It was a pre-conceived notion that Healthcare Startups will only deals with Doctor Appointments. Now the Days Are Changing Nowadays Healthcare Startups are dealing with Some of the other Unserved Niches of the Healthcare Sector a few of them are discussed Below.
Hi Everyone Today We Will Talk About Healthcare Startups that are Tapping on Unserved Niches
Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and health-tech startups are displaying what hospitals will charge for various procedures on websites, in a bid to ensure that patients and their families get to know the bill amount in advance and can prepare accordingly.
A bunch of healthcare startups is going beyond plain vanilla doctor appointments by identifying unserved niches:
Credihealth: Going for Second Opinion
Ravi Virmani was made to believe that only porn, ecommerce and stocks are searched on internet in India. The perception, he asserts, proved to be erroneous when he rolled out Credihealth, an online platform that allows patients to compare and select hospitalization process, in January 2014.
For Virmani, who worked as the chief executive of Max Healthcare for over 3 years, the trigger for starting a healthcare startup was the need for people to take a second opinion. Many a time, he says, due to lack of right information and transparency, people are misguided and overcharged for medical services. Prevalence of unethical practices in healthcare delivery touts, misguidance, referrals by family doctors increasing bills by 35-40% also made him to think of an alternative platform for patients.
“I wanted to bring transparency in healthcare system,” contends Virmani. It raised an undisclosed amount from Twitter India director of engineering Rajat Malhotra. Present in 15 cities, Credihealth plans to expand its reach to 45 in 2 years.
“80% of Indians are not insured, and even those who are have to shell out extra,” he says, adding that perception that big hospital chains tend to overcharge by prescribing unrequired tests can be addressed by taking a second opinion.
- Provides in-house medical experts who act as personal Medical Assistant.
- Online platform allows patients to compare and select hospitalization process.
- Started in January 2014; raised an undisclosed amount in September 2016.
Surgivisor: A Stitch In Time
Surgery is a dreaded word, and Sumeet Khanna wanted to take the fear out of the word and the process. Surgivisor, he claims, is helping in bridging the gap between patients and hospitals. Started in January 2016, Surgivisor assists people in choosing the right hospital and doctor for surgeries by streamlining the entire process.
Khanna, Co-founder of Surgivisor, explains how the online healthcare platform provides information on relevant procedures, hospitals, specialist doctors and surgeons, cost of surgery, insurance and location preferences.
From answering a small query to understanding the patient’s complete requirement and initiating the treatment takes not more than 30 minutes, he adds.
The biggest challenge, Khanna reckons, lies in constantly providing correct and reliable information on procedures, hospitals and doctors to patients, along with that on the most cost-effective and customized service and support track record.
“We need to maintain highest degree of professional standards and excellence at all times,” he says. Revenue comes from marketing and development fees from partner hospitals. Though the task looks easy, challenges were galore.
Apart from data collection, mining, mapping and search optimization, sensitizing people on making informed decision was equally daunting. Currently present in Delhi-NCR. The startup is planning to expand to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai.
- Assists patients to choose the right hospital and doctor for surgeries.
- Launched in January 2016; raised $1 Million the same month.
- Provides database of more than 350 hospitals, 6,000 doctors & 1,500 surgeries
Celescare: Right Dose of Virtual Reality
Raghu Bathina knew he could easily fill the huge gap existed between ‘Dr. Google’ and a hospital visit. While Dr. Google the habit to hunt for health-related queries on Google is free, convenient and informative, it’s equally inconclusive and confusing. A hospital visit, on the other hand, is not only inconvenient and expensive, it’s non-empowering and there is no continuity between visits.
Enter Celes Care, India’s first virtual health clinic for women. “We are as easy to access as Google and as qualified as a doctor in the hospital,” says Bathina, who Co-founded the company with Dr Rajah Koppala in August 2016. Celes has a team of 15 Medical Professionals and plans to scale it up to 40 this year.
The Eureka Moment, explains Bathina, for starting Celes Care was lack of access of affordable primary healthcare to women. According to a recent Nielsen global survey, Indian women happened to be most stressed. An overwhelming 87% of them felt stressed most of the time, and 82% had no time to relax.
The primary healthcare segment, says Bathina, is still untapped, and there is a huge potential. “We also plan to work alongside large corporates and insurance providers and be a one-stop solution for women’s health needs,” he says.
- India’s first virtual health clinic for women
- Provides online consultation over chat, voice and video
- Launched in August 2016; raised $1.5 Million in a pre-series A round this February.
Konsult: Your Instant Medical Consultant
More than half of all medical follow-ups, says Anshul Mittal, can be done remotely without the patient being physically present.
“The patient-not-present (PNP) market is a huge opportunity,” says Co-founder of Konsult, a tele-consultation platform rolled out in June 2015. Traditionally, the only channel left for patients was to schedule another OPD visit even for minor or simple follow-up queries, says Mittal. This, in turn, leads to patients falling out in the follow-up period and ignoring their health due to constraints of time and money, and sometimes general lethargy.
“We do not even bother to finish the course of medicine once we start to recover,” says Mittal, and not doing the follow up could lead to serious repercussions. Tele consultations turn out to be cheaper than visiting a hospital because the patient pays based on the duration of the call and also saves time and opportunity cost.
Since May 2016, when Konsult rolled out a new version of the app, it has on boarded 1,200 specialist doctors and served more than 25,000 patients. This year, it launched a user concierge and doctor recommendation service which provides localized advice on best doctors, treatments and costs.
Indian healthcare system, he points out, is so saturated that personal patient care is almost negligible. “We want to change that,” he says.
- Allows users to consult their choice of doctors without prior appointments.
- Provides second opinion in case of chronic and serious ailments.
- Founded in June 2015; raised 2 rounds of Seed funding.
Maya: Taking Care of Menstrual Hygiene
John Paul talks on the basis of numbers. In India, he says, about 70% of all reproductive diseases are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. There are 355 Million women of reproductive age in India who need structures in place to meet their menstrual needs. That’s where and why Maya comes into the picture.
Launched in India in 2016, Maya helps women track their menstrual cycles, related symptoms and other vital health information and gives them valuable insights based on the tracked data.
Taking advantage of smartphone coverage in even the remote corners of India, Maya aims to equip women to manage their menstrual health using a mobile phone, says Paul, who first launched Maya globally in 2012 and has had over 7 Million downloads so far.
“Women can also use Maya to increase accuracy of contraception and conception,” says Paul. It helps women with the knowledge and support to understand how their fertility works and enables them to take ownership of their reproductive health.
According to research done by the startup, almost half the women in India have irregular menstrual cycles, which, if untreated, could lead to health issues such as infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome (a disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges). Menstrual hygiene, Paul says, is one of the most important, yet neglected, health issues.
The startup recently launched Maya in Hindi and Tamil and plans to cover more regional languages soon.
- Helps women track menstrual cycles, related symptoms & other vital health Information
- Launched in India last year; raised money from Prime Venture and Google’s Rajan Anandan
- Recorded 7 Million+ downloads worldwide; is present in 12 foreign languages.
Affordplan: Plan Your Hospital Bills
What if hospitals provide you a tailored solution to plan, save and pay for non-emergency medical procedures such as those related to pregnancy, eye care, dental, plastic surgeries, orthopedic, bariatric, genetic testing and so on? That’s what Affordplan does.
It allows people to save on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, as per their chosen plan, and then make regular payments either by online transfer or depositing money at hospitals, or patients can avail of pickup services directly from the comfort of their home.
Reports by insurance regulator, points out Co-founder Tejbir Singh, indicate that less than 20% of Indians have health cover. Other numbers are equally shocking.
More than 300 Million Indians, Earning Rs 2-10 lakh a year, struggle to get quality medical care. Liquidity constraints prevent a number of patients from paying a lump sum amount at the time of hospital admission, adds Singh, who started Affordplan in December 2015 and piloted the service in May 2016.
“Affordplan is bridging this gap between the patients and hospitals by enabling hospitals to offer customised financial solutions to patients,” he says. It is present in more than 120 hospitals in Delhi-NCR and patients can avail of benefits at OPD visits, follow-on checkups and diagnostics related to treatment.
The startup, which gets a transaction fee from hospitals, plans to expand to 3 more cities over next year.
- Offers solutions on savings for non-emergency medical services, including upcoming medical procedures
- Started in Dec 2015; raised Rs 20 Crore in a Series A round in Nov 2016.
- Present in over 120 hospitals in Delhi-NCR, plans to expand into 3 cities over the next year.
Patients get a fair idea of what the final bill would be from information’s like rates of packages, room rent and surgeon’s fee etc. You can also select the hospital in the same city and type of room. Chances are remote for the final bill to shoot beyond the estimate, barring some unforeseen complications. Insurers like ICICI Lombard have started portals like HealthAdvisor.com, where one can compare best hospitals in India and make more informed decisions.
On HealthAdvisor.com, patient reviews and ratings of hospitals are displayed to help people get a clear picture on the work, ethics and functioning style of the healthcare provider.
And, using the rate card helped Rita Sridharan (28), who wanted to have a normal delivery with her preferred doctor at a premier hospital. She got to know about the exact amount – ₹55,000 for various charges. It also showed her that it would cost up to ₹70,000 if she opted for a C-section in an urban location. Almost exact amounts are displayed for treatments ranging from stent implants to knee replacements as these players work closely with hospitals.
“When you make a booking on TripAdvisor or MakeMyTrip, you know exactly how much it is going to cost you for a vacation in Paris or Venice. Then why shouldn’t you make healthcare decisions just as easily?” says Prashant Jhaveri, head, products and strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services. “In case of travel, your costing depends on parameters you choose like Destination, Brand of Hotel, Room Type and others. Similarly, healthcare tariffs are based on various parameters as well like Procedure type, Hospital, City, Room Type, etc. And, it is the prerogative of members to choose a network hospital that suits their requirements,” he says.
With MediBuddy, members can search hospitals in their insurers’ network. They can filter search by Specialty, City, Location. “They can also view credentials of doctors, room types and other facilities available at the hospital. When they plan an e-cashless hospitalization with us, they get full information of the estimated cost of treatments at their chosen hospitals. Additionally, we display exclusive tariffs contracted by us with the network hospital to help reduce overall cost for our members,” says Jhaveri.
Such transparency helps bring down medical inflation to a certain extent. After the rates were displayed online, web aggregators found that same hospitals had to charge the same rates for each procedure. Apart from differential pricing within the same group, differential pricing among corporate hospital chains is a reality.
“The customer has a wider choice as he/she is armed with more information on different hospitals. If someone wants cardiology treatment, he could opt for smaller hospitals if they have the expertise in niche areas. We get a lot of queries from medical tourists and such information would also help them as they would be even more in the dark on treatment costs, facilities compared to an Indian patient,” says Ravina Jain, CEO, Vistara Health.
Medical tourists in particular find services like web portal QHealth useful. “We display accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers,” says a QHealth executive.