Healthcare: The sunrise industry of the next decade

If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that the healthcare industry is critical to our future in the coming decade. It is going to be the most lucrative industry of our time, creating jobs in many skilled positions

School of Health Sciences, UPES organised an insightful and interactive webinar on ‘Healthcare: The sunrise industry of the next decade’. The experts enlightened the audience on the latest trends in the health care and pharmaceutical sector and took varied questions from health care aspirants, their parents and mentors.

The panel comprised accomplished leaders from the health care sectors, Mr. Divesh Singla, Vice-President HEOR, Regulatory & Access, Parexel International, and Mr. Bhawesh Sareen, Vice-President, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and was moderated by Dr Neeraj Mahindroo, Dean, School of Health Sciences, UPES.

The panellists discussed the current concerns at length and answered the questions very enthusiastically. Excerpts from the interaction:

Q1 Health care is deemed to be the sunrise industry as per reports, which also state that year 2022 will see a huge demand from this sector. What are the factors responsible for this surge?

Mr. Bhawesh Sareen: As most parts of our important supplies such as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) were from China, due to COVID-19 companies are now grappling with uncertainty. Therefore, leaders are finding alternatives by thinking about expanding production facilities in India. Resultantly, the market is likely to increase threefold by 2022. With improved access to pharmaceuticals, low production cost and initiatives like ‘Ayushman Bharat’, India is on its way to become a pharma hub. This pandemic has brought in numerous realisations. Indian pharmacy has earned a lot of credibility and respect for being the largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, the drug that can help the world in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Mr. Divesh Singla: Health care is one of those few industries, which hardly face any recession – unlike other sectors, the demand and supply cycle does not decide our ways. Unfortunately, people will always fall sick, leading to the need for better health care facilities.  Especially in India, owing to our increasing population and diversity, there will be a huge calling in health care and pharmaceutical sector. After the recent relaxation in clinical trial processes, more pharma companies will come to India for manufacturing as well as research, indicating a humongous boom in the said domain. India will also attract several global patients for treatment; medical tourism, as it is called, will be another thriving zone. Microbiologists and Virologists will be in huge demand.

Q2 What are the most important skills required to be a health care professional?

Mr. Bhawesh Sareen:  All the new changes and innovations have  led to the requirement of highly skilled staff in the health sector. Owing to the industry 4.0 benchmark, we will be expecting our new generation to be well-acquainted with concepts like Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation. The industry requires dynamic candidates with an understanding of the application of the latest scientific concepts and techniques. Other than theoretical knowledge, it is the practical application of the concepts and acumen in research and development that is highly recommended for young students aspiring to be successful in the health care sector.

Mr. Divesh Singla: We would expect people to have expertise in clinical research i.e. an understanding of clinical drug development, the process of clinical trials, various kinds of protocols, data analytical skill, understanding about AI and ML. Health care management would also be a high opportunity area seeking huge workforce trained in supply chain management of hospitals and related institutions. Pharmaco Vigilance will also flourish significantly and will offer a bundle of opportunities.

Apart from this, the experts also answered questions on job opportunities for pharma students, the scope of doing MBA in health care management after their medical degree, ways to acquire analytical acumen for research etc. Dr Mahindroo also stressed the relevance of learning from the best of professionals, working on personality through soft skill interventions, significance of industry-academia interaction opportunities and cultivating empathy for the people around us.

 (Compiled by Preeti Aneja)To watch the webinar recording, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx-xIQx22vA

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