In 2012, The Times of India’s augmented reality app Alive made the headlines with its unique feature to bring the newspaper picture alive. With the app, one could scan across any article in the paper for the related video. It was downloaded 2,50,000 times, leading to 3,00,000 augmentation views on a single day.
In the past five years, the app has evolved immensely. Today, it allows users to click/scan any product, logo image or newspaper ad and let the app discover similar items and also get the option to buy selected items online.
It is a joint venture between Times Internet and Adstuck Consulting.
Last year, Adstuck Consulting was in the news again. It took a challenge to provide free internet to two-thirds of the world population.
The company created an app, titled Mojo, on Android and iOS, as well as for browser platforms like Mac, Windows and Linux which allows users to use different apps and in exchange, these brands provide free data to users. It was based on the concept of ReverseData.
The consulting group has now sold the app for $3.5 million to Yeahmobi, a Chinese Unicorn in digital marketing.
Kundan Srivastava (41), a graduate in BE from Delhi College of Engineering, and IIT-Madras alumni Abhishek Shankar (32) are the two men behind these technologies.
It offers service in six categories – cancer care, cardiology, aesthetic medicine, dentistry, orthopaedics and reproductive medicine.
The platform claims to list the best-in-class hospitals, their rates and availability for every medical procedure.
Idea came from personal experience
Srivastava and Shankar decided to venture into this sector because of what they witnessed personally.
One of Shankar’s relatives (his uncle) needed serious medical attention and was airlifted to Singapore. On the trip, his uncle faced the language challenge as he and his attendant, Shankar’s aunt, could not speak any language except Indian vernaculars. Owing to the language barrier, they failed to explain the medical issue and they also faced challenges in making accommodation and other arrangements.
Shankar observed that the difficulties and issues his relatives faced in Singapore was not limited to that country but faced by patients across the world who had moved to other countries for medical treatment.
Around 2,00,000 foreign patients visit India on medical visa and they face difficulties while touring the country.
“In India, there is a lot of rigidity and inefficiency in medical delivery. Besides, the foreign patients are also duped by middlemen. There’s no transparency in the system; owing to this, the patients are charged exorbitant prices at hospitals,” said Shankar, Cofounder, Heealthy.
Srivastava and Shankar decided to address these challenges and build a transparent system which could help patients get the best of medical facilities at the most affordable price.
“We have built a marketplace model of hospitals, where patients (users) get the option to choose the most affordable service. We are the Flipkart of medical service,” said Shankar.
Flipkart of medical service
He explains that the platform has built a review system based on the trust score of hospitals and doctors which the patients can choose from. It has a team of 29 people, which manage foreign patients.
The medical tourism platform has around six in-house doctors who connect with patients and check their medical history. After the in-house diagnosis, the doctors prepare a report which explains what type of medical treatment or surgery the patient needs.
Heealthy then takes the case to a particular doctor or a hospital and connects them with the patient. The platform remains at the centre of all three parties and does price negotiation on behalf of the patients, in case of medical surgery.
“We connect patients, hospitals and doctors via our platform. Besides, we also build the whole itinerary of patients and manage their stay, transfer, food and medical discussions. Once done with the treatment they are taken care of post-procedure. Even when they fly back, we keep their conversation flowing with doctors till they are healed completely,” explains Srivastava.
Heealthy has tied up with 38 hospitals, including Fortis, Medanta, Apollo, Columbia Asia and others.
“We have put everything on the platform. The price, the quotes, the actual bills and even conversations we have with stakeholders. We have made sure the customer never gets duped. All dealings with hotels, cabs, hospitals, labs and chemists are taken care of and checked with our quality team. We compare the bills with previous bills. We are also arranging language training. It gives the right tools to make the patient feel at home,” explained Srivastava.
The company is in the initial stage, but is looking to keep an upper ceiling of 30 patients per month.
In the second month of operation, the company claims to clock revenue of Rs 15 lakh.
“They buy packages from us and we take care of their complete medical travel. We charge 20 per cent over and above their total spend. We have a projection of $2 million in the year ending 2017-18,” said Srivastava.
In October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth $3 billion. It is projected to grow to $7-8 billion by 2020.
“We want to take care of 500 high value patients a month through our managed services. These numbers can fetch around Rs 180 crore annual revenue with a net profit of Rs 36 crore,” said Srivastava.
“The company is focusing on technology to make search better. We are making sure our patients get the best treatment while they are here.”
Besides Heealthy, there are other platforms such Frankit, Surgico and PlanMyMedicalTrip that work on the same lines.