How this investor-doctor duo from Hyderabad is helping you choose the right specialist
Unnecessary treatments are always an ordeal, taking health issues and complications to newer heights, ultimately necessitating the second opinion of trustworthy medical specialists. However, getting recommendations and access to the specialists’ fraternity (that guides treatment decisions) lead to a delay in the entire process of surgery.
Hyderabad-based BestDoctor aims to remove these complications by allowing users to avail health-related suggestions and opinions from the comfort of their homes. BestDoctor was born as a result of a casual meeting between serial entrepreneur Suresh Kanumuri and Dr Soma Raju (Founder of Care Hospital in Hyderabad), when a conversation on the difficulty of reaching medical specialists triggered a business idea. Suresh founded and bootstrapped BestDoctor at the end of 2015 with a seed capital of Rs 50 lakh. Suresh, who founded and operates two online healthcare portals — Sehat.com and AskTheDoctor.com, says,
The expert doctors who provide second opinions on treatment and medical conditions are selected on the bases of their qualification, experience, reputation, contribution to research, and the institutions they are associated with.
He was an angel investor in Gaadi.com which he exited in 2011 when it was acquired by MIH group (Naspers).
AsktheDoctor.com is a Q&A platform and is expanding to on-demand healthcare services in Canada and the USA. Sehat.com is an online health portal aiming to help patients research and find the right doctor and hospital for their treatment.
Practitioners may commit errors while detecting symptoms, analysing treatments, and determining the course of progress. Therefore, relying on the expertise of a single doctor in serious medical cases such as cancer, heart disease or neurological disorders may put one’s life in danger.
BestDoctor.com claims to provide access to world-class doctors from various fields like cardiology, ophthalmology, nephrology, endocrinology, dermatology, and gynecology. The objective of creating a network of doctors is to remedy ailments easily and steer patients in the right direction.
Once a patient logs on to BestDoctor.com, he/she needs to fill a form detailing his/her medical condition and reports like CT/MRI scans. The specialists then study the individual’s case and make their observations. A detailed report on recommendations, suggestions, views, and second opinions is then emailed back to the individual. The opinions are reviewed by a Chief Medical Officer and a team of doctors before sharing it with the patients.
Getting top physicians on board was a challenging task. However, Dr Soma Raju, advisor to BestDoctor, helped build the panel of doctors through his strong network. At present, BestDoctor has more than 400 doctors on its panel. Suresh emphasised that their focus is to have a small number of doctors of high repute to sustain the high service levels.
Our physician acquisition team is constantly working on research and adding renowned doctors to the panel. We also have an on-demand offline panel; whenever there is a special demand for the case, our team approaches the offline panel doctors to get the opinion on demand,” says Suresh.
BestDoctor has a team of eight people and more than 20 freelance consultants. The startup will eventually expand its network of doctors beyond India, to countries like the USA, UK, and UAE. Suresh says the business strategy team is processing the blueprint to having a presence across the world.
More than 12,000 medical cases have been processed through BestDoctor so far. Patients are charged between Rs 500 and Rs 8,000, upto 60 percent of which is paid to doctors on an agreement basis for each consultation. BestDoctor keeps 20 to 50 percent as a margin.
The startup is expecting a monthly revenue growth of 15–20 per cent and is looking to achieve Rs 1 crore in the next one year. Currently working on a B2C model, they are planning to expand into the B2B segment by facilitating services in the medical tourism sector.
With an estimated worth of $3 billion in October 2015, medical tourism in India is considered a growing sector and is expected to touch $7–8 billion by 2020. According to the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the key driver of this growth is cost-effectiveness and treatment from accredited facilities at a much lower cost as compared to developed countries.
There is another startup, HealthPlix, which provides an app for patients and a separate app for doctors, helping achieve personalisation at scale for the doctors. Gurgaon-based Doctor Insta is a “video-medicine” consultation platform that provides health consultations online through calls, videos, and chats. eKincare gathers medical results from various healthcare providers, updates profiles, and provides a single repository for users to store all their medical records.
According to IBEF, the healthcare market in India was worth close to $100 billion as of 2015 and is expected to touch $280 billion by 2020, clocking a CAGR of 22.9 percent. Of the overall market, the healthcare delivery sub-segment accounts for 65 percent.
Tencent-backed Practo; Accel Partners-backed Portea Medical; Ratan Tata-backed Lybrate; Medwell Ventures; and MedGenome are some of bigger names in the digital healthcare space. Medwell raised $10 million from Fidelity Growth Partners India (FGPI) and Fidelity Biosciences, whereas MedGenome raised $20 million from Sequoia Capital.