July 22, 2024

Flex Tech

Innovation in Every Curve

Eyeing a healthcare career? Here are the trending roles, skills and pay brackets you should know

The Indian healthcare sector has seen a lot of growth in the past few years and is undoubtedly becoming an economic backbone of the nation. The emergence of high-end technology in this business has opened the doors for several new opportunities in healthtech and insurtech.

While this means that you don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse anymore to be a part of the healthcare sector, freshers looking at this employment market should know what kind of skills they have to gain to have a lucrative career here.

The roles in demand in healthcare

The landscape of the healthcare industry has changed massively, says Venkata Suman Cherukuri, Chairman & Managing Director, TRUSTlab Diagnostics. The sector’s appetite for medical coding specialists, healthcare data analysts and telehealth coordinators has amplified. To ace these roles, he suggests candidates enroll in courses in health informatics, healthcare administration and medical technology.

Healthtech and allied ecosystems are also playing a prominent role in driving sustainable growth in the healthcare setup, says Kulin Shah, Co-founder of Onsurity. Besides, the sector’s focus on preventive healthcare has led to the rise of telehealth, preventive healthcare startups and insurtech, and a subsequent surge in the demand for roles in these organisations.

Telehealth providers, health informatics specialists, medical technologists and preventive healthcare advisors are the roles in demand, he says. The healthtech space thrives on advanced technology so there is demand for software developers, AI and machine learning specialists and data scientists to innovate and enhance healthcare delivery.

Coming to insurtech, roles like health insurance analysts, digital claims specialists, customer experience managers, wellness coordinators, underwriters and fraud detection specialists are crucial to develop innovative insurance products, ensure accurate claims, enhance customer satisfaction and protect against fraud, he adds.This paradigm shift in healthcare has opened up a plethora of career opportunities, emphasising the integration of technology, quality assurance and preventive care, says Devaiah Somayanda, Head, Human Resources, Dozee. Plus, stringent accreditation processes ensure adherence to quality standards, driving the demand for skilled professionals adept at maintaining excellence in healthcare services.

Must-have skills to thrive in this sector

Just like every other industry, healthcare also demands individuals to possess a specific set of skills in order to grow in the sector that continues to evolve.

Cherukuri advises fresh graduates to focus on tech skills like data analysis, electronic health records management and healthcare-related IT. He also underlines the importance of acquiring non-tech skills like communication, empathy and problem-solving to experience success in healthcare careers.

Along with data analysis, Shah says proficiency in telehealth technology, cybersecurity, AI and machine learning is also valuable. These skills enable graduates to navigate the tech-driven advancements in healthcare delivery and management. He gives equal importance to non-technical skills as well, such as effective communication, teamwork, adaptability and continuous learning. These soft skills enhance the ability to work collaboratively, address dynamic challenges and provide exceptional patient care and customer service.

In the insurtech segment, employers value skills in, health underwriting, data science, customer relationship management, claims management and fraud detection, adds Shah.

Key skills in demand range from data science and hospital management to biomedical engineering, says Somayanda. Elaborating further on the usage of these skills, he says data scientists play a pivotal role in leveraging vast datasets to derive actionable insights, while hospital managers orchestrate efficient operations and resource allocation. Biomedical engineers, on the other hand, are at the forefront of innovation, developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies for data analysis and remote patient monitoring, he explains.

Positive campus hiring trends and pay expectations

Campus hirings for entry-level healthcare jobs have seen a considerable increase due to a talent war, says Cherukuri. The average pay varies by role, with entry-level healthcare managers earning Rs 4-6 lakh per annum, medical coders around Rs 2.5-4 lakh and healthcare data analysts around Rs 3-5 lakh.

Shah says campus hiring for various healthcare roles has increased, especially for registered nurses, medical technologists and health administrators. As fresh graduates ensure new perspectives, are more adaptable to innovative practices, and are keen to embrace new technologies, employers are eager to bring them on board. Coming to the pay, he says, entry-level healthcare positions generally offer competitive salaries.

Somayanda says academic institutions and training programmes have started incorporating AI modules into their curricula. These modules aim to familiarise students with the applications of AI in healthcare, ranging from electronic health records (EHRs) and diagnostic tools to predictive analytics and personalised medicine. He cites this integration of AI as the prime reason for an overall increase in hiring from campuses.

Status of flexi-staffing in healthcare

The trend of freelancing has opened doors of opportunities in almost every other sector but is healthcare also experiencing the same? Yes, says Cherukuri. Roles like medical writing/transcription, healthcare IT consulting, and virtual nursing assistance are in demand as they offer immense flexibility and the chance to work remotely.

Specific freelance roles such as telehealth providers, medical writers, healthcare consultants and physical therapists are becoming increasingly available for freelance opportunities, says Shah. Besides, the industry has also witnessed a surge in blue-collar gig force to meet the demand for medicine delivery and home sample collections. Companies are also looking for freelance medical writers, graphic designers and digital content creators who can produce high-quality, informative content and visually engaging materials.

Transformations in legacy data and internal processes continue to fuel the demand for freelancers, making it an opportune time for newcomers to explore diverse career paths in this dynamic sector, adds Somayanda of Dozee.