COVID-19 with an alliance called the “India COVID-19 Healthcare Alliance”, partnering with Xynteo and others. The alliance aims to bolster the current public healthcare system and further strengthen the interventions to contain the spread of the virus. Going forward, they plan to extend these facilities for other long-term disease management and also to ramp up the healthcare infrastructure in the country. The Foundation believes that it won’t be enough to work on a grants model alone and has proposed blended finance mechanisms where both lending from banks as well as grants would be deployed to make sustainable improvements in the sector.
Mrs. Kalyanasundaram also highlighted that post-COVID-19, the focus would mainly be on scaling their healthcare initiatives and leveraging technology for meaningful impact by reaching out to a broader audience. Similarly, Dr. Kela’s take was that healthcare would be able to adopt technology rapidly, opening up many doors. The Wadhwani Foundation is looking at a trajectory to support 10,000 companies or even, in partnership with the government, up to 20,000 – 50,000 companies and adding 100 people in healthcare to their workforce.
MedTechConnect and India2022 are committed to fostering collaboration and partnerships to accelerate healthcare innovations. Participants heard about the role of partnerships in accelerating market access for medical innovations and how multi-stakeholder alliances can be instrumental for addressing systemic challenges of the sector.
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