Coronavirus: This Kota-based startup is providing healthcare beyond metros amid lockdown

Started in 2017 by Shreyans Mehta, Nikhil Baheti and Saida Dhanavath, MedCords aims at addressing the disparity between accessibility to quality healthcare in urban and rural India.

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Kota-based MedCords is trying to helping thousands of Indian patients consult with qualified doctors and order necessary medicines, irrespective of their geographical limitations, with their platform called Aayu, and Sehat Sathi.

A Medcords representative educating the villagers about the benefits of the tech platform.

Kota-based MedCords connects patients, doctors and pharmacies for smooth access and sharing of medical data. It caters its services to more than 20 lakh users – across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. The startup targets Tier-III cities and below, including towns and villages with a population of under three lakh.

Started in 2017 by Shreyans Mehta, Nikhil Baheti and Saida Dhanavath, MedCords aims at addressing the disparity between accessibility to quality healthcare in urban and rural India. The startup is also backed by investors such as InfoEdge, WaterBridge Ventures, Astarc Ventures among others. MedCords was also one of the YourStory 2018 Tech 30 Startups, and was also one of the five startups to win WhatsApp-Startup India Grand Challenge in June 2019, and was awarded $50,000.

How the startup works

Using ‘Aayu’, customers can consult specialist doctors on the app, or on-call if they don't have a smartphone. The app also has a built-in comprehensive coronavirus guide to clear myths and check users’ symptoms. A person who is not a smartphone user can call 7816811111 to receive consultations from doctors from anywhere in India. 

The app closes the loop for the patients by connecting them with not just the doctors, but also medical stores to procure medicines. The platform offers Sehat Sathi Android App which provides users in remotest parts with available medical stores. It enables medical stores to get online and chat with their customers in semi-urban areas. The Android apps, Aayu & Sehat Saathi, and helpline number can be used in Hindi & English, making it easy for Indians to use it.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is indeed a testing time for the country. The ban on public transport due to lockdown has restricted common people from accessing medical help. The pandemic has also led to a shortage of doctors in the rural areas and small towns, adding to the woes of crores of Indians. Our integrated solution through our two apps - Aayu & Sehat Sathi, is an endeavour to bridge this gap and bring an effective healthcare ecosystem for every citizen of India on their fingertips” says Shreyans Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of MedCords.  

Shreyansh further explains that patients can use the app to take e-consult from specialist doctors for all kinds of diseases and health problems, that too from home for just Rs 99. “We try to complete consultation in just 30 minutes,” he says.

After e-consultation, the patient gets a prescription in their Aayu app, and if the user is not a smartphone user, then they will get a prescription on SMS. The users can also upload historical medical records for effective diagnosis. The app allows hyper-local chats and discounts from medical stores. The patient can use the ‘Order Medicine’ feature to find nearby medical stores and can chat with them to order medicine. The app has a ‘health card, which can be used to get discounts on the nearby medical stores.

The app also works on a subscription model, where users can buy an Aayu Card, and can get 25 e-consultations for Rs 999 for 12 months. Generally, patients from villages spend at least Rs 1500 when they visit doctors in the city, tells Shreyansh.

Focus on coronavirus 

The co-founders tell the company is extensively focusing on helping India tackle the coronavirus crisis using technology. 

“Each and every person of the country must have access to the right information, qualified doctors and complete closure to their problem. And that's what we at Medcords provide”, says Nikhil Baheti, Co-founder of Medcords.

MedCords is even providing first free consultation to all its users so that they can stay safe and aware of the latest information and possible solutions available amid this pandemic situation.

“With this solution, you can skip the long hospital lines and take e-consultation from the comfort of home. In case you see any symptoms of coronavirus, please visit the nearby hospital and do not spread any rumours about this pandemic,” adds Shreyans. 

The Aayu team is releasing information on the Aayu app to more than 10,000 users on a daily basis, he tells. So far, the Aayu app and Sehat Sathi has more than 20 lakh registered users, with at least 1000 active doctors helping out.

Recently, Kota District Administration has also partnered with the company to provide healthcare services to people in Kota, and has advised the public to use free e-consultation from MedCords for coronavirus-related queries and even other health problems.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)