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Start-ups driving the wave of change in Healthcare Industry

Time is money! People do not have adequate time to follow a healthy diet, exercise schedule, post–operative conditioning, following doctor’s appointment etc. as everyone is busy rushing for their work, neglecting their health in the process. So here is the ultimate gap that needs to be addressed and this opportunity has been well taken care of by startups in the healthcare Industry.

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Let’s take a look at where are the gaps are and exactly how the different and yet successful startups have filled these gaps in a short span of time.

Rehabilitation and care at home

There has been a pressing need to organize home visits market for physiotherapy and post-operative care. Seeking to take advantage of this market gap, Portea Medical made a strategic move of organizing home visits to provide post-op physiotherapy and care. Appropriately, the target market constitutes people in metro cities who are increasingly looking for healthcare services that are convenient, easy to locate and saves on their time. Portea Medical has tapped on this requirement by organizing its staff of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists for home visits.

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Visits cost as little as a few hundred rupees, but with over 144 million Indians over the age of 60, that’s a multi-billion dollar market. By far, the home visit market for post-operative care and physiotherapy has been unorganized. However, Portea Medical has made a smart move by introducing organized services in this domain. As a result of consolidating a largely unorganized market, the company is expected to enjoy a good run in this market.

Consultation related needs

Notwithstanding all the next-generation medical innovations, the modern health care system lacks a proper structure to handle masses. There is no organized process in place to effectively manage interaction between doctors and patients. Fortunately, 5-6 healthcare oriented startups are working towards to bridge this unhealthy gap. One such example is eHealth Access which is a startup that focuses on bringing about a cost-effective, easy-to-access primary healthcare right at the patient’s doorstep. The firm provides a round-the-clock telemedicine service that includes telephonic consultations with doctors and on-line consultation through chats, e-mails and video conferencing. Further, the firm aims to equalize doctor-patient ratio by bringing forth a simple solution that caters to the ‘4As’- Applicable, Available, Accessible and Affordable.

In another instance, MediAngels, a virtual health care start-up organization, houses more than 300 experts from around the globe who have been verified by a global panel. It not only provides 24/7 consultation with doctors over telephone and internet, but also provides services to order a blood test or other lab tests, right from your home. The patients’ records are stored virtually and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This venture has already tasted success in bridging the gap between doctors and patients in most of India’s urban areas.

Social Media Platforms

A few startups are engaged in capitalizing on utilizing social media platforms as an interaction medium for people who are seeking help or wish to provide help. For instance, Social Blood is a social ‘blood’ networking platform within a social networking platform. By using Facebook as its base medium, this social network connects numerous blood donors with recipients who are in need of immediate blood-bank assistance. By geo-fencing one’s location, an individual can gain information about the nearest blood banks to make a donation. Also, requests placed by recipients with similar blood-group can be attended to. The platform also promotes interaction with fellow donors using this service in and around one’s location.

Emergency related needs

With numerous doctors, physicians, clinics and hospitals around, patients are often burdened with a lot of information. This makes it very difficult for patients to arrive at an informed decision. In order to help patients with their choices, Surgerica, a relatively new startup aims to bring ‘speed and transparency’ within the health care sector. The firm’s online platform allows patients or their families to connect with numerous doctors and consultants, choose the right hospital, compare multiple opinions of doctors and arrive at an informed decision.

Overall, healthcare oriented startups have already moved into their desired space within the healthcare industry. More significantly, these startups are raking in profits from their respective ventures. Despite the proliferation of startups in the healthcare domain, the market is still in its nascent stage. Hence, there is huge scope for entrepreneurs to invest in this opportunistic sector. Moreover, digital health funding continues to grow faster than overall venture funding, as the market is lucrative for the investors looking for 2x returns.

This article is written by Lekha Gyanchandani, Sr Analyst with DART Consulting.

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