Set up by two women, healthtech platform Oyehelp creates a simple plug-and-play white-labelled digital identity for hospitals, enabling accessibility of healthcare over phone, video or chat.
Founder: Seema Avasarala and Meena Kapoor
Year it was founded: 2015
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Healthcare accessibility is one of the core challenges in India. For a few years now, it is the one problem many healthcare and healthtech companies have been trying to crack.
Most hospitals and clinics, be it public or private sector, have some home-grown or vendor-bought hospital management system for patients. A similar system is used for data management of healthcare professionals. What’s lacking is a front end that connects all the systems seamlessly.
It was looking at this that colleagues and friends Seema Avasarala and Meena Kapoor decide to start Oyehelp. This healthtech platform creates simple plug-and-play white-labelled digital identity for hospitals, enabling accessibility of healthcare with measurable outcomes. This allows hospitals to focus on healthcare while OyeHelp focuses on the technology.
“We have a vision of Oyehelp becoming the face of digital healthcare for primary healthcare concerns in India. We want to replicate the work we have done for AIIMS, across government hospitals with the government’s support. We have approached the e-health division of the health ministry for their support,” Seema says.
The team has created a frontend that allows for a uniform experience, for patients and healthcare professionals, regardless of what the backend systems are.
“This, in turn, allows various hospitals to plug in, choose desired features, and have their white-labelled app that’s built by us and is ready to use for delivery,” she says.
Speaking of how they decided to start up, Seema says, “I don't think there can be one eureka moment in the journey of a startup. It takes many such moments through the trajectory that a startup takes. The eureka moment was the idea to create a SaaS (software-as-a-service) app for hospitals and clinics that works with their ecosystem yet creates a standard platform for all.”
Meena is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the mobile and internet space. Seema, on the other hand, had worked with Netway and has 18 years of varied industry experience.
Currently, the Oyehelp AIIMS app gives people the option to book appointments with AIIMS doctors. Direct appointment booking with the doctors is possible for both physical OPD as well as video consultations.
One can also get lab reports for tests done at AIIMS, and get results on the app. It allows you to upload any test results/prescriptions/images that you may have, allowing you to share them with your AIIMS doctors. You can view your appointment details or cancel them.
The app also allows push notifications for new health tips, appointment reminders, health camps, or any other information to be disseminated to app users. Live support and feedback system make things easier.
Apart from AIIMS-specific features, Oyehelp also has other features, which can be integrated with any hospital app. These include phone, video, and chat consultations. It allows users to consult a doctor through video, phone, and chat, and ask the doctor directly about their concerns and queries. This can be done in real time as well as through an appointment. Phone consultations happen over regular telephone lines and do not require internet.
The app allows for payment through credit/debit/bank transfer/ Paytm/Paypal etc. Indian and international currencies are supported. At the end of the consultation, the doctor can give the patient an e-prescription.
“OyeHelp has created an app for doctors that works in tandem with the patient app. Doctors do not need to be tied down to their computers. They can manage their appointments through this app and provide phone/video and chat consultations,” Seema explains.
However, in an environment where there are several healthtech startups, the test is to stand out. Over the past two years, the healthcare segment has seen significant players. Whether it is Sequoia-backed 1mg, Tiger-backed Lybrate, Netmets, Matrix-backed Myra, Bessemer-backed PharmEasy, the consultation, online pharmacy, and discovery space is fast growing. This is because the ratio of penetration of patients to doctors is far lesser.
Seema says Oyehelp’s strategy is to provide hospitals with solutions that enhance their operations without taking away their patients.
“I cannot say we have fully overcome the challenges of being a B2B player as each hospital has its own idiosyncrasies, but we are well on our way. However once a hospital signs us on, there is a quick realisation that they have saved tremendous time and money with the Oyehelp solution,” Seema says.
Currently bootstrapped, Oyehelp has built a SaaS app and web tools that integrate with the current healthcare system. They have engaged with hospital chains in their current avatar, including those in the public sector, so that technical build is minimal, and the current technology needs of a hospital to reach out to their patient pool can be taken care of by Oyehelp seamlessly.
These apps are powered via a licensing model. The platform has combined all aspects that go into the life cycle of a patient’s natural OPD consult, especially in the case of primary health care concerns into a digital solution that can be plugged into any hospital, clinic or private doctor’s clinic.
Currently focused on growth and traction, the team claims to have hit 100,000 downloads organically within three months.
“Of these downloads, we have more than 50 percent active users; 30,000 appointments have flowed through our system,” Seema says.
The Oyehep team now wants to give the app – for free - to state and central governments to be integrated in various hospitals to strengthen their digital infrastructure.
The idea behind this, Seema says, is to repair the fractures and fissures in the healthcare ecosystem, and ensure that “everyone gets access to health facilities”.