[World Health Day] These digital healthcare startups are bringing medical services to doorsteps across India

COVID-19 showcased the large gap in India’s healthcare services, especially in rural and remote areas. Here are a few startups that are attempting to bridge the divide with telemedicine services.
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In the era where everything is just a click away, it is no longer a surprise that doctors and healthcare services are also available online.

This has continued post pandemic, as customer expectations for convenient digital healthcare services have risen rapidly.

After the government's decision to bring out the National Digital Health Mission and Telemedicine guidelines, healthcare startups were able to come up with their own offerings for urban and rural areas.

According to a Research and Markets report, India's digital healthcare market was valued at Rs 252.92 billion in FY21 and is expected to reach Rs 882.79 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 21.36 percent.

From Practo and 1MG to mfine and Pharmeasy, startups are revolutionising healthcare delivery in India. Many young startups have come up with online services to connect doctors with patients and fill the healthcare service gap across the country.

YourStory has curated a list of digital health tech startups and clinics who are working in the space to make medical services available everywhere and anywhere across India. 

Tattvan

Founded in 2017 by Ayush Mishra, Bareilly-based Tattvan E-Clinic uses telemedicine to connect doctors and specialists from reputed hospitals in big cities with people in underserved or remote areas in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities by leveraging advanced technology. 

Patients can discuss their issues with doctors via video conferencing and get the required treatment. The startup aims to disrupt healthcare services across India and Asia.

“With Tattvan, we are trying to bridge that gap with the help of telemedicine. We launched the first e-clinic in Bareilly in July 2018. This inspired me and my team to set the course of our future with an aim to disrupt the healthcare sector in India. Instead of paying for travel, boarding, and lodging, the patient now only pays for the consultation. Consulting a reputed doctor in Delhi will cost anywhere around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1500, but with the same doctor, a consultation at Tattvan E-Clinic costs Rs 600,” said Ayush.

MyUpchar

Founded in 2016 by Rajat Garg and Manuj Garg, New-Delhi based MyUpchar bringing healthcare awareness and access to people in Tier 2, 3, 4 and beyond. It provide authentic healthcare information in 12 Indian languages.

Rajat Garg and Manuj Garg, Co-founders of myUpchar

The startup offers medicine delivery, teleconsultations with specialists, and home sample collection facilities. Doctors from all genres such as allopathy, ayurveda, and homeopathy  are available on the platform to assist patients,

“We worked consistently on building trust. Now, we see them relying on our free consultation services by quality doctors, consuming our content, and placing orders,” Rajat said

Along with consultation, the doctors also provide content on yoga, fitness, women’s health, ayurveda, pregnancy, child care, therapy, sexual wellness, and homoeopathy and other categories.

iCliniq

Founded by Dhruv Suyamprakasam in 2012, Coimbatore-based iCliniq is an online doctor consultation platform where patients can connect with doctors for consultation via chat, messages, voice  or video calls. 

The startup has built chatbots on instant messenger platform Telegram and team messaging platform for professionals Slack to onboard and attract more users. It aims to ensure trustworthy medical advice is available anywhere and anytime it is required.

“We trained the doctors to be tele-health savvy. Since it was a new industry, we had to find our own path. Even then we were not getting many video consultations. We were talking to a lot of doctors and the people who visited our website and noticed that we had an entry barrier,” said Dhruv.

MediAngels

Founded in 2011 by Arbinder Singal and Debraj Shome, Mumbai-based e-healthcare startup MediAngels offers medical advice, online consultations, and second opinions with specialist doctors around the world.

It also allows users to book a blood test, get home delivery of reports and medicine delivery.  

"The future of healthcare and medicine is where patients will expect the doctor to come to them, and they may go into a hospital only for surgeries," Debraj said.

Back in 2015, the startup raised $5 million to  push its expansion plans.

Jiyyo Mitra

Founded in 2017 by Dr Meghna Sharma, Siddharth Angrish, and Jahid Ali, Chandigarh-based startup Jiyyo Mitra e-clinic enables patients in remote areas to consult qualified and specialty doctors.

It works by partnering with local clinics and medical stores, and installing its telemedicine kit inTier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and in villages. It provides an Android setup box, 24-inches LED TV, and wireless printer, and helps clinics and stores connect patients with specialised doctors anywhere across India. 

“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,” Siddharth said.

The startup is working towards empowering existing healthcare offerings in rural and semi-urban regions using telemedicine.

“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 added.

Docty

Founded in 2018 by Patricia Diaz, Ramya Subramanian, Opo Herrera, and Laxman Bennabattula, US-based global telehealth startup Docty provides digital health services such as online consultations, medicine delivery, electronic medical records, doctor search, appointment services, symptom pre-screening services, and others all under one roof.

The startup aims to ensure healthcare for everyone and everywhere.

It operates on a pay-as-you-go model. Users have to pay to opt for a doctor consultation service but can use its symptom tracking service for free.

“Patients can now consult a doctor online, and the doctor will already be aware about the symptoms as records are available on the platform, and they need not spend an hour just talking to patients about their symptoms. So, users will get a 15-minute consultation, which will be absolutely spot-on without wasting any time,” Rama said.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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