Shopping for Good Health: How PeopleHealth is revolutionizing healthcare in India
If you can explore, compare and buy laptops online, then you should be able to do the same with medical services. India, compared to some of its neighbours in the continent, has been fairly slow in making the transition to digital media as far as the healthcare department goes. PeopleHealth aims to change all that.
YourStory interviewed G Krishnamurthy, the man behind this unique platform to find out more about their aim to provide customers efficient access to medical services.
[YS] Tell us about the founders and key people behind PeopleHealth.
[GK] PeopleHealth.in is India’s first online healthcare market place. The platform today enables people to compare and make well
informed medical care decisions. PeopleHealth began its journey in November 2004 with a vision of making healthcare friendlier for the consumer and changing the Indian healthcare landscape. With limited funding, we devised healthcare services that are unseen in India.
India’s healthcare system faces considerable challenges, including quality of care, rising costs, and insufficient access for many citizens, but has the opportunity to avoid many of the problems faced by other developing countries by transforming health care financing, quality and delivery. PeopleHealth is committed to creating a customer oriented healthcare system in India.
PeopleHealth is a consumer oriented health services organisation that seamlessly binds all aspects of healthcare.
[YS] What inspired you PeopleHealth to start it?
[GK]Healthcare was highly fragmented. Healthcare consumers were among the highest in post-care dissonance primarily owing to weak communication efforts and lack of transparency in the administrative processes. The impact of any change is most felt in healthcare. Making a difference to lives played a very important role in deciding on healthcare.
[YS] How does PeopleHealth provide for customers, hospitals and doctors?
[GK] We change the way we buy medical services by bridging the gap between the consumer and healthcare service providers and other stakeholders, and enabling people to compare and choose medical services. PeopleHealth will play a vital role in evolving a customer oriented healthcare system. Today, most of the services procured by us as users are built around the customer (payer); whereas healthcare is a service where the payer is not in control.
[YS] How do you plan on expanding PeopleHealth?
[GK]PeopleHealth has explored various aspects of healthcare to bridge the gap between consumer and medical fraternity and has constructed the portal as an interface to scale faster and efficiently. It has presence in over 7 cities to support corporate customers. The presence will be enhanced to fulfil surgical and diagnostic needs of users in a phased manner.
[YS] What’s your biggest competition in the market as of now?
[GK] The intermediary / aggregator market is too nascent to have competition. Bangalore has an addressable market of over 2000 crore for medical services. Being the first intermediary and having experience of the entire gamut of medical service offering we are confident of setting the trend and fuelling space. Competition will speed up the growth.
[YS] Are you planning on making your services available to people who may not have access to the internet?
[GK]Absolutely, we receive requests through telephone and other offline partners. We also work in the semi-urban and rural parts surrounding Bangalore. The technology platform is leveraged by different interfacing person to extend support.
[YS] What would you consider the biggest challenge for PeopleHealth?
[GK] Government regulations to moderate or control intermediaries in medical services. Bearing in mind the fact that the intermediaries will help various stakeholders, this risk is largely mitigated. The only other risk can be pricing dynamics between service providers.
[YS] What edge do you have over other health services slowly cropping up in the country?
[GK] PeopleHealth can confidently stand and say it’s one of the very few intermediaries to have stayed for 10 years and experienced every aspect of the medical services offering.
[YS] Have you been approached by investors? And, are you open to the possibility of acquirers being seriously interested in your product?
[GK]We have been invited to make presentations by investors. We are in the process of raising capital to scale. Being acquired at our current stage may not be so relevant.
[YS] What do you feel about health services in India? And, how does your product solve problems in it?
[GK] India is the largest self-paid healthcare market. Healthcare today lacks transparency and clarity in its pricing and approach. Making consumers make informed decision will make healthcare more responsive and also put the power of choice in the payer’s hand (consumer).
To check out their services, you can visit them at PeopleHealthIndia.com