Telehealth startup Practo forays into secondary healthcare with the launch of surgery experience centres

Bengaluru-based telehealth startup Practo unveiled 50 surgery experience centres across three cities. At present, it is offering over 50 surgical procedures across three specialities, including general surgery, urology, and ENT.
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Bengaluru-based telemedicine and mobile health startup Practo has forayed into the secondary care market and unveiled over 50 Practo Care Surgery Experience Centers in six cities, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. 

According to the official statement, Practo has also roped in Rahul Dravid as the brand ambassador.

Working in partnership with doctors, clinics, and hospitals, Practo is aimed at building an omnichannel healthcare ecosystem for secondary care procedures. The surgery care centres have been operational for the last three months and have facilitated consultations for over 5,000 patients for secondary surgeries. It has already onboarded over 200 surgeons in its network. The move is aimed at closing the gap in accessibility, quality, and affordability in healthcare.

Practo Care Surgery Centre in Bengaluru [Image Credit: Practo]

Currently, it offers over 50 surgical procedures across three specialities including general surgery, urology, and ENT. Now, it plans to expand its network to over 30 cities and launch more than 300 centres. It will now also add more specialities and onboard hundreds of surgeons by the end of next year.

“An integrated approach to care delivery is key to better patient experiences and outcomes. So far, we’ve been helping patients connect with doctors, both digitally and in person. This launch is a natural next step to address the need and demand for a seamless, convenient, and end-to-end delivery experience in secondary care," said Shashank ND, Co-founder, and CEO, Practo in a statement.

"With Practo Care Surgeries, we have an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of India’s secondary healthcare delivery. This would also mean continuity of care between primary and secondary healthcare, helping us truly put patients at the centre of care. Over the years, we have clearly expressed our conviction to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for a billion+ Indians, and Practo Care Surgeries forms an integral part of this mission” he added.

The startup claimed that every Practo Care surgeon comes with at least over 10 years of experience. 

“The model places an equal emphasis on audit as a tool to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to the patients. Practo’s smart technology enables a team of medical experts to monitor the entire digital trail, and review each prescription to ensure the best quality of care is delivered,” Practo said in a statement.

The company is also looking to facilitate Rs 1,000 crore worth of healthcare financing in India over the next three years. With its healthcare financing options such as patient loans, it is looking to make treatment processes affordable for the patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand and acceptance of telemedicine services. Practo is currently present in more than 20 countries and claims to be helping over 18 crore patients a year and connects them with a network of over one lakh verified doctor partners.

In an email interaction with YourStory, a Practo spokesperson revealed that Practo facilitates one doctor consultation every 30 seconds. It also provides medicine delivery, diagnostic tests at home among others. The spokesperson revealed that foraying into the secondary healthcare market was the natural next step for the company.

"The potential strain on finances, the cumbersome processes to claim insurance, and lack of post-surgical support are some of the issues they wish to avoid. We have attempted to find a solution to each of these problems with Practo Care by providing a comprehensive support system to the patient. Practo’s dedicated personal care assistants will take care of everything - right from booking doctor appointments, identifying the closest surgery centre with the right infrastructure, providing relevant information to the patient, as well as offering insurance support and financial assistance, as required; thus hand holding the patient through their journey," the spokesperson said.

According to Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer at Practo, many crucial surgeries such as hemorrhoidectomies, hernia repairs, maybe often be deferred by patients due to lack of information, costs involved, complex insurance claiming process, lack of post-surgical support, and more.

"This is where Practo Care Surgeries comes in. Our objective is to work in step with our doctor-partners to provide superior secondary care experience to patients, right from the first touch-point (OPD) until after their treatment (including IPD), by establishing a strong connection and communication channel between doctors, patients, and other stakeholders,” said Dr Alexander added.


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Edited by Kanishk Singh