Hari Thallapalli, CEO, CallHealth Services Pvt Ltd.
Technology has transformed the healthcare industry in the 21st century, but the delivery of healthcare services to the people needs attention. CallHealth is a technology-powered healthcare company that has built a unique integrated virtual-cum-mobility platform to bring Everything about Health€ to the doorstep of the needy both in and outside India. Hari Thallapalli, CEO, CallHealth Services Pvt Ltd shares the company’s USP apart from its mission and vision, in an exclusive interview with Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network.
Tell us about how and when the concept of CallHealth came up?
It is an interesting story that has led to the establishment CallHealth. The sole promoter of CallHealth, Sandhya Raju, a young entrepreneur and Kuchipudi exponent, had once suffered a sprain in her leg. In the process of getting the treatment, she had to make multiple visits to imaging labs, doctors and other diagnostic facilities. The running around that she had to undergo triggered a thought in her that why we cannot get all these facilities at our doorstep like the way we get other services delivered at home. So, by slowly covering diagnostics, doctors, health insurance, we became everything about healthcare.
How do the services of CallHealth remain to be disruptive in the present healthcare scenario?
We realize that the entire healthcare ecosystem remains fragmented. In this system, the doctor is in the centre and patients come to him and then go to diagnostics, pharmacy and other facilities during the treatment. But, CallHealth integrates all the components of this ecosystem and brings them on one platform. By doing so, it provides a single-point solution to the customer and gives him the power to choose as per his / her convenience. We have applied following three principles for the benefit of patients.
- The Virtual Dimension – anything that can be delivered virtually should be done virtually: means that instead of just bringing one or two services to the customers, we have integrated all healthcare services that can be accessed virtually on one single platform. By doing so, we are able to give the customers the access to a wider spectrum of healthcare ecosystem irrespective of time and location. For example, consultation with the doctor, taking second opinion, counseling session with a psychologist can be done virtually and a patient need not necessarily go and meet the doctor.
- The Physical Dimension anything that can be physically delivered at home, should be delivered to the customer’s doorstep like e-commerce. Services such as pathology, nursing, physio, health supplements, medicines, crutches, beds, and others fall within this dimension. Additionally, for instances when the patient needs to visit the hospital for treatment, we will make it convenient and faster for the patient by facilitating the end-to-end hospitalization requirements. We are doing this not just for patients in India, but also for international patients who come to India for treatment. For this, we have a dedicated team of medical tourism facilitators who manage all aspects of the patients travel and stay in India, and facilitate the doctor consultations with the patient and his / her physician prior to the travel.
- The Informational Dimension is unique as it involves integrating the data from both virtual and physical dimensions such as lab reports, imaging across the entire healthcare spectrum – Prevention, Cure and Wellness, all on one platform. The data includes health regimen, medicinal prescription, diagnostics and lab reports. We believe this will significantly help in improving the efficacy of healthcare outcomes as it will allow customers and their physicians anytime, anywhere access to their own personalized healthcare records.
Therefore, we created a three-dimensional platform Anything that can be done virtually will be done that way, anything that needs to be done in person will be delivered or done at home. All the data, irrespective of the place it comes from, will be digitized and made available in one place.
How do you see yourself (CallHealth) in the present healthcare scenario in India?
The CallHealth Platform is the world’s first integrated, single point solution for “Everything about Health”. Over 16 different products / services- e-consultations, drugs at home, diagnostics at home, family doctor, second opinion, health insurance, medical facilitation at the doorstep and others are offered by us. In other words, we are like the Amazon of healthcare, providing all the services at one place.
Another dimension of our focus is to make CallHealth as easily accessible as Ola and Uber. Just the way people hire taxis and are able to know where they are, where to go and how much the travel is going to cost. Similarly, we bring the ease of single touch access to healthcare.
To ensure service excellence, we track every transaction and view each transaction as a digital moment. This way we are able to proactively monitor potential service failures and issues and find ways to address them in a manner that the customer is not impacted.
We have also built a value exchange platform that allows every stakeholder of the CallHealth eco-system to interact with other members in a seamless and transparent manner. This way we are also able to monitor the performance of each officer, associate and business.
Which basically means that we are moving towards a new era in Healthcare delivery and our new-age enterprise architecture as well as our technology platform have been designed to disrupt the traditional way of healthcare delivery.
How do you plan to penetrate into the market?
We are in the process of testing it with 10 million population in Hyderabad. We have witnessed a 7X growth over the past 6 months with limited marketing efforts. We have handled 124000+ customer calls, completed 36000+customer registrations and have serviced 16000+ unique customers. Out of 7 billion people in the world over, 4-4.5 billion people do not have access to the integrated healthcare system that includes India, China and many other places. Whatever we are doing in Hyderabad can be replicated in the large part of India and also across the globe. Our aim is to scale CallHealth services to 500 million people in next 2-3 years.
The work of CallHealth is a new and additional service to the existing healthcare ecosystem through integration. Is it not going to put an added burden to the end users who will avail your services?
Not at all, I can give you some real examples. Our business model leverages economies of scale and eliminates provisioning for intermediaries, with direct delivery of services to customers. For instance, an MRI which could cost a customer around Rs. 6000, we could offer at a reduced price to the extent to over 15%+. The model also leverages the spare capacity available with Healthcare providers, thereby generating additional volumes. We have tied up with accredited Labs which are NABL certified. Similarly, a blood test like HbA 1C which could cost Rs. 600 for the end user, is provided by us for around Rs. 500. So the cost is much lesser coupled with the services delivered at the doorstep. A general physician consultations is offered for Rs. 200 and a specialist consultations varies between Rs. 400 to 700.
So you are providing the services at lower or at the same price available in the market with an additional service of taking all of it to the doorstep. Tell us about the tie-ups you have with hospitals, labs, doctors and others of healthcare community. How you are able to convince them?
We have tied up with 88 hospitals, 50 imaging labs, 3 pathology and biochemistry labs in Hyderabad and on-boarded a total of 5923 Associates on our Call-Health Connect platform. At National level, we are signing-up with another 6000+ associates. This, we will replicate in other cities also where ever we plan to establish ourselves. The direct advantage for the associates is of larger reach being hosted on our platform. We have developed a search-rule engine, which gives us the information on accessibility, availability, affordability and rating by the users.
When was the CallHealth services rolled out in the market and since when you have been in the market?
For the last couple of months we have been extensively field testing our operations in Hyderabad and are now actively rolling out our services in other markets. We also began field testing in Vishakhapatnam recently. Similarly, we plan to spread in seven other cities in and around Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Then we will start opening up in other cities across India.