[Startup Bharat] How Hospido is helping cancer patients from Tier II and III cities get treatment in their hometowns
The pandemic has hit us in ways we could never imagine. The healthcare sector is also facing numerous challenges, including the shortage of healthcare workers, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. And this, in turn, is affecting patients who are being treated for other serious ailments like cancer.
“About 15 lakh new cancer patients are diagnosed every year in India, and yet many more go undiagnosed. Tier II and Tier III cities take the biggest hit as over 50 percent of India’s oncologists and major treatment facilities are in top 10 cities,” says Karan Chopra, Founder, Hospido.
This huge gap and dearth of access to quality healthcare, along with unprecedented challenges to improve access and increase efficiency prompted Karan Chopra to start Hospido, a cancer care platform, in May this year.
Based in Gurugram, Hospido empowers cancer patients and caregivers to get easy access to the right treatment plan and advice, and provides high quality treatment for all types of cancer.
The startup has over 100 leading oncologists trained at AIIMS, Medanta, Leaders in Oncology Care - LOC (UK), and M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre (USA) working with it.
Growing up in a small town in Amritsar, Karan pursued his graduation from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, University of Delhi, in 2013, and did his MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB) in 2017. He also worked at consulting firm Bain & Co for about five years.
“While working with Bain & Co, I helped few of our clients accomplish their business. It made me wonder if I can help somebody make a good business, then why can’t I do it myself. This triggered me into my journey of entrepreneurship,” says Karan.
After quitting Bain & Co in early 2020, Karan worked on establishing a primary care telemedicine platform for rural India as part of his family business ‘Doctor on Call’, which was started around 2013-14.
During the coronavirus lockdown, he saw people avoiding visit to hospitals due to the risk of contracting the virus, which made them discontinue their treatment. This is when Karan got the idea of Hospido - to take quality healthcare to cancer patients through telemedicine and satellite treatment centres.
Healthcare at home
Hospido provides 360-degree cancer-specific services under one-roof, according to the needs and comfort of patients.
The patients have to first register on the Hospido platform and upload all their medical reports. They can then book appointments with leading oncologists, and take advice via phone/video from doctors across India, the US, and Singapore.
The startup has also established chemotherapy centres following international cancer protocols, supported by leading oncologists across India. At present, it has chemotherapy centres in Amritsar, Jammu, Gwalior, Agra, and Kanpur, and will soon expand to more cities in the coming months.
Through these centres, patients can get their cancer treatment under Hospido’s trained medical staff. The startup also helps patients avail diagnostic tests, medicines, and advice on diet and exercise.
This will enable patients to speak to leading oncologists in the country and get treatment done in their home cities under the guidance of these doctors. The service is even more important in times of COVID as cancer patients are unable to travel and reach out to doctors from these cities.
A unique offering
Hospido competes with startups like Practo, Portea, and ZocDoc. However, Karan clarifies that its focus is more than just connecting doctors and patients.
Elaborating on this, Karan says, “There are multiple healthtech players in India who help patients get advice online. However, we are fundamentally a healthcare delivery player backed by technology and focus on treatments more than just connecting doctors and patients.”
According to IBEF, the healthtech market in India can increase three-fold to $133.44 billion by 2022.
Hospido claims to be offering a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care, with a network of 100+ leading cancer specialists from all over India.
“We help patients in their entire treatment journey - from diagnostics to cancer treatment to post-operative care. We also upskill and train doctors in Tier II and III cities to ensure quality cancer care,” adds Karan.
According to Karan, patients availing treatment through Hospido can save up to Rs one lakh on travel expenses, 1000 km in travel to major cities, and three to five days in waiting time at hospitals.
Hospido works closely with a huge panel of doctors and helps to get priority bookings. It also claims to offer a fast turnaround time, with a maximum of 12 hours, for ensuring every patient gets the required care at the earliest.
As the startup is still in its early stages, Karan says it is facing challenges in terms of setting up and scaling.
“We are very early in our journey, but we have treated patients from across the country. We have touched the lives of more than 1,000 customers in the last couple of months,” says Karan, adding that his team is trying out different revenue models at present.
Hospido charges doctors for using the platform and does not charge any fee from patients for the same. However, it charges patients for the treatment they take in the cancer centres it runs.
The startup said it has seen a healthy 50 percent month-on-month growth in revenue in the last three months.
Bootstrapped as of now with a team of 20 people, Hospido is on a mission to be the largest and best oncology care provider in India.
Edited by Megha Reddy