This Ahmedabad startup is changing the way we approach pathologySindhu Kashyaap
Airmed Pathology Labs is a home service health test platform that provides quality care and wellness packages to patients.
Healthcare is one of the toughest businesses to venture into. In a field that should be all about treatment, care, and comfort, an important segment—pathology— somehow ends up being difficult for patients and caregivers.
Dr Amit Gupta, a 37-year-old Ahmedabad-based MBA and radiologist-turned-entrepreneur, felt that while e-commerce and applications have brought the world to us, travelling to pathology labs remains an inconvenience. He explains,
“From food to medicines, everything is delivered at the desired place and time, so how come we still need to resort to our old method of visiting the lab when ill? From experience, we have realised that not only the end customer but even the doctors who prescribe the test are neglected. We are leveraging technology and analytics to aid diagnosis.”
So along with his pathologist wife Dr Aradhana Gupta and e-commerce entrepreneur cousin Piyush Gupta, Amit started Airmed Pathology Labs a home service health test platform that has online and offline presence, in 2015.
The focus of the platform is to provide quality care and wellness packages to patients and best-in- class diagnosis support to doctors. They cater to direct consumers and patients referred by doctors and hospitals. They have integrated unutilised capacity of the industry and leverage their back-end technology to build a scalable, asset-light pan-India presence.
Airmed Pathology Labs claims to clock about 1,000 orders per month and makes profits on every order. In Ahmedabad, the company has over a dozen labs and expects to add over 100 more by March 2018.
Two months ago, they launched an app for patients to book tests and manage results and now have over 1,000 installs on Android and iOS put together. The main focus of the platform is to provide customers with an option to book a wide variety of prescribed tests and wellness packages via the web, app, telephone, or by visiting their labs/collection centres.
“To promote wellness, Airmed has come up with 'SafePrick' (trademark) which ensures 99 percent painless blood collection. Customers can decide where they want the sample to be collected from and when,” says Amit.
The team claims to have created wellness packages addressing specific customer problems such as hair loss, diabetes, obesity, and alcoholism.
Their services are 24/7 and they also provide emergency services with the fastest turnaround time. “Our reports are also delivered digitally to the patients and doctors and we leverage analytics and a team of in-house experts to provide consultation and follow-up services to doctors, which is an important requirement in critical cases,” says Amit.
However, one of the biggest challenges the founders faced while setting up Airmed Path Labs was creating a brand presence and delivering significant customer value to the patients. Amit adds that the healthcare sector and more so the path lab diagnostics sector in India is highly unorganised, with little or no customer service provided to patients.
The average ticket size is Rs 800-850. Airmed Path Labs plans to launch operations in Delhi in the next one month, and expects to fulfil 1,500 monthly orders within the next six months.
Space and differentiator
The healthcare delivery space seems to be booming, with players like 1mg and Practo looking deeply into discovery, consultation, pharmacy, and diagnostics. In home healthcare there are several players like Portea and Nightingales who are looking at aggressive growth. The medical assistance company Credihealth has also recently raised funding of $1.5 million.
Amit, however, believes his company is different because of the focus on customer value, providing quality diagnostic services to patients, convenience to doctors, and by virtue of being driven by technology and analytics.
“We also have a significant grip over logistics and experience in managing transition of samples. We are also an asset-light and scalable business model capable of expanding pan-India in 12–15 months,” says Amit.
Airmed Path Labs recently raised Rs 10 crore from Brand Capital, Times Group’s investment arm, to further increase brand salience and brand awareness to widen their customer base and enter new markets.
“We plan to scale our operations and take the number of samples processed to 10,000 in the next year. The long-term plans include providing one-stop quality and branded healthcare solutions for customers present across India,” concludes Amit.