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Attracting Innovation to Improve Health Care

© John Issac/World Bank

Lack of access to basic health care in India makes it nearly impossible to fight the country’s high communicable-disease rate and growing incidence of other illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. IFC hopes to help change that with a program aimed at improving both health services and patient outcomes.

IFC’s newly launched TechEmerge offers matchmaking and funding to companies with proven innovations in emerging markets. In its pilot phase, the program will connect health-technology innovators from around the world to health-care providers in India.

Innovations in technology and processes are essential for expanding access to affordable health services. Meanwhile, the Indian health-care market is set to grow to $280 billion by 2020, driven by factors such as increasing income levels, a growing middle class, and longer life expectancies.

“TechEmerge allows us to support entrepreneurship and innovation at a much earlier stage than we usually do,” said Nikunj Jinsi, IFC Global Head, Venture Capital. “Over time, it could also provide opportunities for IFC to invest in potentially transformative technologies.” 

As part of the program, IFC will provide funding and guidance for the implementation of proven technologies in the Indian market.

Indian health-care providers participating in the program are expected to gain access to a global network of health technology innovators, while innovators will have the opportunity to commercialize their technology in India and form new business relationships. Around a dozen leading private sector health-care providers in India have already signed up and are looking for new technologies for point-of-care testing, remote monitoring, patient engagement, and telehealth, among others.

Companies with proven technologies are encouraged to apply at http://www.techemerge.org/ by March 6, 2016. Innovators will be selected through a competitive process and will be invited to meet with TechEmerge healthcare providers in India to discuss the commercialization of their technology in this market.

The TechEmerge program is part of IFC’s approach to catalyzing the adoption of new technologies in emerging markets, and leveraging the private sector in India to increase and improve access to quality health services. IFC has an investment portfolio in the Indian health-care sector with commitments of more than $450 million—more than 30 percent of its global health-care investment portfolio.

The TechEmerge program is being implemented in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, and is supported by Health 2.0.

For more information about IFC Venture Capital, visit www.ifc.org/vc

Published in January 2016