Article: Common Digital Platform for Healthcare Service Providers
Rahul Aggarwal and Ravi Chandra, Co-Founders, MedMap explain how bringing all stakeholders of healthcare on one digital platform can contribute to reducing outpatient expenses
Over the past 10 Years, smartphones and mobile internet have changed the way we do things and the way we communicate with each other. This digital revolution has transformed many sectors in India including healthcare. More than a hundred companies are developing new mobile technologies that offer better healthcare choices to the consumer. While many aspects of healthcare are being addressed, neither the new age digital companies nor the traditional insurance companies have addressed one aspect of healthcare which is pinching the common man every day. It is the rising cost of Out Patient Department (OPD) healthcare services. Among the many reasons, the most important are the lack of an integrated digital platform to deliver the services and substantial amount of data required to arrive at risk based pricing.
We have developed an integrated healthcare platform backed by scalable technology with an objective to cut down the OPD cost and bring all the elements of healthcare like doctors, pharmacies, labs, wellness centres, online consultations, online purchase of medicines, discovery of medical services etc., on one platform – MedMap. We are now enabling thousands of offline care providers like pharmacies to accept payments through MedMap wallet powered by Yes Bank and all the transactions are being recorded in real time. The data being captured over a period of time will enable insurers with capability to cover OPD expenses, thus bringing down the healthcare cost for the consumer.
With the exponential growth of wallet transactions in India, we have observed comparatively less friction in enabling cashless payments across our network of care providers. However, challenges are being faced due to reasons like internet unavailability at billing counters, lack of mobile network in the basements etc. We have developed a range of solutions within the app to address most of the cases, enabling users to make successful transactions using Wallets, Cards, NetBanking or UPI. Consumers today are able to use MedMap to make payments using offline OTP (One Time Password) at many places like Axiss Dental, EyeQ Hospital, Cygnus Hospital and many more care providers across the country.
The ready availability of information has empowered the consumer and is changing the buying behaviour. The consumer wants a service that helps, educates with relevant information and is time and cost efficient. Healthcare is not a discretionary purchase and is need driven. The best of discounts and offers would not affect healthcare consumer traffic unless the need has arisen. Therefore connecting with the consumer at the right time becomes one of the important factors for success. To address this, our approach has been to start by offering our services to the corporate sector; a sector that wants to provide all conveniences to its time constrained employees, a sector that needs everything on the go, integrated on a single platform. That’s where our offering, MedMap, comes handy. All your healthcare needs are fulfilled by a single platform, by the best healthcare providers nearest to you, at special prices, allowing you to do cashless transactions and helping you build your health record seamlessly.
From laying the basic specifications and requirements for developing the product to publishing the latest version of the app with integration of wallets like Mobikwik, Freecharge, PayU, etc., we have come across a long journey of understanding consumer requirements and adapting to rapidly changing technology. Besides enabling the consumers to find all types and specialisations of trusted healthcare providers in and around their location, MedMap lets the consumer to run a background check before trusting a provider by bringing about relevant and authentic information about each provider and the services offered by them. As a secure and dedicated healthcare wallet service, MedMap spares its users, the pain of managing medical bills and prescriptions by providing an in-app storage for saving all such records and all of this without the hassle of adding another password to your memory list.
We have crossed our first milestone of onboarding 3000 care providers in Delhi NCR, where we are operational at the moment, and are constantly building our network every day. Within two months of formally launching our services we have enrolled more than 50 corporates standing at 20,000+ active users in NCR region as of today.
The government’s move to withdraw INR 500 and INR 1000 notes has come as a bonanza to all payment solutions startups. At the same time, does demonetisation really switch one of the most cash intensive economies in the world to cashless mode? Are all these startups solving merchant problems at this hour of need? The answer is a big NO. There are still many barriers like poor internet penetration compared to the size of smartphone market. Even Point-of-Sale terminals penetration in India is among the lowest in the world. The most important barrier is millions of consumers adapting to the change while the most used way of cash payment is taken away suddenly.
Overcoming all these barriers takes time and with the push given by the government, we are all witnessing rapid transformation in every sector. Being a closed ecosystem for only corporates, we have received many requests from several healthcare providers to create wallets for their patients to enable them for cashless transactions. We have created a special QR code valid for limited time for all our care providers using which retail patients can download and use MedMap wallet. Along with many startups in various industries, we are playing our role in healthcare creating new business models to be part of India’s Digital Transformation journey.
Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.