Healthcare analytics industry can cross $15B in the next three years

01 December 2017 | Interviews

Healthcare analytics refers to the science where this data is scientifically analyzed to create technology solutions that improve clinical outcomes, operational efficiency of these businesses, healthcare financing, etc.

Madhu Aravind, CEO, Searchlight Health

Madhu Aravind, CEO, Searchlight Health

The healthcare industry is evolving at breakneck speed. At the forefront of this transformation is big data, creating enormous opportunities for companies to improve patient outcomes while managing costs. Healthcare Analytics & Delivery powers data-driven transformations. 

In an interview with BioSpectrum, Madhu Aravind, CEO of Searchlight Health, Bengaluru-based healthcare analytics company, also a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises Limited spoke about the growth opportunities and emerging technologies in the field of healthcare analytics. 


What is your idea of transforming healthcare in India?

We started Searchlight Health’s business operations in 2015 with the simple premise that healthcare in India can be transformed by data analytics. Examples of these can be the ability for Insurers to launch personalized products to drastically improve access, doctors to see previously unseen patterns in care delivery, pharma companies to understand health drivers and large scale real world usage information, etc.

We believe that by bringing together anonymized patient data, leveraging data that is publicly available and by building best-in-class analytics solutions, healthcare in this country can be more accessible and can create higher impact with available resources.

Initially, it was a challenge to explain our value proposition to hospitals and since such an offering wasn’t tried before, there was no precedence. Gradually, we have been able to demonstrate the value of our offerings and more importantly the business impact for our partner hospitals and the ensuing patient benefits.

What are your views on the healthcare analytics segment in India? What potential does it hold in the long run?

Copious amounts of healthcare data is generated daily by various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem like hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, drug stores, diagnosis centres, etc. as part of their business operations. Healthcare analytics refers to the science where this data is scientifically analyzed to create technology solutions that improve clinical outcomes, operational efficiency of these businesses, healthcare financing, etc.

Healthcare analytics is a fast growing industry worldwide and is expected to have a total addressable market size in excess of $ 15 billion over the next three years as per various industry estimates. It is at a very nascent stage in India and hence the current market opportunity is probably under $ 100 million. However, with increasing technology adoption and understanding this space too will start growing at a good rate in the years to come.

What are your exact offerings for hospitals and insurance companies?

Searchlight Health caters to two key segments of Indian healthcare ecosystem currently – hospitals and health insurers.

For hospitals, our offerings are the following:-

1) Hospital Marketing Cloud: Helps a Hospital with the following functions

  • Opportunity Analysis: enables hospitals to understand the status of the market and the performance of the hospital in a highly granular fashion. The product leverages global proprietary epidemiology data, along with other data sets such as socio-economic indicators, availability of hospital infrastructure to identify demand supply gap at an actionable level
  • Benchmarks: provides hospitals with actionable, business-decision oriented insight into key performance indicators for clinical, operational and financial performance. It helps hospitals identify areas of excellence and areas of improvement by comparing key parameters with competitors, peer group and global standards
  • CRM: Machine learning engine that helps Hospitals to predict the immediate future needs of its customers thereby ensuring that all the needs of the customers are fully met in a proactive manner
  • Digital Marketer: Leverages the output from “Opportunity Analysis” to create a marketing plan that actually matches the actual granular demand supply gap in each micro market with the services available at a Hospital

2) Hospital Clinical Cloud: Searchlight Hospital Clinical Cloud enables Hospitals to improve clinical outcomes leveraging machine learning. First use case that is being launched is related to ICU care delivery, where it helps the doctor identify critical clinically relevant events, forewarn them about potential risks and also help improve clinical care protocols

3) Insurance Cloud: In addition to hospitals, we work with multiple health insurers in India. Our offerings combine nationwide hospital data with powerful modelling tools to help health insurers identify new product and segment opportunities. We also help health insurers understand the cost implications of policy specifications scientifically.

Though we are primarily operating in the B2B space currently, our offerings can bring positive impact to end consumers (public) at large in the medium to long term. By helping hospitals improve clinical care delivery and driving efficiency in operations, we indirectly help in improving the standard of healthcare in the country for patients. By helping health insurers identify new product and segment opportunities, we help improve access to health insurance for millions of people who were uninsured earlier.

What are the tools utilized by Searchlight for carrying out the work?

What we have seen is that problems faced in India are fairly different from the West, given the state of maturity of the market. As an example, almost all the data is non-standard, so we had to build the machine learning solutions to convert that into standardized data. Similarly, the models that we needed to solve both the operational and clinical problems also had to be developed from the ground up.

Since Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL)’s group companies (Searchlight is a subsidiary of PEL) have been into this business for 20+ years, we were able to leverage the processes, security models etc. but we had to develop the solutions needed in India from scratch.

How has the revenue generation worked out for the company so far, and what are the future plans?

All of our business offerings are based on a value based pricing model, where we make money only if we are able to generate revenue/profit for the Hospital. Even though the market in India is still nascent, we have been able to make very good traction till now.

By virtue of being a subsidiary of PEL, we are not constrained in terms of capital investment when it comes to expanding our operations. We have an aggressive plan to build the business, hire a larger team and partner with more hospitals and health insurers over the current fiscal and beyond. By the end of FY 2017-2018, we aim to partner with 200 hospitals and the goal for FY 2020 is to partner with 1000 hospitals.

 Do you foresee potential partnerships with pharma companies?

 Pharma market for data analytics in India is very small as of today, because it is predominantly a generics market, whose primary need is tactical sales oriented solutions. Having said that, we are starting to see some early stage opportunities based on patient journeys and clinical usage patterns, which we are evaluating very closely.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For our India-focused operations, we have more than 40 people working out of Bengaluru where Searchlight Health is headquartered. For our group’s global health data analytics business, we have more than 250 people based out of India and around 1000 people worldwide.


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