Healthcare in India needs rapid adoption to technology as COVID-19 clearly highlighted that as a country we are not prepared to ensure remote healthcare delivery even for primary and post-surgery support for one of the largest populations.
1. How did the idea come to start?
The thought behind the launch of MedCords was to address India’s healthcare crisis starting at the grass root level. MedCords is a health-tech startup that originated from Kota, Rajasthan envisioned by me and my co-founders- Nikhil Baheti and Saida Dhanavath
Living in tier-3 city , we have encountered the plight of poor healthcare infrastructure on multiple occasions and belonging to a family of doctors, this motivated me to set-up a scalable solution that allows people to consult with specialist doctors remotely backed with digital case file and medical records, Nikhil and Saida joined me in my journeyas they could really connect with the problem statement.
After thoroughly researching across 800 villages and working on a probable business model, we started MedCords in 2016 in Kota, Rajasthan. For the past 4 years we have solved some crucial gaps in healthcare delivery of accessibility, cost, and quality of healthcare and are set on a course to establish the fastest integrated healthcare ecosystem in India.
2. What are the unique key points of your company?
Some of the unique initiatives are as follows:
● Medicine Delivery within 2 hours as we have made 25,000+ pharmacies digital on sehat sathi app
● Online consultation done within 30 mins as we have connected 5,000 specialist doctors who are assigned cases through a UBER like case assignment system and AI models to write an e-prescription in a minute
3. What can be said about the condition of healthcare in rural India?
Rule India constitutes more than 70 crore people with no access to even quality primary healthcare because of unavailability of specialist doctors in rural areas. Healthcare in India needs rapid adoption to technology as COVID-19 clearly highlighted that as a country we are not prepared to ensure remote healthcare delivery even for primary and post-surgery support for one of the largest populations. Countries globally are better prepared with an established electronic medical record system and remote healthcare solutions
Indian healthcare sector is witnessing a growth rate of 18%per year and is expected to grow further. There is a significant scope for enhancing healthcare services, since the Government of India is devoting a higher percentage from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as compared to the past years. India is full of opportunities for players in the healthcare industry.
4. What can be said about your reach? To what extent have you been able to penetrate the rural fragments in India?
We have enabled doctor consultation to the patients from medically underprivileged areas through a trusted point of pharmacy which can solve the problem of accessibility at scale, there are more than 15 lakhs pharmacies across India. As of now we have provided our services to over 30 lakh users across 13 states, 50% of these users have joined our ecosystem through 25,000 pharmacies. We have built the primary consultation services in Sehat Sathi app for the non-smartphone patients in rural India We are planning to extend our services further through the network of pharmacies
5. What challenges have you faced in running your business?
We started our operations with digitizing patient’s health records and providing doctor teleconsultation service to rural India through Aayu and Sehat Sathi app.
One of the major challenges we faced was in tier II and tier III cities when we realised that a major section of the society still didn’t have access to smartphones or steady reception which initially hindered the adoption of our proposed digital model. Also, digitization of medical records got impacted through sehat sathi network during COVID-19. However, our integrated solution proved to be a problem solver during COVID-19 especially in Rajasthan with remote consultation and medicine delivery service
Therefore, we are aiming at expanding our local pharmacies network across India to digitise and become a part of a unique hyper-local delivery model which help supports increase in their income too
6. With the situation of the pandemic, how was the situation at hand tackled?
Since the onset of COVID-19, our team has been working 24/7 in providing medical assistance to the people in tier III, tier IV and tier V cities, since the logistics across the country was severely disrupted. Later during the nation-wide lockdown, we associated with the Government of Rajasthan for providing last-mile accessibility of medical resources.
7. What are your comments about the status of healthcare and preventive medicine India
The healthcare industry is at a very crucial stage where ‘preventive healthcare’ is becoming a critical issue. Preventive healthcare can reduce the risk of diseases, decrease mortality, reduce the burden on traditional hospitals, curtails the cost of public healthcare and makes the healthcare economical at individual levels.
Preventive screenings and services help in assessing and reducing the risk for diseases and conditions such as hypertension and diagnoses before it manifests in the body as a foundation for a severe chronic and fatal disease like stroke.
In India, the preventive healthcare segment is on a rise. India’s total preventive healthcare market is now estimated at over $800 million. The market offers enormous opportunities to bring in innovative technology solutions. The healthcare sector is moving in higher user and patient empowerment and better patient engagement models. People’s cognizance about their health and rising disposable income has boosted in preventive healthcare in urban and semi urban markets.
8. According to you, what changes are required and how MedCords is providing healthcare from the grassroots?
In order to streamline and make healthcare more efficient for people who are not privileged enough, the Government of India should focus on investing digital infrastructure for healthcare for the rural areas and give opportunities tp private players to participate with effective technology solutions
MedCords is ensuring the last-mile connectivity of healthcare for the people of Bharat. We are striving to make the pharmacies and doctors readily available online to cater to everyone in the rural and semi-urban segments of the country.
9. How is MedCords helping to bridge the gap between technology and healthcare?
MedCords has always focused phygital model for healthcare deliver where physical resources can be effectively utilized through simple technology solution. Specialist Doctors are able to serve large patients base in remote areas trough doctors.medcords.com, see the case file of the patients, make a call and write an e-prescription, all of these can be done within 10 mins through our solution.
Pharmacies are acting as a facilitator through Sehat Sathi app where they can also make their complete store online within 5 mins to serve the nearby population
Source: Business World