Udaipur-based Medhola brings medical services to your doorstepApurva P
Finding hospitals nearby, medical professionals, labs or medical shops is now easy with Medhola.
At a Glance
Founders: Gaurav Dhakar
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Udaipur
The problem it solves: Provides medical services at home
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
There are services aplenty where doctors diagnose patients with the help of technology. But a service where you can book a nurse or a doctor to come home and diagnose you is uncommon, especially in India. Udaipur-based Medhola has launched a platform where one can book a nurse or a doctor for house visits for non-emergency cases, which would otherwise require much time and money.
Medhola has tied up with service providers across the city of Udaipur for non-critical and non-emergency issues like fever, cold, small injuries, etc when one needs basic medication.
“We are aggregators for on-demand public health services. It normally takes around two-and-a-half hours to meet a doctor. But with Medhola, it takes less than 30 minutes - the time needed for the doctor or nurse to come home after booking,” says Medhola founder Gaurav Dhakar.
Medhola started in 2016, and is bootstrapped with savings from Gaurav’s previous jobs. The platform is particularly useful for the elderly or dependent segment of the population, who need someone to help them, or take them to the hospital.
What makes it different from the competitors like Nightingale is that it provides service at any time. Bengaluru-based Nightingale, on the other hand, fixes a slot based on nurses’ convenience during which you can avail of the medical services.
On the other hand, with Medhola, once a customer books a nurse, the app searches who is available at that time. One can also search for nearby hospitals, test labs or medical stores. Anyone can book on behalf of those ill from anywhere.
Though it currently provides services only in Udaipur, the platform provides information regarding doctors, hospitals in the vicinity and medical stores in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, among others.
The platform also has a user/patient dashboard that features a health card, which is unique to Medhola. This captures all personal and health-related details for future references or emergencies. The platform also stores earlier prescriptions which enables users to click an image and upload.
The medical universe
Raised in Udaipur in a family of doctors, Gaurav is connected to most doctors in the region. From family discussions that mostly concentrated on medicine, he understood the challenges faced by each sector of the medical fraternity and wanted to do something for them in return.
These sectors include doctors, paramedical staff (nurses or compounders), test labs and the medical stores.
Around 70 percent of patients go to the hospital with non-critical or non-emergency cases. Medhola aims to cater to this section.
Gaurav adds that Medhola works like the ‘Vaidhyan’ system in the past, where the patient who is in pain is not disturbed, and the ‘Vaidhyan’ would come to diagnose or treat the person.
Keeping in mind the average salary of nurses, he believes Medhola can be a great platform for nurses to earn double their current salary. “The nurses or the compounders can become entrepreneurs without the stress or having to depend on their present jobs,” he says.
Medhola is also planning to include OPD insurance, which does not need 24 hours of hospitalisation for claims, unlike other normal medical insurances. OPD insurance covers prescription from the doctor, getting medicine, tests from the lab, etc.
Medhola has two kinds of customers - the service providers and the consumer who needs medical attention. The second category includes students (15-30), dependent population (below 10 years and above 60 years), young professionals (30-60) and tourists. It, however, largely focuses on the dependent population.
Having worked in the sales strategy domain at Ceat Tyres and another automobile company for 11 years, Gaurav understands the market well, especially how to reach and convert a customer and meet his requirements.
A team of 10 people works in Medhola's core operations, with a network of above 500 service providers working for them. It onboards people based on standard checks and balances. Interested service providers have to fill an online form and submit their certificates. After the SOP process is done, Medhola conducts background checks, which consist of three validation processes - Aadhaar validation, registration (certificates from Medical Council of India), and police verification.
The service providers earn money directly from the customers. However, Medhola’s revenue is based on commission. For example, for a particular injection, it would charge a particular amount. Medhola then calculates a customer’s cost based on the time and amount he would have to pay, if he had gone directly. It would charge about 50 percent less than and put a margin on that as commission.
In the future, Gaurav plans to establish the startup in Rajasthan and then expand it across India, for which he is in talks with investors for further funding.
According to a data by IBEF, the Indian healthcare sector is one of the fastest growing industries, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.87 percent and is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020.