[Startup Bharat] This Thiruvananthapuram-based healthtech startup is helping doctors organise medical records
After working for almost 12 years in Mumbai, Nishant Nambiar decided to return to Thiruvananthapuram for better job opportunities. There, he started working in the sales department of NeST (Network Systems and Technology), an enterprise-level IT company.
While selling the company’s medical software and touching base with doctors, he realised a huge issue in the area of health informatics. Says Nishant,
“Healthcare informatics is a complex market, and most of the systems available globally had unsolved issues like customisation, interoperability, integration, scalability, security, cloud and SAAS compatibility, etc. Even now, there is a need for a good EMR [electronic medical record] system, even though we have thousands of companies in this space. Some hospitals still keep their records on paper.”
When he saw that the doctors were hampered by the cumbersome process of keeping records and struggling to give more face-time to their patients, Nishant and his friend, Vinod S, saw a business opportunity in addressing this problem with technology.
This led to the birth of Inforich Technologies in Thiruvananthapuram in 2012.
What does it offer?
“Apart from the lack of good EMRs, there was also the complexity of user experience at the doctors’ and nurses’ level and the amount of training required to use the system. These are some of the pain points we are trying to solve,” says Nishant.
To address these challenges, Inforich has developed a smart platform leveraging the latest technologies like .NET 4, WPF, and WCF. The founders have christened their platform ‘EMR Integration Platform’.
This cloud-based solution essentially offers an EMR system for hospitals and clinics and eliminates the need to keep paper records. This system will store all the past and present medical and patient information, collated in a digital format that makes it easier for the healthcare institution to track the patient records.
The tech platform follows all the standards of the healthcare industry and can configure the hospital’s record system as per the doctor’s workflow for any specialty; for instance, the ‘general practitioners’ module is built for primary care, and specialised EMRs address the needs of oncology.
According to the founders, the EMR Integration Platform is an innovative way of solving the healthcare problem of record-keeping with a vendor-neutral solution. It is also a cost-effective solution for clinics, hospitals, and government institutions that offer different standards of care.
The business model
The product’s pricing varies depending on the requirements of the client hospital and the level of configurations the institution asks for over the base product.
“Inforich has SAAS-based pricing for our standard modules and then additional pricing for customisations and configurations. The team is introducing SAAS-based modules for smaller clinics in multiple markets. This will enable these smaller clinics to manage patient records in a more standardised way as defined by the guidelines.”
The founders claim their solution has been used in clinics, hospitals, and government primary care centres across countries including the Maldives, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, apart from India.
“We have worked with different levels of customers like the Aster Group in India and hospitals in Jordan as well as on ministry projects for primary care in the Middle East,” adds Nishant.
Nishant has around 12 years of experience in marketing and sales from his stints in Godrej, Datamatics, and L&T Infotech. He met Vinod through a common friend. “Our thoughts matched, and we decided to develop a product to solve the challenges in healthcare informatics and build the product from India,” says Nishant.
Vinod, who is the CTO of Inforich, has worked in Spanco and MSquare. Today, the startup has a specialised team of 15 engineers who work on product enhancement and scale-ups.
The major challenge that the startup has faced over the years is in keeping up with the regulations in the field of healthcare informatics. It has needed to understand the different kind of standards and rules in place, noted Nishant, adding, “From our perspective, we have developed the platform in such a way that the future rules can be plugged in and configured. This, I think, is one of the major and unique differentiators of the product.”
The team believes that the company also stands out among other players such as HealthQik, Alpha Care, and Qure.Ai with its product’s scope for customisation, integrations, scalability, and simplicity for the end user.
The market and numbers
According to IBEF, the healthcare market in India is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022, driven by rising income levels, greater health awareness, rising incidence of lifestyle diseases, and increasing access to insurance.
“Our growth has been slow and steady in terms of revenues and customers to date, and there was a lot of effort involved to bring us to this stage of maturity. Now, with good customer testimonials, we have new requirements coming up in developed countries like the UK and the US for which we are looking at local partners to tie up with and expand our offerings,” explains Nishant.
Inforich is a bootstrapped company, backed by some reputed angel investors.
Talking about the startup’s future plans, Nishant says, “We want to take this product to a global audience and are always looking to collaborate with smarter partners and bigger corporations in multiple geographies. As of now, we have been recommended by the BIG 4 consulting firms to their clients in the healthcare space. We are in the process of establishing collaborations with MNCs and system integrators to take this platform to their customer base.”
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)