We have created a platform where the doctors would get the patients details over the phone and provide an instant aid to the patient, discloses Varun Anand, Co-Founder, MphRx while speaking to Romiya Das of Elets News Network (ENN)
How did MphRx came into existence?
MphRx (My Personal Health Records Express) was conceived on the idea to provide a solution to the interoperability of patients records started around in 2011, headquartered in New York City. Our product development and R&D is based out of our Gurgaon office. The story actually started with a news article that gained a lot of popularity where a child suffering from cancer lost his life in the US. The child lost his life as his medical records couriered through Fedex to the specialist, which took few days to reach him. The doctor in his statement said that if the medical records would have reached him on time, he could have recommended the drug to elongate his life. This was the moment when Mahesh (President & CEO) realised the need for a solution to make patient data available anywhere and anytime.
That was then when I, Mahesh and Chetan Uberoy (Co-Founder) started talking to build a platform which basically allows the doctors and patients to have access to the medical records regardless of where ever they are and share it when required. The initial idea was the patient being the owner all of the data.
Once we got into it, we started looking at various things happening in the market and realised that the adoption of technology in healthcare is very low. When we started, we got two contracts straight out, one US based, one of the largest privately held imaging networks and the other was Max healthcare in Delhi. While building this platform we were working directly with these two customers.
We have been bootstrapped so far. The entire five years we have essentially gone completely on revenues. Today, we have health systems such as North Shore LIJ, Lenox Hill Hospital, Hackensack Max, Medanta, Artemis, Dr Lal Paths to name a few. We got three large partners Agfa healthcare, DELL computers, and Tech Mahindra in past one and a half years. Now, these partners are selling the platform over hundred countries.
Can you elaborate the working of your platform?
MphRx works on Minerva, an HIPAA complaint cloud-based platform, claiming to solve interoperability of patients records held in multiple disparate systems. patient engagement and care providers productivity.
For patient engagement: It simplifies health record management and keeps patients connected with their physicians and care teams through the secure and intuitive web and mobile tools giving access to patient records, patient specific dashboard, instant messaging and compliance tools.
For physician engagement: It provides the physicians with a comprehensive and unified view of patients records, consolidated from EMR, Lab, and Radiology Information Systems. Also, it equips them with patient communication tools to provide accurate and timely care. We operate in both models where the hospitals can have their own cloud or on our own cloud based in the US (Miami, Florida, and Atlanta).
BizEye: It gives actionable, realtime and visually powerful analytics to improve delivery of care, boosting staff efficiency, and increasing business performance.
We are opening up our platform to third-party developers as well.
We are coming up fisike which is also the part of the company. It is kind of a B2B2C proposition, which will be a patient downloadable app through which they can visit any of the hospitals with their fisike ID and all of their medical records will be signed up to that. Patients can download the app, load up their clinical data which will get digitise automatically and carry it with themselves when visiting hoapitals.
What regulatory roadblocks are being faced by the healthcare startups?
In healthcare, there is no clarity on the regulations, unlike the US and other places. They have clear regulations around patient security, privacy but it India it is not clearly laid out yet. I think that is all for a lack of regulations when it comes to such things specifically around how healthcare data is managed. The healthcare information as is a lot more sacrosanct even than your financial information. But, I think there has to be a lot more regulations specifically dealing with how patients data is actually handled in the country.
How can these regulations become more flexible?
Working with government hospitals is very difficult right now. But, at the end of the day, nearly 60-70 per cent of the population is served by government hospitals. No matter how many private hospitals one visits unless and until we are tied up with those government initiatives it becomes very difficult to reach the actual masses. Therefore it stands as one big challenge that the government should work on. Also, from the IT strategy perspective, there is no clear mandate from the government in terms of how to patients records have to be kept. One needs a way out to basically record and have access to all of those clinical data. Today, that is not happening, it is all paper-based. There is very little opportunity for startups like us that are actually doing things at a much lower cost than larger companies, to actually reach out to the government hospitals asking them to implement their solutions to improve the care delivery but also at an affordable cost. But unfortunately, thats a big hurdle we all face getting through the government and if that can be opened up it will be fantastic.
What comparison can you draw between Indian and the US healthcare IT market?
In India, like I said, there is no regulatory reason to use electronic records, while in the US there is a regulatory reason to do that. The hospitals are adopting technology so that they want to provide services for the patients, where the patient actually comes back to them. In other places, people are opting for technology because there is government reporting mandated.
In healthcare, there is no clarity on the regulations, unlike the US and other places. They have clear regulations around patient security, and privacy but in India it is not clearly laid out yet
Where do you see the company heading in the coming years?
We have got our presence in Western Europe, in the UK, Latin America, Brazil as well. Middle – East is going really well, we have entered this market. In the next six months, we are looking at opening up our application ecosystem or our app store so that people can come and develop apps on top of this as well. This is where one can add a lot more value to the platform. One of the things that we have also done on the platform is not just to be able to put data together and give patients and doctors access to it but because we use FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) a new healthcare standard the third parties can also come up and develop an app on top of it. In India, we have got all four regions activated now.