[Startup Bharat] Bhopal-based PhysiQure is tapping technology to disrupt the physiotherapy sector
Physiotherapy is vital to help restore, maintain, and maximise physical strength, function, and well being. It comes into play for treating conditions such as paralysis, post-operative care, work-related musculoskeletal injuries, and many others.
Bhopal-based physiotherapist Anubha Singhai realised that India’s heightened focus on emergency care often ends up neglecting other aspects of healthcare, including physiotherapy.
Realising the need to ensure quality physiotherapy services, Anubha, in collaboration with IOTA Informatics, founded healthtech startup PhysiQure in January 2020.
Physiqure is leveraging technology to make quality physiotherapy accessible to all. The startup runs four physiotherapy clinics in Bhopal at present, with tech-integrated features to offer tele-physiotherapy.
“We observed that the physiotherapy practice is scattered and patients end up bearing the brunt of this. These services/treatments are scattered under multispecialty setups and are unorganised for home services.
"PhysiQure is a fusion of technology and physiotherapy to create awareness, offer reach and quality care, and ensure retention of patients,” Anubha tells YourStory.
The healthtech startup helps patients suffering from conditions such as paralysis, knee troubles, spine health, sports-related issues, post-surgery problems, and cancer rehabilitation among others.
Anubha has completed her post-graduation in cardio-pulmonary physiotherapy and has over 14 years of experience. Apart from PhysiQure, she also runs a physiotherapy magazine called PHYSIOTIMES.
Ensuring quality physiotherapy services
According to the founder, several factors affect physiotherapy treatment, including daily visits, long distance travelling, regular expenses, and others. PhysiQure is trying to solve these problems in a holistic manner, she says.
“With the help of technology, we are developing protocols for tele-physiotherapy. We focus on giving results in the shortest possible time ,” Anubha says.
The online platform ensures patients can opt for regular physiotherapy sessions with PhysiQure.
The founder explains that patients with chronic illness find it difficult to continue with prolonged physiotherapy treatments, which is why the startup designs solutions that include family and community members.
For instance, patients who need prolonged or lifelong physiotherapy treatment might find it difficult and expensive to regularly visit clinics. PhysiQure helps by training the patient's family members so they can do daily exercises at home.
The healthtech startup is operating on a hybrid model, including tele consultations and offline clinics. Four centres are at present operational in Bhopal, with four more centres to be launched in Itarsi, Betul, Khurai, and Mandideep in Madhya Pradesh by January 2021.
“PhysiQure is targeting Tier II cities as there is a gap when it comes to quality physiotherapy and we aim to make it accessible to all,” she says.
Business and the future
Anubha says pricing for physiotherapy services depends on the patient’s needs and the duration. The startup currently has a team of 18 therapists. It eventually plans to collaborate with other physiotherapy clinics and doctors, and operate on a revenue sharing model.
Physiqure raised Rs 1 crore in a seed funding round to launch the startup and is deploying funds to expand its geographical presence and establish 10 more clinics.
The global physiotherapy services market is expected to grow to $165.73 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 5.34 percent.
The startup faces stiff competition from local physiotherapy clinics and service providers. Gurugram-based Physio Active is also providing similar services with focus on rehabilitation of sports and industrial injuries.
Telemedicine may be a growing segment for doctor consultations, but tele-physiotherapy is at a nascent stage in India.
Speaking about future plans, she says, “We plan to raise funds to establish 100 centres across India within two years. We are also looking to incorporate artificial intelligence and IoT in physiotherapy practice and management.”
Edited by Teja Lele Desai