In India, diagnostic tests and medicines cost a lot, and without proper access to the information on different diagnostic labs and hospitals, patients are often taken for a ride by unscrupulous doctors. What if patients had detailed information about the quality and location of different labs? A team of three IIT Bombay drop outs and a Carnegie Mellon alumnus have developed a mobile application and a website which not only help you in comparing different options, but also give discounts when the tests are booked online. Recently, they have done a pilot launch of the service in Indore with a seed round of funding, and are planning to launch in Mumbai soon.
The application called Medd equips patients not only with the information on certified diagnostic labs but it also provides options for choosing and to compare the rates. In the absence of a strict government watchdog, patients in India are often fooled by clinics and hospitals into getting irrelevant diagnostic tests. With the help of this application, they can make an informed choice while keeping their reports safe and accessible from their mobile phones. Offering discounts on online purchase of medicines is also includes in their future plan.
How does it work?
To access the service, users need to download the app medd.in from Google play store or visit the website www.medd.in. Users get a minimum 20% off on all blood tests, MRI scan, CT scan, sonography, ECG, etc when they book through Medd. They can simply select the required tests from a comprehensive listing of available options and book the test, comparing different labs and hospitals in terms of price, accreditation, location, user reviews, and other facilities. Apart from the website and mobile app, there is also a call center in place helping the users to book various tests and buy medicines.
The application lists close to 20 centers in Indore covering almost the entire city. Central Lab, Dr Lal PathLabs, Apollo Hospital, X Ray Labs, Medanta, Sanya Diagnostics, Malwa Diagnostics and Dr. Shweta Nagar’s radiology are some of the centers listed.A bunch of IIT dropouts and a mission
Medd.in is a product of Holamed Healthcare Technologies Pvt Ltd, founded by three IIT Bombay dropouts namely Arpit Kothari, Anurag Mundhada and Akash Deep Singhal along with Era Dwivedi, an alumnus from Carnegie Mellon University.
Members of the team finished their research in January 2015, studying the healthcare expenditure of almost 1 lakh patients. They presented the findings at World Congress on Public Health, WHO and UN’s flagship conference on public health. The team started developing the website towards the end of March and received seed funding from investor Ajeet Khurana in April. The company was registered in May, and June saw the launch of the Android application.
Medd has a core team of seven people who have been working for two months without pay. Three of them left their previous jobs to help the startup in developing the application. But why diagnostics and medicines?
“Diagnostics and medicines have economies of scale unlike doctor appointment booking. Also, there are lots of substandard diagnostic centers and fake medicines in the market, and there is no easy way to know which lab or pharmacy you can trust. I had worked with various diagnostic centers in India and Ethiopia on consultancy projects and had an acclivity for diagnostics. I started my research in C-USE in IIT Bombay and was joined by Anurag to take this to the next level. Era and Akash came on board in April 2015 and we were fortunate to have Dr Vinita as our facilitator,” shares founder Arpit Kothari. Anurag Mundhada, Co-founder of the company, says, “There’s a huge difference in the rates and facilities across diagnostic labs within a city, since there is no system of standard pricing. For instance, a diagnostic test that costs Rs 250 in an NABL-accredited lab may cost you Rs 500 in a lower quality lab. There is a lack of information among the patients and they end up losing both their money and health.”
“Our application helps them to be smarter and cut the cost of their medical bills,” adds Co-founder Akash Deep Singhal.
Moreover, they have followed minimum standards such as NABL labs or national lab chains for any laboratory to get registered. Quality labs now have an avenue of getting recognized among people.
“Our application is fast and lightweight, and extremely easy to use. The technology used is cutting edge and way ahead of others,” claims Co-founder Era Dwivedi. In Indore, they have slightly less than 500 downloads since its launch in June this year.
“Indore is a testing ground for us since some of us hail from this city. Our next destination is Mumbai,” informs Arpit.
With the healthcare market in India reaching USD280 billion by 2020, the founders are optimistic about their app and website which they believe would make a huge difference in the industry.