Ashvini Danigond, Founder and CEO of Manorama Infosolutions Pvt Ltd (MIPL), is a successful global entrepreneur and tech-innovator working on Innovations in healthcare information technology (IT). She has been conceptualizing, architecting and delivering world-class healthcare solutions for over 17 years. With Master ’s degrees in Healthcare, Computer Sciences and a degree in Law, this enables her in adopting a unique 360-degree command of Data Sciences covering Domain, Technology and Regulatory nuances.
In today’s dynamic circumstances, the economic growth of any nation demands innovation in every field to function seamlessly and research and development (R&D) provide fuel for this innovation.
There are essentially three important factors that are regarded to highlight economic growth: enhanced capital, growth in labour, and technological progress. Of late, the relevance of technological innovation as a source of economic growth has gained currency. R&D activities provide greater leeway to scientists, innovators, and researchers to develop and nurture new knowledge, techniques, and technology to propel the advancement of any country. It remains, therefore, imperative that a developing country like India should move towards a research-fueled economy.
A positive factor remains that India is already the information technology (IT) capital of the world. A young nation with a maximum population in the age group of 30-plus years- the country has the most important contributor for driving and leading research initiatives.
While human capital remains the country’s biggest strength, slow-paced spending when it comes to R&D tends to hurt the pace. Similar to the IT space, capital infusion in the R&D ecosystem is needed to motivate people to come and join and then set examples for the world to follow.
India continues to remain a key contributor in the global R&D sector, and it is anticipated that the demand for competitive technology will only increase the investments from large multinationals. Global companies are harnessing India’s talent by setting up R&D centers in the country, this includes giants such as GE, Siemens, and Phillips, to name just a few. Technology transitions such as the roll-out of 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to change the whole ballgame when it comes to the R&D sector.
There has always been a need for India to focus on R&D, especially in the healthcare segment. This would enable us to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign drugs, knowledge, and technology. Enabling and funding of R&D will lead to inorganic growth of the research-based economies and also prevent brain-drain to other parts of the world where people move due to better facilities that support research initiatives. Moreover, R&D is the most important pillar for Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan or other similar initiatives on these lines for driving growth for people, industries, and communities. Strengthening and motivating education institutes with a research mindset is key in seeing sustainable growth in this space for India by giving more facilities, grants and operational support is the key.
In a way, the Covid-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener in terms of underlining the fact that future planning remains a necessity. Considering that this is not going to be a one-off situation and R&D holds greater relevance than ever before when it comes to strengthening the fight against new variants or mutants of viruses that are likely to rear their head in the future. Also, even before the scourge of the global pandemic, there was scope for India to focus on patent and R&D, which would’ve paved the way for enhanced patient care for the general public at large. The spread of pandemics has only signified this urgency.
The Indian healthcare ecosystem, while being much diversified, has tremendous scope for development, which includes providers, payers, and medical technology. In order to capitalise on its undoubted advantages, the country will benefit from a coherent and unifying strategy for the R & D ecosystem. The role of technology and innovations is crucial for catapulting the healthcare delivery system to the extra mile. There is a need for India to be infrastructure-ready for innovations to flourish robustly. More research equates to more innovation, which in turn will lead to solutions for a better and brighter future.