[Startup Bharat] Jiyyo Mitra e-Clinic is helping patients in rural and semi-urban areas access better healthcare
The COVID-19 outbreak has given the much-needed impetus to the Indian digital healthcare sector, especially to digital health companies. However, the question remains if the growing telehealth services are reaching remote areas of the country and ensuring seamless healthcare access to all.
According to a December 2020 report by the Telemedicine Society of India (TSI) and healthtech giant Practo, non-metro cities recorded a growth of 7X in online consultations between March and November 2020 compared to 2019. It also revealed that the metro to non-metro ratio for online consultations stood at 60:40 in 2020, as compared to 75:25 in 2019.
As the need for digital health services increase, telemedicine players are focusing on ensuring better reach in rural regions of India, boosting the growth of the industry. Chandigarh-basedMitra e-Clinic is one such startup working towards empowering existing healthcare facilities in rural and semi-urban regions using telemedicine.
Founded in 2017 by siblings Dr Meghna Sharma and Siddharth Angrish, along with friend Jahid Ali, the startup basically enables patients in remote areas to consult qualified doctors. Siddharth and Jahid are computer science graduates from IIT-Roorkee with over 15 years of industry experience while Meghna has been a practising paediatrician for more than 10 years.
Siddharth, Co-founder and CEO, tells YourStory, “Meghna and I came up with the idea of Jiyyo in the waiting room at PGI Chandigarh Hospital while our father was undergoing a medical procedure. We realised while many of us had to purchase the same medicines, we got them at different prices, and villagers are more susceptible to the downsides of such pricing vagaries.”
Afterwards, he discussed these issues with his friend Jahid, and the three decided to launch Jiyyo to solve them.
Connecting patients to doctors
Jiyyo works by collaborating with the local healthcare workforce from Tier-II, Tier-III areas, and villages.
It partners with clinics and medical stores and installs its telemedicine kit, which helps the clinics and stores connect their patients with specialised doctors from anywhere across India as and when needed. As a part of the telemedicine kit, the startup provides an Android setup box, wireless printer, and a 24-inches LED TV.
“Using the Jiyyo Telemedicine Kit, patients who need specialist doctors can connect with them via video. The platform also helps doctors write and send e-prescriptions,” he says.
Jahid, Co-founder and CTO, explains that the client leads are generated online as well as by the sales team working on the ground.
“Our first client was a medical store in Konch in the Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh, which is owned by a friend of a friend,” he says.
Adding that the pandemic helped the business establish a stronger footprint because it made telemedicine more acceptable among people, he says, “COVID-19 made remote hiring possible in non-metro areas. We no longer need an office to prove our authenticity while hiring sales personnel in Jaunpur, Bhilwara, Varanasi, Churu, among others.”
Jiyyo was a part of Google for Startups programme held last year and also received recognition from Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog for its part in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in India.
Illustration: YS Design
Business and more
The trio had invested Rs 1 crore initially to launch Jiyyo. Last year in June, the startup then raised an angel round of $100,000 from undisclosed investors.
The founders claim that Jiyyo’s current ARR is Rs 2.5 crore up from Rs 55 lakh in 2019-20 financial year. The startup is projecting for Rs 24 crore ARR for the financial year 2021-22.
At present, Jiyyo has over 250 e-clinics across more than 70 districts, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, and Haryana.
Telemedicine is a growing segment in the healthcare sector and is populated by many giants such as, , among others. Bhubaneswar-based telemedicine startup is also focusing on improving healthcare access in semi-urban and rural regions in Odisha.
Speaking about future plans, Siddharth revealed that the startup is currently raising another round of funds to accelerate its geographical expansion, platform improvements, and awareness campaigns directed at rural and semi-urban populations.