Our idea was not to make a directory where information on doctors and other healthcare providers will be displayed, but to make life easier for people in all respective sections, says Suvro Ghosh, Founder of Help MeDoc in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN)
How do you see the growth of healthcare industry in the past one year?
The healthcare sector of India was estimated to be US$ 75 billion during year 2012-13 and it is projected tor each US$ 300 billion by the year 2020. At present, hospital industry covers more than 75 per cent of the entire healthcare market. According to estimates given by a rating agency Fitch, the healthcare sector is expected to reach US$ 100 billion by the year 2015. One of the important factors is the constant rise in space in Indian medical tourism. The medical tourism industry in India is growing at CAGR of more than 27 per cent in the last three years.The overall market is estimated at US$ 300 million and is projected tor each US$ 3 billion by year 2014, at a growth rate of over 30 per cent.Growth in the tele medicine sub-sector is taking place due to the need for specialist doctors in rural areas,as most of them live in urban or semi-urban centers of India. Rural areas,roughly with a population of 700 million, can be provided healthcare facilities through tele medicine, with a remote diagnosis, and monitoring and treatment of patients via videoconferencing. Based on the sefacts, it is seen that the healthcare industry is one sector in India which has demonstrated amazing entrepreneurial initiative over the last few years. Healthcare industry have been playing important roles in attracting foreign players to India to establish various allied health industries in partnership with domestic players. This is also offering Indian entrepreneurs several
With almost 7000 verified doctors and 35+ lab chain, we book 3000 bookings per month in Delhi and NCR region and the number is only growing
opportunities to invest in the Indian healthcare sector.
What initiatives or policies should the government adopt for the betterment of the e-healthcare industry and overcome the major roadblocks?
Lack of internet bandwidth to many places, mainly rural areas is a major roadblock. Charges of the internet are still high. Language, medical awareness and mindset of people makes it even more difficult for penetration to the mass and get the most out of it.
To overcome the above mentioned challenges, if we really need to make things happen in healthcare its not possible without help from Government and the change in policies looking at the future. In India our doctor and patient ratio is1:2000 approximately, whereas per guidelines of WHO it is, 1:1000. So,with limited resource if healthcare and preventive healthcare needs to be extended, the policies in healthcare also needs to be modern to match with developed countries.
Will ICT in healthcare make the healthcare services affordable?
In past two decades ICT made remarkable changes in other IT and ITeS segments. This is the time for healthcare. Healthcare industry is one sector in India which has demonstrated amazing entrepreneurial initiative over the last few years. The different are as such as life science, biotechnology,pharmaceutical and diagnostics with in the healthcare industry have been playing important roles in attracting foreign players to India to establish various allied health industries in partnership with domestic players. This is also offering Indian entrepreneurs several opportunities to invest in the Indian health care sector.
How do you see the adoption of Make in India concept in healthcare industry?
If we can make spaceships, satellites and in a position to reach Mars, I believe we can Make in India health tools at a cheaper cost and make the available to common people. This will help anyone be aware of their chronic diseases and help to keep them under control. In Help MeDoc, primarily we are trying to save time for patients to meet doctors faster, without wasting time and also helping them find other facilities like lab etc. which is needed post visit to the doctor.
What is your opinion on the establishment of National eHealth Authority (NeHA) for the growth of the healthcare industry?
What we get to know about NeHA is formulation and its vision, I welcome it. Only issue over here is Government initiatives should be faster. If we need to compete with countries like Singapore, UK, Australia and so on,our pace and mindset should match hat too. In fact we can make the entire process better, if an approach which is suited to the present time is adopted.
What are the primary issues in he health care sector that the industry would emphasise the government to address?
Firstly, there should be some transparency and basic guidelines.All doctors, anywhere should be allowed to practice openly, if the time permits and within working practicing norms of course. This will make doctors feel comfortable for online presence. In the present situation mostly everything happens,but unsaid. If maintaining digitis edmedical records is acceptable,against the digitised records buying medicine online should also be permissible. In the modern arena,where online business has shown the potential and maturity, why healthcare should be left behind is something, should be addressed and implemented to make things work.
How do you see India as am Health and tele medicine market?
In a vast country like India, where 70 per cent of its population is poor and who live in places where its still not easy to provide healthcare support, tele medicine can work wonders not only to extend medical assistance but to provide required awareness and basic education on healthcare.
What are the challenges you faced when you established your company in 2012? How do you see the competition in your arena?
The platform is integrated to all the users in the site with SSL certification to maintain data security for all users. The site also has a pay mentgateway, where one can pay for any service online at the time of booking.Initially it was difficult to convince doctors and people the authenticity,but today we take the pride in saying that in last three month after the launch of the site we are getting tremendous support from users of all segments. With almost 7000 verified doctors and 35 + lab chain, we book3000 bookings per month in Delhi and NCR region and the number is only growing.
Presently we are covering three verticals, which are doctors,labs and patients. We provide backend for doctors to manage their practice efficiently, which is called Doc Practice„¢. We provide backend to the labs, where they can display their lab tests and packages, which a patient can check and compare before booking. At the same time, we provided a comprehensive backend to the patients, where he or she can maintain the health data, which can be accessed at the time of any medical emergency. In Help MeDoc,our idea was not to make a directory where information on doctors and other healthcare providers will be displayed,but to make life easier for people in all respective sections. Most of the features are free for all users, some premium features are charged at a nominal yearly fees,but returns on that comes back in multiple folds.
It is just good to see there are few players coming with different ideas in the healthcare segments. But, like any other market, more players will only make healthcare market more competitive.
What are your expansion plans?
Our future plan is to expand in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Rajasthan, for which we are looking for an investment to ute these plans faster. We also are ready with the pharmacy section, which will be integrated very soon. This will help anyone to find a doctor of his choice after viewing the specialty, book lab tests only and also buy medicine online, under one umbrella. Doctors software will benefit them manage their time in more meaningful manner and see more patients. For all users the system makes all go green, go paper less.