The drive that fueled this startup to make a change in healthcare: Surgerica
Amit Bhagat belonged to a middle class family in Kolkata that didn’t have a ‘Family Doctor’. One fine day, out of the blue, his father had a heart attack. “I found myself on Mount Everest standing alone with no information, my mind was shouting what to do now?” Amit recollects. He was pretty net savvy but couldn’t find anything helpful for him to proceed with the decision of getting his father operated. He wanted to know the estimated funds for the treatment so that he could make prior arrangements but he hit a dead wall in this regard. He took a leap of faith and took his father to a hospital in Bangalore where luckily everything went well but the incident left a mark on Bhagat.
A similar incident happened with my Amarendra Kumar when his niece was diagnosed with a hole in the heart. Amit and Amarendra were friends and they were discussing these issues and their will to do something about the problem. “We were shocked to see that out of 1.22 billion people, around 86% pay their medical expenditure out of their own pocket i.e they are uninsured!” exclaims the duo. And those who got medical insurance, they want to know the quality and check the reviews of the Hospitals/Doctors in advance. Piyush Gupta joined them and the trio set out to solve this problem in healthcare with Surgerica.
Surgerica aims to help make healthcare more transparent. It allows users compare treatment costs and reviews across hospitals, and provides many other healthcare services like taking second opinion, booking appointments and video consultation. Starting out in late 2012, Surgerica got major hospitals & doctors on board, arranged the big data of medical procedures with indicative estimates and went live for patients in April this year. “Currently we are having 400+ Hospital centers across India with more than 350+ doctors,” says Amit.
A person needs to sign up before-hand to use the product with INR 55 and they have had more than 1000 people sign up till now. The following B2C services are available:
- · Treatment Connect which comes at $1 (INR 55 ) where a patient requests hospital for a brief opinion, treatment estimate & provisional line of treatment. It also provides credible insights to help users make informed decisions.
- · E-Connect starts at $9 (INR 450) and it offers doctors' opinions and information on treatment plans.
- · Video-Connect starts from $19 and is delivered through partnerships with hospitals, this video consultation service aims to help increase patient trust and clear doubt, especially if the patient chooses to travel to another city for consultation.
- · Inbuilt Knowledge Bank: A patient can check indicative median cost estimates from Surgerica's database comprising different medical procedures, free of cost.
“In our B2B segment we will be registering corporates to to roll out a paid employee health benefit scheme,” says Amit.
Surgerica is currently focusing on information and content which are made to educate people and make them aware that they can ask for more clarifications from any Doctor or Hospitals. The outreach has been by word-of-mouth and the team has a lot of things on the product roadmap. “We do have plans to launch a subscription based 'Q-Desk' for hospitals, clinics, etc which will be interlinked with each other & having features of CRM designed specifically for healthcare services delivery,” says Amit. Surgerica is based out of Kolkata and is looking to raise a seed round to scale up and market their services.