Healthtech platform 3Hcare banks on the 3As – Access, Affordability, Accuracy – to disrupt sectorLibza Mannan
3Hcare has partnered with leading laboratories in nine cities, and aims to bridge the accessibility gap between healthcare services and patients.
At a glance
Founder: Ruchi Gupta, Dr Ravinder Pal Singh Malhotra, and Dr Gurdeep Singh Ratra
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Delhi
The problem it solves: Leverages technology to make healthcare services easily accessible
Funding raised: Raised angel funding of $100,000 from undisclosed investors.
The seed for the Delhi-based online healthcare platform, 3Hcare was sown when a relative of Ruchi Gupta was suffering from dengue and needed immediate medical attention. The hospitals the family went to refused to admit the patient, saying all beds were occupied. After finally managing to get the patient admitted to a hospital, came another harrowing time - they needed to get the patient’s platelet count tested from outside.
Ruchi recalls it was a daunting task for her to locate the nearest diagnostic labs to get the tests done so that the next line of treatment could be determined. She managed to get the tests done at a lab only through reference.
“This is when I realised the difficulty a common man (without any reference) often faces to get treatment and I decided to do something to change the scenario. My idea was to set up an online portal that offered complete transparency and ease of locating labs, which offer services at discounted prices without compromising on quality,” she says.
Providing easy access
To offer accessibility to diagnostic centres easily, 3HCare has partnered with over 400 labs across Delhi NCR. Apart from the national capital, the platform is present in eight other cities across India, including Allahabad, Lucknow and Patna, among others. It also has tie-ups with more than 35 healthcare product suppliers and 138 chemists.
Last year, the platform launched Plan my Surgery, a service that helps patient plan surgical treatment online and has tie-ups with 10 hospitals. Currently, the portal allows users to compare and book online treatment for cancer, heart, spine, orthopaedics, neurology, fertility, gynaecology, organ transplant, cosmetic surgery, and others.
The platform provides access to all associated labs and hospitals with complete information, be it tests, pricing, discount, location, etc.
Any person looking for medical services can search on the basis of location, name of centre, or by the test name, then select a test and centre, choose a date and time, and book online.
3Hcare also lets patients pay at the centre or online, and also provides a toll-free number to assist users.
The initial days
“It was a huge challenge for the 3Hcare team to convince diagnostic centres for tie-ups in the initial days, when the website was under construction. Still, we managed to bring around 180 centres on board at that time. Today, the portal has made its presence in almost all major cities of the country and is expanding further,” Ruchi says.
A CA by qualification, Ruchi also holds a doctorate from B R Ambedkar University, Agra, and an MBA degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Before launching 3Hcare, she was working in the education sector for over a decade, teaching graduate and post-graduate students in various institutions. She has also presented several papers, with some being published in national and international conferences.
With little knowledge of the industry, Ruchi wanted experienced healthcare professionals to mentor and shape her vision.
Dr Ravinder Pal Singh Malhotra and Dr Gurdeep Singh Ratra soon joined 3HCare to help nurture her dream. Ravinder has around 13 years of experience in liver transplant, HPB and GI surgery in India, with exceptional donor and recipient surgery safety records. An orthopaedic surgeon, Gurdeep has more than 13 years of experience and keen interest in joint replacement and deformity correction.
To deliver on their promise of connecting patients with quality health services and facilities online, Ruchi later on-boarded Sumit Gupta, who has experience of over 10 years in the IT sector; Ajay Yadav, who has extensive experience in the pharma industry; Ashish Sharma; and Amit Singh.
Aiming to disrupt healthcare
The penetration of technology has disrupted most sectors, including healthcare, across the globe, and there is a high demand for quality and affordable healthcare in India as well. The healthcare market in India is poised to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $280 billion in 2020, creating a huge opportunity for healthcare and healthtech companies and startups.
Startups like LiveHealth, Lybrate, Niramai, Practo, Portea, and others are trying to resolve issues plaguing the industry by representing the larger trends emerging in preventive healthcare, analytics, pathology, and emergency services.
However, 3Hcare, which is just over one-and-half-year-old, claims to have created a niche by working towards providing the 3As to the public: Access, Affordability, and Accuracy.
“We have done this by assuring complete transparency on our portal and providing a wide number of labs as well as hospitals to choose from as per their choice. The platform aims to bring all healthcare service providers and seekers under one roof soon,” Ruchi says.
Plans for the future
Going ahead, 3Hcare is, apart from continuing to focus on providing quality healthcare services at affordable costs, planning to start new verticals that will ensure healthcare is one touch away. The platform backed by a 12-member team, is currently present in nine cities, is also looking to further expand its footprint across India.
In terms of monetisation, the platform offers free services to all patients; revenue comes in the form of support fee from service providers, be it centres or hospitals.
Ruchi highlights the same model will be followed for all upcoming verticals in future.
In September 2017, 3Hcare received angel funding of $100,000 (Rs 65 lakh) from undisclosed investors. The platform will use the funds for further expansion in diagnostics, surgery, and to boost medical tourism.
She claims that the platform’s revenue generation per month has grown significantly since last year along with the quality of service, highlighting that orders have witnessed a 10x jump.
But Ruchi’s focus is to drive further growth.
“The initial focus will be on expanding our collaborations with over 500 hospitals with NABL and JCI accreditation to improve accessibility for common people,” Ruchi says.