Category: India

Medical Fair Asia: Welcome to Medikabazaar

From 29th till 31st of August, FTR4H will present selected digital health startups from Asia at the Medical Fair Asia in Singapore. One of it is Medikabazaar from India. We sat down with its CEO Vivek Tiwari for an interview.

PS: Save the date for his talk “How AI & ML help build efficiency in healthcare procurement” at 3:30 pm on August 29th

FTR4H: Vivek, what are you doing at Medikabazaar?

Vivek “Medikabazaar is India’s largest B2B online medical supply platform enabling hospitals and other medical establishments to search and order quality medical equipment and supplies. The medical supply chain in India is highly fragmented at the moment. I myself had experienced this during my earlier assignment of setting up and managing multi-location tertiary care clinics in tier 2 and 3 cities in India. These cities and remote locations in India struggle to get quality and timely medical supplies because conventional distribution networks do not have presence in such places.

It is a well-known fact that medical supplies constitute the second biggest cost in a hospital’s total cost of operations (TCO). Medikabazaar is currently working on a proprietary tool named VIZI that uses AI to help hospitals reduce the total cost of operations thereby contributing to making healthcare more affordable. By using VIZI and online procurement, medical establishments can reduce their TCO by about 25% and therefore contribute to making healthcare more affordable and accessible in developing countries like India.”

FTR4H: You have been an activist for digital health in Asia for a quite a while. What are the latest trends in eHealth in Asia?

Vivek: “The biggest need in Asia is healthcare accessibility and affordability. Patients don’t have access to quality healthcare products, uniform pricing, and services. The doctor-patientratio is also poor. Remote locations lack basic healthcare facilities. Similarly, those who have already set up healthcare facilities in such locations, face challenges in procuring advanced medical technology, products, and their deliveries. Thus, failing to provide service to the patients. Many trends pick this up: The latest consumer trends in eHealth in Asia are virtual consultations electronic health records, telemedicine, online pharmacy, lab tests at home, home health care, fitness apps and wearable devices to monitor lifestyle. Primarily all are consumer centric and focusing on serving the consumer at his doorstep. Healthcare providers are also adopting Internet for enhancing the productivity of their processes and clinical outcome.”

FTR4H: You are a young startup yourself. What have been the biggest hurdles in your journey from a bootstrapped company to India’s largest B2B marketplace for medical devices?


Vivek:
“Indian e-commerce space is still in its nascent stage. While the B2C models have gained popularity in recent years, B2B markets still remain fairly untouched. We at Medikabazaar aim to disrupt the B2B space. Adoption of the online platform by business buyers posed many challenges to us. We had to do massive ground activation to explain the concept to the customer. We had to make similar efforts to get manufacturers and sellers on board as the concept was entirely new to them.

Another major challenge was faced when we scaled from one location to setting up operations and fulfillment centers across multiple locations in India. From centralized operations, we moved to decentralized operations. New team members from various backgrounds joined in all these locations. Soon we realized that the uniformity in execution was missing. We had to bring in the standard operating procedures to streamline our business processes and bring in a seamless experience for the customer.”

FTR4H: What challenges do digital healthcare companies face while scaling up in Asia – be it from India to Singapore or from Germany to Asia?

Vivek: “The first and foremost challenges are

  • a) limited funding and
  • b) talented team.

With limited funds and resources, a better strategy is to focus on the domestic market. Since technology businesses do not have entry barriers, by the time a startup gears up to make an entry into a new market, many competitors already exist. Therefore, strategy and timing are really critical for the international launch and go-to-market. Another challenge for scaling up internationally lies in finding the right talent who can work with an entrepreneurship zeal to replicate and adapt the same model for the new market.” 

FTR4H: What can other entrepreneurs learn from your startup journey?


Vivek:
“Planning, hard work,and team spirit are three mantras that every entrepreneur should have. I too followed this. Nothing can work without a detailed plan, sharing the vision with the team and micro-management in the initial years. The reason is that the team and every process is new and both need to undergo a journey to get streamlined. Unless and until an entrepreneur is involved at the ground level, they will not understand execution challenges.

Do not get discouraged by initial feeble customer response. If your concept truly fills a gap in the market, it will work. Team up with people whom you can rely upon. Those who will not be a deadweight but a lifeboat for your company. The most important thing in an organization is creating a positive work environment and sometimes throwing a pizza party goes a long way for the employees.”

FTR4H: What are you looking forward to in Singapore?

Vivek: “Apart from India, we are expanding our operations in neighboring countries, Middle East and Africa. Being the largest hub of Asia, Singapore attracts many visitors and manufacturers in the expo. We plan to network with the manufacturers and international buyers to share our concept and opportunities.”

Thanks for the interview and see you at Medical Fair Asia 2018 in Singapore!

What will technology bring to the healthcare market in India?

FTR4H is returning to India on March 16th this year. Last year prior to the conference held in New Delhi, we prepared an overview of things to watch for when entering the market in India. At the event, we dived into opportunities in India from the VC perspective, and we also highlighted problems startups are facing when looking for investments.

This year at India’s 24th International exhibition and conference Bombay convention & exhibition centre in Mumbai we prepared three days of exciting content:

One of our speakers will be Pratistha Jain from Vibazone, who shared some of her thoughts on the industry.

“FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE IS BRIGHT”

“A couple of impediments have stifled the Indian healthcare market; the technology penetration in Tier II and III cities is a challenge due to lack of affordability, cost involved, demographics, income and awareness. The med-tech industry has not been regulated all these years, with inconsistent interpretation and application of regulatory standards being the norm. The new medical devices rules that have been executed this January, the Medtech entrepreneurs will have more clarity and specificity on the policies,” writes Prathistha Jain in her opinion piece on Youstory.

The healthcare landscape has evolved over the last few years. The image of a person getting a check-up has changed; in the twentieth century, the doctor would come over armed with a bag of tools and old-fashioned medical know-how. Some interesting digital healthcare solutions that have been showing promise include imaging, analyzing, processing and computing software with deep learning capabilities, a collaborative space for connecting healthcare stakeholders, telemedicine addressing the lack of accessible healthcare, management tools and platforms to standardize procedures, care delivery, prevention and wellness solutions and non-invasive point-of-care diagnostics.

Digital transformation will have a great impact on the healthcare space. This transformation could be through various new technologies such as mobile (feature phones, smartphones, phablets, tablets, wearables AR/VR, voice assistants) mobile tools and apps to improve efficiency and patient safety, manage addiction treatment and chronic diseases, IoT (Internet of Things, sensors, drones, robots, 3D printer, smart cars and homes to improve care delivery systems and emergency systems, data (big data, smart data, genomics data, bio-informatics) to quantify risk,  precision medicine and disease diagnosis and artificial intelligence (medical diagnosis, robo-doc, health advisor, machine learning, health assistant, new health) to augment the diagnosis and treatment process.

Looking at the trends the future for healthcare looks bright and promising with some minor impediments to be faced through the journey.

Read the full story HERE.

Opportunities in India from the VC perspective

“Just creating an app does not mean you have a company. The key key question is: are you solving a problem?” These were the opening words  of Pradeep K. Jaisingh, Founder of HealthStart India, at the VC Panel at #FTR4H program at MEDICAL FAIR India in New Delhi. Panel was organised by HealthStart. The main aim was to highlight VC perspective on the digital health startups scene in India.

As said by Mr. Jaisingh, the basic background of technology needs to be that it improves the outcome. A solution needs to solve a problem and be sustainable. From the macro perspective, potential for disruptive innovation in India is big, said Mr. Jaisingh. Especially in terms of diagnostics, treatment and management of chronic diseases.

The doctor’s expectations in the near future are high. Artificial intelligence can be utilized to effectively synthesize patient information before his visit in the hospital or a doctor’s office.

What do the doctors need?

Private Equity Professional Mayur Sirdesai, Director at Somerset Indus Capital Partners, warned, the key issue in digital health technology and innovation is probability of adoption. “When a doctor has a line of patients in the waiting room, he can’t be bothered by entering data in the computer,” he mentioned. The second challenge is  payment for digital solutions. Revenue model of a startup is crucial to implementation of a solution in practice. In India, most payments are still out of pocket which might change with the development of the insurance market.

From the perspective of Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director at Cygnus Medicare, a big potential in India is in putting more effort into medical education of other specialists and healthcare providers, apart from doctors. “We are to doctor-centric. I am a big fan of personalized medicine and “ayurveda” in that sense. These sciences look at the patient as an individual while medicine takes the patient as a dataset. Ayurveda does not treat the disease,” he said.

Needs and payments

Partha Dey, Healthcare Leader and SME at IBM India mentioned the need for more collaboration: “It is clear and we agree we need to walk together and collaborate. Technology can work as a platform and our idea is to use it to solve real life problems. We are working on longterm solutions. The first issue is always the business case. What do users need? What are they prepared to pay for? A lot of startups have ideas, but struggle with translation and implementation in practice.”

Vikram Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner at IvyCap Ventures Advisors described India as a unique market because of the payment system. “In the developed world insurance takes care of healthcare. Our environment drives behaviour. Hence healthcare consumption is different compared to the rest of the world. The opportunities here are of different nature than in other countries. One thing to look at is infrastructure. Ratio of hospitals does not match population needs.”  Huge opportunities lay in financial assistance for healthcare, concluded Vikram Gupta.

Meet our startups!

8 start-ups are present at our FTR4H lounge at MEDICAL FAIR INDIA in New Delhi. They are:

Focus 1: Children’s health

iNICU !!!WINNER OF THE #FTR4H INDIA AWARD !!!!!


iNICU stands for ‘Integrated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’. The solution is leveraging IOT and Big Data,connecting generated source data from various devices.

iNICU is a one stop workflow solution to assimilate and disseminate neonate information. The application is designed to help improve management of all responsibilities of various professionals (Nurse, Resident Doctor, Senior Doctor, Pediatrician and Administrator) involved in the care of a baby.

growupright


A solution for an important but hitherto ignored area – Student Wellness. It helps monitor, track and control  children’s wellness in school, making it easier for parents and teachers recognize struggles of specific students. This makes it easier for the carers to find ways to help students cope with their problems easier and make most of their potentials.

Focus 2: data optimization, presentation, utilization

Vertes Cloud


Empowering transformation along enterprises in various verticals, mainly in the field of Education & Learning solutions. A mixed approach with Open Source & proprietary offerings enable institutions achieve higher levels of transformation, in much affordable way.
Abda Digital


Abda Digital (a Tech Vedika Pvt. Ltd. spin off) has been establish with vision to develop innovative products specifically for the mobile and digital space. The inception of Abda in November 2015 marked commitment to focus on product ideas that could help organizations communicate with their target audiences in the best way using less time.

Focus 3: Women’s health

Doc n me

Management software for obstetricians and gynecologists is offering End-to-End Solution to all ObGyn Practice Management Challenges. This solutions offers a new way of communication between the expecting mother,  obstetricians and gynecologists. Between visits in the doctors office, the mother can ask questions with the help of a platform.

Focus 4: Cardiology, trackers, sensors

Cardiotrack


Cardiotrack brings portability to healthcare diagnostics. Cardiotrack health sensors provide clinical grade reading for 12-lead ECG, SpO2 and blood pressure. Robust design makes Cardiotrack an ideal solution for home healthcare, tele-health, doctor’s clinic, nursing home or primary healthcare.

A3RMT

This solution is altering the delivery of critical life saving health care monitoring during emergency and preventive diagnostic capabilities. This is done at a much lower price-performance points, thanks to innovative synthesis of digital signal processing, image processing, biomedical components, algorithms, wireless and communication technologies. The first sets of solutions are in the realm of wireless remote patient monitoring.

Track my beat 


TrackMyBeat is a healthcare technology and analytics company, offering a complete health and wellness management system. It focuses on the prevention of lifestyle diseases. The subscriber can proactively manage his or her health through automated alerts. The product also highlights the efficacy of various interventions and activities in improving the user’s well-being.

Top 5 things on healthcare business in India

FTR4H is in full preparations for MEDICAL FAIR INDIA 2017. Before arrival, we talked to Incubators, Companies, Start-ups, Experts… Here’s what you might find useful if you’re thinking about doing business in India.

 

1. Make good market research

India ranked at 130 out of 189 economies in 2015 according to the World bank. 4% of the GDP go to healthcare; around 60% of expenses for healthcare are out of pocket, according to OECD. Almost a third of the population is supposed to own a smartphone by 2019, claims GSMA report. All this goes in favour to digital health or at least mHealth solutions, but keep in mind plenty of good startups on the ground are busy tackling everyday issues.

The country is extensively working on using all the advantages of digital solutions to improve people’s lives and health. Heard of Aadhar? It’s unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data such as eyes and finger prints. Nishal Arvind Singh, Founder NASS & Associates IPR Boutique law firm and Legal policy advisor to Honourable Health Minister Satyendra Jain of the Delhi Government explains the plan behind the project: “All payments will be linked with aadhar, to avoid duplicity, promote increase in online payments and disbursement to beneficiaries under many governmental schemes for education, pension etc. This will enable direct transactions into beneficiaries bank account, which will prevent corruption,” says Arvind, adding that in time, it will be connected with healthcare. The unique identification number of a person will prevent duplication and confusion in data management and insurance claimes with others with the same name.

2. Do you have enough time for business here?

According to a World bank report from 2006, it takes 56 procedures and approximately four years for a simple commercial contract in India. As explained by Prabhu Guptara, a distinguished Professor of Global Business, Management & Public Policy at William Carey University, India, a Member of Boards of different companies in the UK, Germany and Switzerland, the problem is the bureaucratic system. It takes years for the legal claims to be processed, let alone enforced. It is a slow system, so brace yourself with energy and patience to conquer it.

 

3. Know that India has very good medical doctors

Top class. World renowned. There’s a reason medical tourism flourishes here. However, as Sachin Gaur warns, 80% of people live in rural areas and only 20% of facillites are there. There are different initiatives to improve access, such as the the mohalla (neighbourhood) clinics. As explained by the hindustantimes, they were started with the aim of taking diagnostics and treatment of simple ailments to people’s doorstep and reduce the footfall in tertiary care hospitals.

 

4. Can you make a subscription plan under a dollar a month?

India has 1.3 billion people, the majority is poor. “2/3 of the population can’t be your target market. 30% of the population lives on less than 2.5 dollars/day, another third 5 dollars/day. Which still leaves you with 400 million people you could address,” says Prabhu Guptara. However, given the number of people, if you can design a subscription model for around 20 cents, than you might address the poorer population, says Sachin Gaur, Director Operation at InnovatioCuris. Taking into account the volume you could reach, it can turn out to be a viable business model.

“If you can design a subscription model for around 20 cents, than you might address the poorer population,” says Sachin Gaur, Director of Operations at InnovatioCuris.

5. Ask, connect to people on the ground

Have you heard of HealthCode.io? It’s a platform for healthcare professionals where you can find people interested in co-creation, consulting, commercialisation, fundraising, mentoring, investing, validation. The app, as the founders claim, already has members from 52 countries, so you might find useful connections even outside India!

 

Be sure to check the two episodes of Medicine Today on Digital Health! Praphu Guptara speaks about differences in the healthcare systems in India, Switzerland or England. Sachin Gaur talks about the innovative solutions in India and problems of digital solutions and cyber security. You can find it on iTunes or Soundcloud.

“Many good Indian startups don’t get funding if their founders are not from a first-class Indian engineering college”

eSec Forte Technologies is a Global Consulting and IT Services company with expert offerings in Enterprise Application Development Services, Mobile App Development, Information Security Services, Supply Chain Management Solutions and Corporate Training. eSec Forte Technologies is a FTR4H ecosystem partner and some representatives will be present at our FTR4H Lab & Lounge at MEDICAL FAIR INDIA 2017.

Surbhit Bansal, Business Manager at eSec Forte

Curious about the program of FTR4H Lab & Lounge? Check it our here. 

We talked to their Business Manager Surbhit Bansal about the company, their collaboration with Start-ups and presence in the Healthcare sector.

eSecforte focuses on IT and security – how active are you in the area of healthcare? Where are you present in India?
Surbhit Bansal: We are a company with our core business of IT and Security. We are present in India and abroad in the healthcare domain, working with organizations such as Ministry of Health, AIIMS, Max Healthcare, NACO, SOS Children’s Village International, NARI, United Health Group, Images Radiology. At Medical Fair India we will focus on presenting our Clinic Management System and Supply Chain Management System.

How do you collaborate with the Ministry of Health?

We have been developing software projects for the Ministry of Health through global NGOs and through direct contacts with couple of departments at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences). The projects are generally being used for educational purposes and streamlining processes in rural India. As far as cyber security is concerned, we provide the required security services or product licenses as required by the departments.

According to Mandiant Consulting’s “M-Trends 2016, Asia-Pacific Edition,” Indian organizations are more susceptible to data breaches because of poor investments in high-end security solutions. When it comes to health, cybersecurity is, in the era of growing telemedicine and mHealth solutions, so much more important. Do you know of any major health data thefts/threats/problems etc?

The data is centralized and mostly with NIC (National Informatics Centre) servers and highly secure. It’s a false impression that Indian health data is being leaked. Yes, it is as vulnerable as other data but adequate security measures are being taken by the government to prevent data leakages.

What does your Clinic Management System encompass? Is it only an IT system with the main purpose of enabling adequate billing or is there also any inclusion of clinical support, EHR development etc.?

It includes clinical support and EHR development. Details can be viewed on our website http://www.esecforte.com/clinic-management-system/

How can startups collaborate with you?

We can support them right from conceptualization, design, development, testing and delivery of their products. Another area is helping them launch their product’s MVP by the time they establish their team and processes using our years of experience.

So these are potentials what you could offer. Are you actively seeking startups to work with or acquire? What is the basic model of your collaboration with startups? If you help them, do you take equity, do you charge them a fee or something else?

We are not actively seeking to acquire any startup at the moment. We prefer a Fee-based model and in case any startup looks promising we can work on equity model providing the required technical support.

Is there any specific issues you could outline you see startups in India are facing? Are the issues any different than abroad according to your expertise? Where would you say the biggest differences lie?

The major hurdles that we can see based on our experience is a lack in focus on operations by Indian startups. They focus too much on technology and spend heavily on resources allowing them to survive only until investor’s pockets are heavy. Secondly, many good startups don’t get funding if their founders are not from a first class Indian engineering college such as IIT. As a result many startups with solid ideas are unable to grow or survive.What are you going to talk about at Medical Fair India in New Delhi?  We are going to talk about Digital Health Solutions alongside the healthcare continuum  and how mobile health is restructuring healthcare delivery.

Join us! Get you free ticket here.

Digital Health Startups from India, are you ready to join the future?

MEDICAL FAIR INDIA 2017 is approaching fast and Future For Health team (FTR4H) is very excited! Why? Because lively discussions, inspiring pitches, good energy and networking with creative people is always something to look forward to! That is exactly how our FTR4H Lab & Lounge at MEDICAL FAIR INDIA 2017 will look like. Join us!

Write to Bhardwaj Love (BhardwajL@md-india.com), to take part in our programme!

If you do not want to pitch, register for the “FTR4H: Digital Health futurists Reception” in Delhi on April 7th! 

FTR4H Lab & Lounge at MEDICAL FAIR INDIA 2017

Which VIPs will you meet at the FTR4H – Lab & Lounge event at http://www.medicalfair-india.com/

The FTR4H health lounge will be featured to the 13,000+ healthcare professionals who will be attending Medical Fair India 2017. In terms of Digital Health angels, mentors and the venture capital ecosystem, we have representatives present of companies like Bertelsmann India Invest, HealthStart, iB Hubs, Peppermint VenturePartners, pi Ventures, t-hub, Utilis Capital Advisor.

Will the Medical Fair India (MFI) floor be open to FTR4H – Lab & Lounge participants?

Yes, FTR4H is an integral part of Medical Fair India, and it will be open for MFI visitor to visit FTR4H and vice versa. MFI is expected to be attended by 13,000+ healthcare professionals.

Will the Pitch Your Solution” be open for Medical Fair India participants & visitors, or will it be restricted to FTR4H Lab & Lounge visitors & participants?

The opportunity to pitch will be restricted to FTR4H lounge participants (Sponsors, Startups) but every visitor interested in Digital Health can attend it.

Who are the Industry experts who will be moderating and judging the Digital Health Panel discussion & the “Pitch Your Solution” competition?

Pitching your solution means that you will present it to the interested public. It is a great chance to test your own story. We will not judge the pitch. For selecting the best Digital Health solution a dedicated FTR4H Award ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon April 7 at the lounge. The following names are currently aboard for hosting and guiding the pitches:

  •      Dr Vishal Bansal – Investor, Mentor, Technology Enthusiast & Docpreneur  Pradeep K. Jaisingh – Chairman HealthStart India
  •         Mark Wächter – FTR4H Chief Evangelist & Mobile Strategist
  •         Dr. Tarun Ramole – Digital Health Evangelist, Director Utilis Capital
  •         Tjaša Zajc – FTR4H Global Audience Developer & Journalist

[learn_more caption=”What is FTR4H?” state=”open”] FTR4H is an international platform, which enables discussions, meetings, dialogs and networking among thousands of Digital Health start-ups, corporations and investors, including accelerators and media from around the world. [/learn_more]

What are the parameters for presenting at “Pitch Your Solution”?

Each startup will have 5 minutes to pitch every day during the whole fair  (3 times). This is no competition, but a presentation offering you an opportunity to practice your pitch among your targeted public and get valuable feedback.

What is the format of the “Digital Health Panel” discussion? When will the topics for the discussion be made known to the participants?

Each startup has one pitch and one panel discussion per day. The panel discussion will be held with 5 startups in total plus a moderator. The topic will be decided based on represented solutions. Overall topic is how Mobile, IOT, AI and Data changes healthcare in a mobile-only country like India.

Are both the “Pitch your Solution” and “Digital Health Panel Discussion” part of the FTR4H – India competition?

No. All exhibiting startups at the FTR4H lounge automatically qualify for participation. The FTR4H India Award is a dedicated award ceremony taking place on Friday, April 7th, at 4 pm at the FTR4H lounge.

What are the benefits of the FTR4H India Award? Are there mentorship opportunities to be gained from the award? 

The winner of FTR4H will get a mentorship by HealthStart Accelerator for their upcoming Accelerator programme. FTR4H acts as a Think Tank and connector of Digital Health ecosystems in China, Europe, India, Israel and the US with the World of MEDICA. The winner of FTR4H India Award will receive a global recognition through our global initiatives and exposure on our website: www.FTR4H.org.

Who is in the audience for the Blog Post and the teasers? How big and diversified is this audience base?

The FTR4H website is promoted on all Medica Trade Fair websites corresponding with the global roadshow, therefore the attracted audience are experts from the MedTech industry from around the globe.

India’s LinkedIn of Healthcare in the making

India has more than 5 million qualified professionals working in the healthcare industry. There are around 1 million doctors and 2.5 million nurses. This workforce is growing at a rate of more than 10% per annum.

If India is a puzzle to you, this short interview with Mayank Sharma, one of the owners of Medhoop – a platform for healthcare professionals and industry in India, will give you a nice introduction into the current state of the trends in the digital health startup community in India. And why it is a good investment to take part in events such as Medical Fair India 2017, held from 6-8 April in New Delhi.
“We aim to create an ecosystem in the healthcare industry for all the industry stakeholders. Everyone, from medical students, colleges and teaching institutes, healthcare providers, Health-tech, medical devices and consumables industry, thought leaders and startups, can connect seamlessly and grow together,”  This is Sharma’s brief description of Medhoop. The size of the country is keeping the healthcare industry in India fragmented. The disconnect is making the industry inefficient and uncompetitive. For this reason, digital health development is so much more promising here.

 

Let’s start with the basics. What are the three digital health trends to watch out for in India? 

Mayank Sharma, one of the owners of Medhoop.
The Indian healthcare industry is now growing 360 degrees. Healthcare providers are not only focusing on developing world class healthcare physical infrastructure, but also on integrating technology. All this aims at making treatment and information closer to patients. Among major trends I would highlight mobile health (mHealth), on-demand healthcare, EHR/EMR solutions, healthcare aggregators and telemedicine.

 

How developed are these segments?

The mHealth space is probably the hottest in the segment. It is being further augmented by wearable gadgets that monitor health statics on a real-time basis. There are startups integrating existing technologies with concepts like telemedicine, doctor on call and remote monitoring of patients. On-demand healthcare is fit for an urban population which seeks everything instantly. If possible, they want it available on their smartphones. Startups understand this need. EHR industry is on the rise, looking to capture all the information they can. Not only to provide better health care for patients, but also for system improvements. From cutting treatment costs, research purposes, giving patients access to their health records online, to changes in regulatory environment.

 

What does the startup community in India look like? 

“Today India is among the top countries in terms of growth of startups. It is exciting, buzzing with innovation, passion and energy.”

India has been a country of startups for a long time. But the real recognition is happening now – with the rise of Startups Unicorns. We have Flipkart, Snapleal, Taxi aggregator Uber (prime competitor to Uber in India), online payment solution Paytm. Social media and growing internet penetration has opened an altogether new growth avenue for startups.

 

What about the digital health community specifically?

The digital healthcare community in India is growing at a very rapid pace. From hospital/doctor appointment booking solutions, EHRs, diagnostic lab aggregators, mobile health devices – innovation and new ideas all around. Today we see a lot more entrepreneurs in the digital health and healthcare space compared to 5-8 years ago.

 

What contributed to this acceleration?

At first, the healthcare community has been hostile to new technologies and experiments due to the inherent nature of its business. But slowly, the awareness levels and aspirations of doing things faster and better is positively affecting healthcare innovations and digital health technology. Companies like Practo have already made it big and are serving international markets already.

 

Which cities are leading in terms of accelerating innovation? How does Delhi rank in this community?

Bangalore leads the list, closely followed by Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. Not surprisingly, we also have beautiful healthcare and health-tech ideas coming out from comparatively smaller cities like Jaipur and Ahmedabad. I myself come from Hathras, a very small town, and now residing in Delhi, so let’s say innovation has no boundaries.

 

What were the digital health biggest investments in 2016? 

There is significant development and a number of startups working on services like pharmacy or lab services aggregators, remote monitoring healthcare devices and online doctor or hospital discovery. Startups which attracted major investments in 2016 were majorly from the SaaS segment. Practo, Healthkart, 1mg, and Goqii were among the front runners in a list of healthcare investments by investors.
“There is significant development and a number of startups working on services like pharmacy or lab services aggregators, remote monitoring healthcare devices and online doctor or hospital discovery.”

Which are your Top 3, 7 or 10 startups for 2017? 

This is a tough question for such an exciting space like digital healthcare in India. But if I divide the digital healthcare space into segments, I would say the following:
In-Doctor Network space: the two companies clearly standing out are DocPlexus and Curofy. Both of them are fulfilling the need of doctors to be able to consult cases online right from their mobile phones and build their own professional network. It would be interesting to see what route they take next.
In-Doctor Discovery segment: booking platform Practo had disrupted the industry before anyone could even think of an idea such as online booking of appointments. Lybrate (online doctor database gives you access to over 90,000 highly trained medical experts) has been able to stick it out in 2016 and will, it seems, continue to do so. Then there is CrediHealth, with the tagline ‘Your Medical Assistance’ doing exactly the same. Within its services, it offers second opinions, doctor selection and surgery planning to an altogether other level. I am sure these companies will be further innovating and disrupting this space.

 

Where can Startups present their solution to the wider public? Are there many events such Medical Fair India?

There are multiple events on medical equipment, lab equipment, medical specialty-specific devices and pharma in India.

 

You are a partner of Medical Fair India. Where do you see the benefit of this collaboration?

It matches with our belief that as a healthcare ecosystem partner, we have a responsibility to represent all the healthcare stakeholders and engage with them. This year Medical Fair India combines equal opportunities for healthcare companies as well as medical and healthcare technology startups, which is an encouraging trend.

 

What can startups expect from Medical Fair India? 

The most important part of such expositions and fairs is networking with various industry stakeholders. Participation offers understanding of new dimensions of the industry, understanding the demands, meeting customers, buyers and a lot more. This season Medical Fair India integrates FTR4H (Future For Health) platform where healthcare technology startups can participate. Medhoop also plays a critical role of bringing these startups to forefront, connecting them with industry, prospective customers, investors and a lot more. Among other things, we are organising mentorship hours for startups. So there is a lot for startups to gain.