“When I hit my 40s, I took a break to take a plunge into entrepreneurship and explore my dream of building something that touches people’s lives. For a year, I worked with a couple of startups, explored the space and various business models. I noticed a huge market opportunity in diagnostic lab space and decided to focus on it,” says Shashi Bhushan, founder, HealthMacro Technologies. In October 2012, Shashi founded HealthMacro Technologies with the vision to enable diagnostic labs with an end-to-end solution for lab management.
Majority of diagnostic labs in India lack automated processes to generate results and store this crucial information for future use. The conventional method of reading out the results from devices and manually entering them in reports is used in most of the labs. Human intervention makes the reports prone to inaccuracy. The response time to patients is high due to a lot of manual processes involved from the time a patient enters a lab till he gets his final reports. Diagnostic labs face scalability issues and productivity losses. In a very crowded market, lab owners need to differentiate themselves on quality points and not just on a lower cost of services.
Shashi has over 20 years of experience working across telecom and healthcare industry. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Sciences from the University of Mysore and a MS in Telecommunication & Software Engineering from IIT Chicago. He spent the formative years of his career at Sasken working on wireless technologies. He has also worked with GE Healthcare in engineering leadership roles before starting HealthMacro.
HealthMacro’s product DiagSmart is a B2B Cloud-based solution that digitizes the lab flow. It connects various stakeholders – labs, doctors and patients – on a single platform and provides end-to-end lab management. “DiagSmart ensures zero errors and it can be interfaced with any lab device for automation of reports. We want to enable the labs to manage all the results efficiently and connect with their doctors and patients. Patients get convenience. They can book lab tests, appointments, get their results – everything on web and mobile. We are offering both ‘On-Cloud’ and ‘On-Premise’ model to the labs,” says Shashi.
He says that this space is highly disorganized. Most solutions that are available are not future oriented. Some top Category A labs have their own IT teams and hence have an automated process but Category B labs do not have any solutions. Absence of mandatory standards like NABL accreditation for labs makes the entry barrier for lab setups very low. This makes the market fragmented and price sensitive.
“There are around 1.4 lac diagnostic labs in India and they are growing at a healthy 20% CAGR. We are targeting the Category B of this lab market which we estimate to be around 55% of the total,” says Shashi. HealthMacro got its initial boost and a validation of its concept when it got its early paying customers within a month of product launch. HealthMacro is still experimenting with its revenue model. They are trying a SaaS model with options of subscription and pay per use.
HealthMacro is a 10-member team and is looking to expand soon. Bootstrapped till now, the venture is looking for funding. They have recently won TiE’s Anthah Prerana competition. Shashi sees entrepreneurship as a journey of self-discovery. He says, “Each day is new with a new set of challenges. Working with constraints brings out the best in you.”