The way Indians avail of healthcare and related services has seen a sea exchange inside the previous couple of years. From simply booking appointments for offline physician consultations and buying medicines on-line, Indians (and the sector) have stepped forward to evaluating and shopping for healthcare services and packages on-line, and are even doing remote consultations with doctors over chat and video.
The first wave of alternate generation added in healthcare became inside the B2C segment. Now, B2B is ripe for disruption, and a number of healthtech startups are leveraging AI, statistics analytics, and different superior techs to make first-rate and low-cost healthcare services to be had to corporates.
One such participant is HealthAssure, which claims to be a one-of-its-kind aggregator platform with a focus on primary healthcare, mainly meant to cater to B2B necessities. The platform, which offers “comprehensive solutions, from coping with complex requirements of big establishments to supplying customised plans for individuals,” says it has greater than three,000 facilities and is found in more than 1,000 cities across India. HealthAssure additionally caters to the B2C section.
Varun Gera, founder and CEO of HealthAssure, says he started the organisation to “cope with the space that existed inside the market for customers (B2B in addition to people) needing higher daily healthcare and number one and preventive healthcare providers.” “In India, at the same time as hospitalisation and emergency treatment has matured over the past decade, the primary care segment, which is still in large part fragmented, is gaining significance swiftly,” says Gera.
The organization, which says it has technology in its DNA, says on its internet site, “We strongly believe in new thoughts, innovations, and new ways to push the limits to make answers easy and efficient. With generation at the coronary heart of everything we do, we're capable of combine our community companions — across pathology, diagnostics, consultations, pharmacy, and so forth — and bring exact health closer to you.”
Tapping Into The $40 Bn Primary Healthcare Market In India
According to a record through Deloitte, with accelerated digital adoption, the Indian healthcare marketplace, that is growing at a CAGR of about 20%, will contact a whopping $280 Bn with the aid of 2020. And the revenue of India’s company healthcare quarter is envisioned to develop at 15% in 2017-18.
Gera, who has done in-intensity studies into the healthcare industry for several years, appears have realised the ability, and the desires, of this marketplace earlier than many others. He started out his adventure within the Indian virtual healthcare market way again in 2011 when he figured that there weren’t any organised systems for primary healthcare offerings — an enterprise poised to be well worth $40 Bn as talked about via HealthAssure, which still capabilities in a haphazard manner.
At gift, HealthAssure’s number one commercial enterprise version essentially objectives to consumerize primary healthcare with the help of era and make pleasant offerings handy to Indian corporates inside the B2b section. The model entails give up-to-stop control of worker healthcare programmes, assessment of healthcare gaps, and giving corporates get right of entry to to a fantastic, discounted medical network.
HealthAssure gives businesses and enterprises get entry to to credible number one care centres including the offerings of fashionable physicians, cardiologists, dentists, and other professionals. Ankush Chatterjee, leader advertising officer and head of products at HealthAssure, points out that the corporation is a tech-enabled B2B healthcare startup and now not the alternative manner around. It has advanced a unique Health Risk Assessment device for assessing the health hazard or fame of people, which can also be customised for every character, and consequently, answers can be provided.
HealthAssure healthcare aggregator in B2B section presenting primary healthcare offerings
The HealthAssure team believes it has been in a position to differentiate from huge B2C carriers in phrases of the consistency and first-class of services it gives
With the world talking about the importance of mental health nowadays, no serious healthcare player can stay away from providing intellectual healthcare services. To this volume, HealthAssure offers an Employee Assistance Programme — a short-time period and private counselling carrier offered to employees to address their non-public troubles.
For insurance businesses, which include a massive percentage of HealthAssure’s customers, its services comprise pre-coverage checkups along with distinctiveness networks like ophthalmology, OPD, dietician, and counsellor networks.
Challenges In Providing Consistent, Quality Services
HealthAssure these days has extra than three,000 facilities in more than 1,000 towns throughout India. While those numbers speak of splendid fulfillment, they've now not been smooth to reach at. Like some other startup, HealthAssure had its very own set of demanding situations whilst it commenced out — from attracting the right expertise to hurdles in setting up a huge network of healthcare companies.
The maximum tough challenge, but, become with a view to cater to all of the clients at any given point in time. With maximum number one healthcare services available most effective in the brick-and-mortar version and having in reality 0 online presence, it become quite a project to reach out to extra than three,000 centres, assess the satisfactory of their offerings, and get them on board.
HealthAssure realised that there has been no smooth route to do this and, consequently, decided to get its hands dirty on the sphere. All the healthcare centres are manually assessed to check the fine of offerings.
The crew makes sure that those centres function smoothly and feature proper virtual infrastructure in order that it may keep song of the services and the sufferers. This assessment method guarantees consistency in provider first-class but is a difficult model to copy due to its labour intensiveness.
Like for all startups, investments have been a essential choice. HealthAssure may be very careful approximately pulling in investments. The funding choice is made solely on the basis of the need for finances. “You can see the reflection of this logical approach in our balance sheets, which reflect a steep boom curve,” says Chatterjee. HealthAssure has invested approximately $2-three Mn in general from diverse investors together with Rajul Garg and Shuchin Bajaj and has received an investment of $1 Mn from The HR Fund this yr.
We Plan To Service three Mn Customer By 2020: HealthAssure
As Gera says, “Our vision is and will stay to bring properly health closer to all of us. In this endeavour, we are devoted to investing $15 Mn over the subsequent three years to create an efficient ecosystem within the fractured infrastructure of number one healthcare in India, so that more and more human beings can advantage get admission to to higher healthcare and do so at significantly lower priced fees.”
“We plan to have serviced 2.5-three Mn clients with the aid of 2020 with this clean spherical of funding in the direction of the boom of our commercial enterprise,” he provides. Gera similarly explains that there is an increasing call for for preventive healthcare within the Indian marketplace that he plans to tap into.
In the close to term, the startup is running to enhance its IT infrastructure and set up deeper community assets which includes geographical and vertical growth.
Preempting Competition From Deep-Pocketed B2C Peers
While all healtech startups in India selected the surprisingly less difficult course of catering to the mass marketplace — direct customers — Health Assure determined to swim into the unknown territory of the B2B market. The distinguished gamers in the B2C healthcare marketplace are Practo, Portea, Netmeds, and 1mg, amongst others.
Though that is a spot marketplace, HealthAssure has managed to find a wholly new phase for healthcare aggregators. At the instant, there aren’t every other major gamers operating within the B2B area, but it won’t be long before the B2C giants find a way to discover this area of interest marketplace, and they all have heavy investor backing, unlike Health Assure.
So, how does HealthAssure plan to hold an area over those startups or traditional companies of primary healthcare offerings once it has opposition inside the B2B space?
The startup believes that despite confined resources, it's been in a position to differentiate from the large B2C companies in phrases of the consistency and best of offerings it offers on its platform.
To start with, all the number one healthcare carrier vendors indexed on the HealthAssure platform are thoroughly verified. Besides, though the B2C players may additionally have bigger networks, they don’t guarantee the high-quality of provider being supplied by way of docs or different service companies on their platforms.
But HealthAssure constantly monitors the consistency and exceptional of the services presented on its platform. The group first manually assesses the infrastructure and first-class of services furnished through the number one healthcare centres (PHCs) it plans to bring forth board. They additionally make certain that these PHCs have dependable net connectivity and systems in vicinity so it’s less difficult for HealthAssure to maintain a music of the services and the sufferers.
Only as soon as a majority of these packing containers are ticked, PHCs are formally indexed on HealthAssure’s platform. After the onboarding, the startup maintains a database of the service providers to ensure highest quality nice of services.
HealthAssure is likewise looking at implementing technologies including AI and ML to extend its enterprise. It plans to comprise AI to map the patron journey so as to improving the purchaser experience on its platform. It additionally plans to mine all of the records it has amassed up to now to forecast consumer desires and necessities. “This is some thing in an effort to truly help us get an part in the long time,” provides Gera.
The Next Disruptor In Healthtech?
HealthAssure doesn’t consider in following tendencies or disruptors and adapting itself to the converting marketplace. Rather, it intends to walk a few steps ahead and set tendencies in B2B healthtech services.
When requested approximately the next large possibly disruption that is likely to pose as a assignment or an opportunity for Health Assure, Chatterjee replies,
“We received’t look ahead to the subsequent massive aspect to show up and then follow in shape; we need to be the disruptors instead, and drive the industry with our innovations.”
The healthcare and well-being zone is garnering a variety of interest from the startup international these days due to the urgency to supply properly offerings, digitally, and at a quick pace and at aggressive expenses. And businesses which include HealthAssure are a critical anchor in bringing approximately this variation as they carry the cease client and the provider issuer closer, making it a hassle-free adventure for each the parties.
HealthAssure’s reliable and constant network of healthcare service vendors and carrier monitoring differentiator is just what India’s healthcare area needs. And it would just help this B2B startup realise its vision of becoming a disruptor within the healthcare aggregator space.