[Startup Bharat] Amid coronavirus, this healthtech startup is enabling social distancing at clinics
On visiting clinics or any healthcare facility, the two things patients often notice is the huge queue in front of the registration desk, and irritated receptionists.
Typically, patients have to wait in a queue to get an appointment every time they visit the clinic. They further have to wait for a long time, sometimes more than an hour, for a 10 to 15 minute consultation. On top of that, repetitive questions by the patients and enquiries about the waiting time leave receptionists irritated. .
This is a long-pending healthcare problem that needs to be addressed in India. More now than ever, when the coronavirus pandemic is spreading fast and wide. Dedicating new clinics or assigning new doctors is a difficult task in India, where the doctor-patient ratio is skewed. This is where Oxyfind comes in.
Based out of Guwahati, Assam, Oxyfind has developed two applications - OXYQR and OSS (Oxyfind Smart Screen), that enables patients to book appointments with doctors using a QR code, and track the appointment in real time.
“We believe that using our technology, we can help reduce the spread of the pandemic in hospitals and OPDs, which are the hotbeds for the spread of coronavirus,” says Co-founder Pankaj Mazumdar, 28.
Products as USP
Oxyfind’s first technology is the OXYQR. A personalised QR code is provided to each partner clinic. Patients can scan and request an appointment by scanning the QR code while clinics get the flexibility to confirm the booking.
Once the clinic or OPD approves the appointment and assigns the slot, which is again flexible and is assigned by the clinic, the mobile screen of the patient turns into an OSS. The OSS enables patients to track his/her appointment in real time from anywhere. Thus, the patient can arrive at the clinic or OPD when it's his/her turn.
Clinics can also store medical records of patients in the Oxyfind application and search patients’ details using their Oxyfind ID or phone number.
Pankaj explains how Oxyfind is helping prevent the spread of coronavirus in hospitals and clinics:
The story so far
The three Cocfounders, Pankaj, Nabajyoti Das (30) and Bapan Biswas (27), started working on ideation of the product in November 2018.
Initially they made a clinic management application where they tried saving Medical Record Database (MRDB) of patients. The application had Google Speech to Text API, enabling doctors to dictate the prescription aloud, while artificial intelligence (AI) typed it out for the patient.
In October 2019, the team visited Bengaluru to pitch their idea for an event, and met a few people at NASSCOM. “An individual asked us to define the problem we were trying to solve in three to four words. That was an eye-opener for us,” Pankaj says.
On returning to their hometown in Guwahati, the trio started redesigning the application. The OXYQR and OSS were launched in January 2020.
“We choose Guwahati as our headquarters since it is easier to run a bootstrapped company from here. Moreover, the number of tech startups based out of Northeast India is very less and we want to change that,” Pankaj says.
Meet the team
Pankaj is an electronics and communication engineer and has been an entrepreneur since college. His first startup, Wikibuy, was a book selling and exchanging platform which he sold for $5,000 in college itself. He currently looks after the layer two and three securities of Oxyfind, cloud configuration, strategy and UX Design. He has another startup called Wistech, which provides consulting services for setting up broadband distribution business, operating in multiple locations in Northeast India.
Bapan is the CTO at Oxyfind and looks after design development, testing and production. He has previously worked with a hardware startup. He was Pankaj’s junior in college.
Nabajyoti, a mechanical engineer, previously co-founded healthtech startup Oxysquare. He now looks after the sales and marketing at Oxyfynd. Pankaj met Nabajyoti through Facebook.
Oxyfind operates in the SaaS (Software-as-a-service) model. Clinics have to subscribe for the services for a monthly subscription fee of Rs 499, to avail 500 free appointments. Post the 500 appointments limit, Re 1 is charged for every appointment.
Oxyfind targets all clinics, big and small. Its flexible model enables clinics to use the platform without requiring any extra dedicated hardware.
“Only a phone, tablet, or PC, with minimum speed internet access, is required to run Oxyfind,” Pankaj says.
Initially after its launch, Oxyfind was able to on-board small clinics. But bigger clients were hesitant. Pankaj says, “But once we offered them a free trial, the clinics got enough confidence to use our application.”
Currently, Oxyfind’s platform is used by more than 50 clinics, including Pearl 32 Dental Spa and Clinic, Chisel Dental Care, DRISHTIDHWANI and MDV Health Plus.
“We are in touch with clinics, which are overloaded with patients, have less manpower to manage crowds, no parking space or waiting rooms, and are looking for better patient experience. This lets them optimise operations without extra capex,” he adds.
Market overview and future plans
According to Market Study Report LLC, the patient scheduling applications market will register a 7.9 percent CAGR in revenue, over the next five years. The global market is thus expected to reach $648.1 million by 2024, from $444.1 million in 2019.
Oxyfind’s closest competitors include Practo and Lybrate. However, Pankaj believes that its differentiator lies in the product itself.
“On studying the behavioural pattern of any consumer, it can be observed that if s/he is provided with real-time updates about progress, s/he remains calm. We are helping save the patient’s time and receptionist’s energy by providing real-time tracking of appointments. This not just solves the clinic’s or hospital’s problem by making them queue-less and zero waiting zones, but also saves the patient’s time.”
Oxyfind is constantly innovating and adding new features to make both the patient and clinic experience better.
“Our next update will be releasing a mobile application for both platforms; we will try to predict the approximate waiting time for each patient using AI,” Pankaj says.
Going ahead, Oxyfind also plans to enable patients to upload their past medical records, keep a digital copy and share them with doctors, saving time, paper and helping doctors pre-diagnose the patient.
The healthtech startup plans to use Google IBM Watson Third-Party health API to run pre-diagnosis on patient medical data, thus, sending an alert to the patient about the severity level of the disease and helping doctors consult better.
(Edited by Apoorva Puranik)