Healthcare in India is very poor when compared to the West and other developing nations. Over the past few years though, the state of healthcare has improved with adaptation of new technology and innovation. While metro and tier I cities have access to good doctors, tier II and III cities still lack experts for consultations.
To bridge this gap, Medical second Opinion (MSO) offers a platform for consultations by renowned doctors which are largely second opinion in nature. The startup allows patients in far flung corners of the country to receive the best consultations for their medical conditions without making the effort of travelling.
The Gurgaon-based company has a high quality panel to suit the credibility required for second opinion consultations. “It was initially a little difficult to convince top doctors to be a part of such a new concept. But as a couple of big guns signed up with us, it became easier to get other experts on board,” says Sachin Chaudhary, CEO & Co-founder, MSO.
With 20 doctors on board in July last year, MSO has over 80 doctors, including stalwarts like Dr. Naresh Trehan, Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon, Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, Dr. Harshavardhan Hegde, Nova Spine and Orthopaedics Institute, New Delhi, Dr. Anand Khakhar, Apollo Chennai, Dr. Vikram Shah, Shalby Hospitals, Ahmedabad, among 70 others.
“Earlier, clients were apprehensive of seeking medical advice online. However, over the year, our regular health talks, health camps and some word of mouth references have instilled confidence in attracting more people to the platform,” adds Sachin.
MSO works as a virtual hospital following the model of a hospital network. It earns revenue via professional share to ensure promotional activities and charges medical assistance directly from the doctors for the facilitation costs. “Revenue is also generated from the yearly memberships to Freedom Health Cards — our discount cards on medical bills at leading hospitals,” says Sachin.
The biggest differentiator for the platform is that it has doctors who are otherwise not accessible at price points ranging from Rs.50 to Rs.1000. “Good spread of five to seven doctors per specialty is what we are looking at,” adds Sachin.
MSO’s trademark services include My Health Record (patient health record storing software in a cloud space through their portal), Freedom Health Card (to avail discounts at selected hospitals pan India — launched in Jaipur as of now) and Connected OPD (panel doctors travel to different cities that has set up MSO’s OPD service to give consultations to patients in their hometowns).
The startup competes with no other player as it’s the only exclusive second opinion consultation portal with top doctors on its panel. “It makes us extremely happy that most of our users are residents from tier II and III cities,” reveals Sachin. Close to 60% of its registered users are individuals and employees from cities such as Jaipur, Ajmer, Chandigarh, Patna, Haridwar among others.
The company plans to add video and mobile consultation as a way to connect with the doctors. “We are also gearing to expand our specialties in the next six months. There are talks at various stages to get doctors from Singapore, the US and the UK,” says Sachin
It had recently signed a joint venture in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Africa and is working to set up its MSO subsidiaries there. Meanwhile, a cross platform mobile application that works on Apple, Android and Blackberry is also in its final stages.