It is a well-known fact that despite all the strides made in the healthcare industry in India, it is still afflicted by a majority of doctors lacking digital acceptance and awareness. Realising this, Nilesh Aggarwal, who had a six-year stint with medical communication firm IJCP Group, contemplated chasing his entrepreneurial dreams.
Meanwhile, his friend, Amit Sharma, an investment banker and a healthcare consultant, saw the need to bridge the existing gap in medical education for doctors, with curated clinical content. Last November, the duo came up with the idea of eMediNexus, which they say is India’s fastest growing doctor network and medical learning hub.
Funded by IJCP Group, New Delhi-based eMediNexus provides the latest medical updates, interactive content and regulatory updates to over two lakh doctors across India. It also delivers current clinical content to doctors mediated by opinion leaders and a dedicated clinical staff.
By leveraging this platform, doctors can address the gap in their specialty-specific continuous medical education (CME), while interacting with their peers and seeking second opinion on patient cases. Doctors are updated daily with targeted curated content, including breaking news, videos and medical quizzes. eMediNexus’ service is available to all doctors across India for free.
While working with IJCP, Nilesh noticed that multiple journals left doctors entangled in information asymmetry. He sensed the huge opportunity in terms of building a one-stop website and app, wherein all their content and networking needs can be solved.
I was also reinforced by observing business models in the United States that have been successful in digitally bringing CME to doctors,” says Amit (32), a graduate in Economics from University of Chicago. He worked at Warburg Pincus LLC in New York as an analyst and Max Institute of Healthcare Management as lead consultant. He also served as a member of the CII Healthcare Committee.
eMediNexus publishes its daily healthcare e-newspaper, eMediNews, which covers healthcare-related content from various specialists across India. It also hosts weekly webcasts in association with Indian Medical Association, which provide a medium for medico-legal and clinical Q&A and update doctors real time with live medical conference updates.
Further, by launching relevant physician petitions, eMediNexus has also proven the concept of digital advocacy, for instance launching the IMA Satyagraha digital petition signed by over 40,000 doctors and moving the Health Ministry to consider amendments to key legislations,” says Nilesh (28), who is an economics and finance graduate from Singapore Management University.
He has been spearheading the IJCP Group since 2009 managing sales and marketing, strategy, international and domestic expansion and partnerships.
eMediNexus reaches 1.7 lakh doctors daily and its specialty newsletters reach most association members linked with those specialties, pushing its daily content engagement to over two lakh doctors in a day.
It engages with more than 40,000 doctors on its platform and screens all the doctors for their accreditation.
“We have been focussing on our web users and have been on a beta stage of our Android app and will start focussing on app download once our iOS application launches in the first week of June. We currently have about 4,800 downloads on our Android application,” says Nilesh.
The quality of healthcare is highly dependent on the quality of interactions between patients and the healthcare clinician and team. An Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Healthcare Professions and Training revealed that doctors and other health professionals sometimes fail to deliver quality healthcare to patients owing to the lack of training.
Players like Mumbai-based Medwiz Healthcare Communications, Hyderabad-based InfocusRx, Mumbai-based Point Blank, Mumbai-based Oxygen Healthcare Communications and Delhi-based eMediWrite are some of the players who are trying to address the medical communication market in India.
Medwiz Healthcare, which caters to the needs of physicians, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare service providers counts Piramal Healthcare, Cipla, Ranbaxy and Sun Pharmaceuticals amongst others as its clients. InfocusRx offers online medical writing, healthcare solutions and market research. Point Blank offers e-learning, communication and medical education programmes.
Oxygen Healthcare Communications offers healthcare education, healthcare services and digital healthcare services. Their clients’ lists include Alembic, Aventis Pharma and Bayer Zydus Pharma. eMediWrite provides audio or video medical firms, brand promotion and CME, and its client list comprises Ranbaxy, Abbott, Lark Laboratories and Mankind.
With the presence of these established players in the market, six-month-old eMediNexus will have to strategically focus on building an effective marketing policy to gain a competitive edge in the market.
eMediNexus has a team of eight people including medical writers, designers, sales and marketing professionals. The technology development was outsourced to a third party but now they are building an in-house team to take the product further. eMediNexus will also add new content formats, features and run physician relevant campaigns.
“We started taking in advertising last month and we should have a three-fold increase in revenue this month compared to the last month. We do targeted advertising for healthcare brands to reach doctors of particular specialties. We will also be generating future revenue through healthcare recruiting, consulting, continuous medical education and various other unique avenues,” says Amit.
In the next two to three years, the startup plans to have around five lakh registered modern medicine doctors, including 70-80 percent of the practicing doctors in India. It will also rope in AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) doctors and hopes to have four lakh AYUSH doctors on a separate platform. As a part of the geographical expansion strategy, the startup will focus on penetrating neighbouring markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and explore markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.