This Bengaluru startup is ensuring access to doctors and healthcare facilities in rural areas

5e Healthcare aims to help people in rural areas connect with doctors online through video calls and get access to diagnostic services and hospitals in case of emergencies.
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Lack of access to proper and quality healthcare in India has always been a point of concern. Amid the pandemic outbreak, the country realised the importance of making healthcare available to everyone and telemedicine and online consultation is expected to play a pivotal role in solving this crisis.

After understanding the problems related to healthcare access in rural areas and small towns, Sudarsan Parida and Rajesh Gaikwad launched 5e Healthcare in 2019 with an initial investment of $100K to solve the accessibility problem.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup offers a mobile technology platform to provide video consultations with doctors. It is also working with diagnostic labs and sample collection centers to help make pathology tests easily available in rural areas. The startup has two regional offices in Bhubaneswar and Raipur.

Speaking with YourStory, Sudarsan, Co-founder and CEO, says, 5e is their second venture. The duo had earlier co-founded OneDigitalAd Technologies, an adtech company, in 2012, and have successfully exited after its acquisition by a German company.

“India’s small town and rural population do not have easy access to doctors, let alone specialist or super-specialist doctors. People must either be contained with locally available doctors or travel great distances, spend time and money to consult with specialists living in big cities. Additionally, they do not have access to diagnostic facilities and without this the doctor cannot make correct decisions,” says Sudarsan.

“5e Healthcare is committed to removing all these inconveniences and making doctors accessible to people who are in need,” Sudarsan adds.

Illustration- YS Design

Solving healthcare accessibility problems

5e Healthcare enables patients to find doctors online and book an appointment with them. The consultation is done online via video calls.

“We support only video calls. No text chat and normal phone calls are allowed. Video call is the only way to provide a real-life clinic-like experience during the consultation. Video call also increases trust as patients can see their doctors and have a conversation,” the CEO says.

Patients can also use the 5eCare mobile application to record their body vitals such as blood pressure, blood sugar, height, weight, body temperature, and present the collected data to doctors during consultation. Patients can also upload their medical history and past records in the cloud using the app.

“Privacy and security is one of the most important requirements in the healthcare space when we are dealing with a patient’s personal data on health. The platform is HIPPA compliant, cloud infrastructure is hosted in India, and all communication happens over secure channels,” Sudarsan claims.

The startup is also partnering with hospitals from Tier I and Tier II areas and listing them online to allow the patients to discover these services, facilities, and contact them for hospitalisation requirements or emergencies.

“We are also creating a pool of emergency and critical care specialist doctors who provide consultations in real-time 24x7 and will also connect patients to the nearest hospital which can treat the emergency situation,” he adds.

Users can use the 5e Healthcare app to book appointment and consult doctors from anywhere across the country. [ Image Credit: 5e Healthcare]

Business and more

While Sudarsan did not reveal details about 5e Healthcare’s revenue model, he says the startup charges a percentage of the amount from the online consultation fee, diagnostic services, and hospital treatment booked using the app.

The bootstrapped startup will be looking to raise external funding after it achieves the goals set for Q1 2021, the co-founder says. He adds that 63 doctors are using the application as of now and are recording over a few hundred online consultations per month.

A 2019 report by McKinsey Global Institute, ‘Digital India: Technology to transform a connected nation’, states that if telemedicine services replace 30 to 40 percent of in-person consultations in India, coupled with digitisation in the overall healthcare industry, the country can save up to $10 billion by 2025.

The telemedicine and teleconsultation segment has several notable brands such as Practo, 1MG, mfine, and Lybrate, among others.

Speaking about future plans, Sudarsan says that within the next six months, the company aims to have 40 hospitals, one national level diagnostic player and 30 local levels diagnostic players in its network.

“We aim to record over 100 online consultations on the platform per day and 90 in-patient treatments per month,” Sudarsan says.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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