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Majority of digital healthcare platforms yet to achieve break even

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Friday, March 17, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Backed by substantial funding and evolving technology, healthcare tech platforms are coming up in a big way in India, emphasizing the need for making quality healthcare accessible to vast population of the country. Even though most of the healthcare ventures started monetizing their platforms but achieving break even seems a distant dream for a majority of them.

Slow growth, difficulty in getting all stakeholders including medical professionals, consumers on board, lack of healthcare mentors, complex nature of industry are some of reasons affecting healthcare tech platforms' break even point.

Players like Practo which had taken baby steps few years back towards addressing problems of healthcare delivery through technological innovation have flourished having overcome their immaturity and inexperience but its not easy for new entrants to get there quickly.

In the past year, Practo has seen a 90% growth in patients searching on its platform and 80% growth in appointments booked.

The healthcare platform has several monetization avenues including Practo Ray, a software for clinics and doctors. Doctors and clinics pay  subscription to use the software. The company has over 90% market share here. Qikwell by Practo is another monetization module that helps manage the outpatient department for the hospital by enabling them to streamline their patient management and online booking. Third is Insta by Practo which is a complete HIMS solution for hospitals and Practo currently has customers in over 15 countries using this solution from it.

Healthcare analytics solutions, Practo Querent, enterprises marketing solution, Practo Reach are some of the other modules generating revenue for the company.

Sharing details about upcoming focus area to drive growth of the platform, Shashank ND, founder and chief executive officer of Practo said “We will focus on building this integrated healthcare platform and partner with various service providers to build solutions with Practo. We will continue to leverage our unique hyperloop model to connect a vibrant marketplace with millions of consumers to a strong community of healthcare providers, including enterprises, most of which are running on Practo’s software.”

Practo received $179 million from four rounds of funding including $55 million from fresh round of funding (Series D) in January this year led by Tencent, ru-Net, RSI Fund, Thrive Capital, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Capital G, Altimeter Capital & Sofina (Tencent being the leading investor). The fund will be used by the company to expand its presence.

Curofy, a doctors' networking app started monetization in late 2016. Break even was an aspiration then. However the recent surge in projects and the healthcare giants showing a great amount of faith in the product has given Curofy huge impetus in moving towards a breaking even which is often a sign of a startup becoming a success story. And if the company plays its cards right, it will soon achieve break even.

Says Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder, Curofy, “Doctors are the focal point of the industry and companies spend hundreds of millions in reaching out to them. Curofy offers an economical and digital route for the industry. And here in lies the very basic revenue model for Curofy. Being a product with robust tech framework, our product thrives with scalable options for the industry. Right from product launch to brand revamp to promotions, Curofy produces a holistic solution for entire industry.”

We have raised angel funding from notable angels in the country. In November 2016 we closed our pre-series A funding from Roundglass partners, a reputed healthcare VC firm form the US, said Vijayvergiya.

The digital platform aims to get a foothold in the domestic market first and be industry leaders in the country. “We want to reach self-sustenance by the end of this year. We are also exploring expansion beyond India, in the upcoming and developing markets,” he added.

AlternaCare, a teleconsultation platform that connects patients with doctors over the phone call, chat or video has also started monetizing. They are likely to achieve break even by the end of this year itself.

Abhishek Dwivedi, co-founder, AlternaCare said “AlternaCare is more than just a marketplace for doctors, lab test, chemists. Our especially designed algorithms run on scores of cases running on our platform and provide a rating to each doctor based on multiple factors mapped with our unique propriety performance crediting system. We have raised a seed funding of $ 500K from Eros Labs which will be used to product development & the automation.”

ThingsMeet Solutions, a Pune-based healthcare tech startup, has not yet achieved break even and doesn't expect that to happen in FY18 as well. The startup plans to raise US dollar two million from institutional investors to fund expansion on two dimensions-- breadth of services offered on its platform and markets served in India. In May 2016, it had raised seed funding of US$ 145,000 from angel investor Ankush Mehta.

Telemedicine has to play much more prominent role going forward given the gap between demand and availability of healthcare professionals. The growth potential is enormous given the population and need for healthcare in our country, said Neeraj Joshi, founder and chief executive officer ThingsMeet Solutions.


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Bhagavan P S Mar 19, 2017 12:01 PM
Almost all software's promoted for digital medical care are clinician oriented and have failed to be a comprehensive SW that can take the input from lab, Nursing service and logistics and Clinical pharmacists.

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