The healthcare industry is witnessing rapid growth, especially after the pandemic. As it has been noted over the past two years, the most integral part of the healthcare industry is logistics. Healthcare logistics oversees the entire supply chain and coordinates all aspects of medical product transportation and distribution.
The whole system of healthcare logistics integrates transportation, storage, distribution, and quality assurance so that the end-to-end strategy is efficient enough to ensure a higher routing speed and reduced cost without compromising the product’s value or quality.
In healthcare logistics, among all the other factors, cold storage remains the most critical and significant part of the whole supply chain. An estimated 37 million metric tonnes of cold storage capacity exists in India, according to the cold storage report 2021. The Indian government has also shown a positive response and committed a net investment of INR 35,000 crore for the overall development of healthcare logistics.
It is a known fact that India caters to over 50% of global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generic drugs demand in the USA, and 25% of all medicines in the UK, and the sector is expected to grow even further by coming years.
Expected Investment Areas in the healthcare industry for the year 2022
In 2022 we can expect private players to invest in technology that makes everyday duties and unforeseen obstacles simpler to deal with. This will help incorporate innovative technologies for healthcare. A large portion of this technology aims to enhance and support the healthcare supply chain to increase efficiency. With all these pivotal events on the play, the following areas will see a massive investment opportunity in 2022 —
· Visibility into the supply chain will become increasingly vital as a means of achieving ongoing improvements.
· Remote patient monitoring is an important investment area for healthcare providers that have begun to emphasize providing at-home care services
· When it comes to predictive planning, artificial intelligence and machine learning should be addressed by healthcare players.
· Although telehealth has long been on the radar for forward-thinking healthcare providers, the pandemic has accelerated its adoption and made it a customer expectation far sooner than anticipated.
· Smart hospitals have the potential to increase production while also improving the patient experience.
· Pharmaceutical and medical supply companies must also engage in technology in order to reach their target markets in the healthcare industry.
Anticipated Technological Advancements and Upgradation
Today’s technology is advancing exponentially, resulting in the development of creative solutions to common problems in healthcare logistics that appear faster and more frequently. Healthcare firms can rely on technologies such as the following to automate their supply chain management processes:
· Product Tracking: Using Auto-ID and Data Gathering (AIDC) technology, it is feasible to improve data collection accuracy and automate the entire process. It’s essential to keep track of which patients consume what goods so that you don’t overstock on things with short expiration dates.
· Cloud solutions for Logistics management: Healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to AI and machine learning to enhance patient care and broaden their horizons beyond the walls of traditional medical facilities. Companies like UPS and Amazon are developing cloud technologies that allow vehicles to take the most efficient routes or deliver patients, doctors, and other products to the correct locations at the right time.
· Smart platforms for logistics: Using real-time pricing services and freight reservations to decrease labour and material costs can save a healthcare organization money (in procurement). It is much easier to discover additional freight capacity when shippers and carriers are linked together via smart logistics platforms.
· Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence: In order to predict the needs of healthcare patients in the future, AI is being included in a number of technologies, including smartphones and wearables. AI-based solutions may be used to predict shortages and backorders in logistics. The quicker and more accurate data collection, processing, and visualization enabled by IoT technologies may potentially help healthcare logistics.
The long-term and wide-ranging advantages of healthcare logistics are undeniable. Organizations in the healthcare industry need to be more responsive, scalable, resourceful, and trusting. Healthcare logistics companies can assist with these requirements. Many private players are willing to assist healthcare companies in maximizing their logistical potential by providing the necessary tools, infrastructure, and expertise, and we’ll see more of this happening in the year 2022 and beyond.