“It was in the year 2008, my first year in college, that I first read about Dr. Devi Shetty, Founder of Narayana Hrudalaya, and his immense contribution in the field of affordable healthcare. What amazed me the most was the power of economies of scale in providing basic healthcare to the under-served in India. But it was only around two years back when I was admitted in Narayana Hrudalaya after being diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, that I saw for myself the impact of this healthcare institution,” says Pranat Bhadani, a core team member at Medyog.
Medyog is an online healthcare aggregator for diagnostics, with a special focus on preventive healthcare.
Pranat adds, “Post my surgery, I had to do monthly follow-ups and it was then that I realized the hassles that an individual faces to get information around diagnostics. It seemed impossible to find answers to questions such as ‘Where can I undergo this test?’, ‘How much would it cost me?’, ‘Which diagnostic center is better?’ etc.
At the same time, startups like Flipkart, Ola, and Housing, etc. were making lives simpler in almost every other sector. I wondered why a critical sector like healthcare ignored. I was surprised to see how little was being done in the healthcare space when the Internet revolution was transforming the consumer experience in every other sector I could think of.”
Medyog aspires to bring in transparency and convenience in the healthcare industry by answering questions for consumers which Pranat had to struggle to find the right answers to.
The Medyog team says, “Apart from the simplicity of our design and ease of transaction, our competitive advantage also lies in our two unique initiatives, Smart Preventive & SASH.”
Hear’s more about Medyog, the market it is going after and its one-year journey from the Co-founders Shantanu Jain and Nitin Jain. They have partnered with 15 different centers in Bangalore and are currently a team of four.
Diagnostics is a USD 3.5B+ market in India. Preventive healthcare on the other hand is only about $250M of the total healthcare market. We are excited about the potential of the preventive healthcare market. We envision increasing this share to thee-four times. Though this will surely be challenging, but it isn’t as difficult as it sounds. As people start spending more on preventive healthcare, the total diagnostic spend will start decreasing. We believe it is possible.
Need for preventive healthcare
Majority of the population takes reactive healthcare measures. Wouldn’t we all prefer to cure the disease at stage zero? According to the Health Ministry reports, more than 63 million people in India are forced into poverty every year due to “catastrophic” expenditure on healthcare. And this is the financial impact of the reactive healthcare measures. Tobacco consumption alone is expected to take more than 200 million Indian lives in this century. To take a more specific example, Bangalore is facing a major health crisis, one that has been overlooked both by the society and the government:
These stats shed some light on the need for a call for a strong collective response and we believe preventive healthcare can be the answer to some of these problems. Most ailments do not occur overnight, and can be detected at an early stage through regular check ups. The idea is to avoid severe health complications that could take a toll on both your biological as well as financial health. Medyog helps users go through various preventive health plans and identify the best one for themselves. We even customize preventive health plans based on your symptoms, lifestyle habits and family medical history.
A little deep dive in the market will reveal the existing nexus between the doctor and the diagnostic center. The Indian diagnostic setup is currently driven mainly by doctor referrals and the user has very little choice in the whole process, though preventive healthcare is a little bit of an exception.
Through Medyog we aim to restructure the industry from doctor driven to a doctor-patient driven. We firmly believe that what COD did for online shopping, preventive healthcare will do for online diagnostic segment.
How Medyog works?
There are no convenience charges, no registration charges, and no subscription charges, either from the user or from our partner hospitals/diagnostic centers. Our partners provide us with discounts on each test/package and we pass on the major chunk of it to the user, while retaining a small fraction.
Healthcare is the most sensitive aspect of life for consumers and hence in addition to our social media campaigns, our focus is on personal interactions to raise awareness of Medyog. You can spot our team outside parks and health clubs in Bangalore early in the morning, creating awareness about preventable diseases and explaining the importance of regular health check-ups.
Don’t just ask your initial users for feedback, meet up with them and observe them using your platform. This will provide you with key insights to the behavior of the user, which you otherwise wouldn’t have known, and help you design accordingly. For instance, we were receiving complaints that there weren’t enough tests on our portal and that users weren’t able to find what they were looking for. In-spite of having more than 2000 tests, we thought that we still needed to add more and were about to prioritize adding new partners over everything else, when in one of our “feedback” sessions, we observed that a lot of people were making minor spelling mistakes while typing the name of the test, due to which they received no results and hence felt disappointed with the platform. We quickly incorporated a fuzzy logic in the search and the results have been amazing.