Nikhil Baheti, Saida Dhanavath and Shreyans Mehta collaborated for a startup MedCords in the year 2017. The Kota, Rajasthan based startup is related to HealthTech and it works to securely stores medical records and provides easy access to them to anyone in need and demands. They like an entrepreneur decided to take on the challenge and set out to disrupt the healthcare space in India.
The co-founder of MedCords says, "We wanted to build an entire ecosystem and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to solve the health care problems in our country. However, when we started our research, we realised there was no single place where all the historical health records of an individual were available."
The reason that made the three come together is their personal experiences with inefficient healthcare services.
Saida Dhanavath, an MTech in computer science from IIT Bombay worked with Druva earlier. While, Shreyans is an engineer from MIT Manipal, and previously worked with Hero MotoCorp and IndiaReads.com. Nikhil is a computer engineer graduated from BITS Pilani and has worked with Oracle and Druva.
How they started:
When Shreyans’ father who is a doctor, suffered a slipped disc, it hampered his movement to reach his patients. He says, “At that time, we thought of making use of technology and we visited around 12 villages to help them with video consultation using Skype. We helped around 2,500 patients consult with my father in the first visit, and then 2,000 more came for a follow-up consultation, and they were very satisfied.”
Shreyans says, “The initial solution was very operational intensive, and we were not able to succeed and focused on making it more technology-enabled. We did more research, and after extensively travelling in rural areas, we were finally able to pinpoint the major challenges, and started building MedCords.”
“More than 85 per cent of people in India do not have their medical records organised, and at one place. Also, about 80 per cent people living in villages have to travel more than 60 km for a consultation,” says Shreyans.
“Since all of us saw the healthcare scenario closely, and after extensive research for three years across 800 villages of Rajasthan, MP, UP and Bihar where we visited various CHCs, PHCs, hospitals and interacted with thousands of people, and after two failed pilots, we identified major challenges with regard to healthcare and began developing MedCords in late 2016. We went live in May 2017,” added the co-founder.
Shreyans while explaining his challenges says, “The biggest challenges we faced initially was that there were no benchmarks to follow, and most of the people in rural areas either did not have smartphones or they had a very limited know-how of how to operate them, but they were in dire need of our solution.”
Their work process:
People with a phone connection can easily access the cloud-based platform, “People who do not have a smartphone can avail the services through local pharmacies who use the “MedCords for Pharmacy App,” where they get their health profile digitised and can also take consultations.” It runs on a web application for doctors and hospitals. On the app, they can see patients' health records, and the patient does not need to carry older records or files. Only patient's consent is required to see the records. In another app, MedCords Lite, patients can view records and tag doctors whom they want to share their records with.
“While we use the best encryption standards on our servers for records, we focus on providing very granular rights on patient data. And this entirely happens without our patients having to understand this,” explains Shreyans.
“We are also working on a full featured DIY app, which will be for users who can operate it easily. Our data science platform securely organises the medical data of every patient and streamlines medical information about the patient in order to help the doctor efficiently understand and reduce any misdiagnosis. This also reduces the burden of the patient to tell everything to the doctor. The entire technology is in-house,” says Shreyans.
Adds the man behind the startup, “We are growing organically with 30,000 patients every month. Even the doctors on board with us are seeing the ecosystem’s popularity among the patients."
How they collect revenue:
For digital records, the revenue model of MedCords will be a subscription fee. While a facilitation fee for consultations. Rajasthan Government’s iStart initiative supports this project.
"The government under the leadership of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been providing great support to startups. We got a lot of help from the Department of Information Technology and Communications. The work is happening very fast and the response time is very quick. The iStart programme is always there to support the startups. Through iNest, we are also getting access to co-working spaces in cities like Kota and Udaipur as well. We are also one of the beneficiaries of BhamaShah Technofund,” says Shreyans.
The online healthcare market is estimated to raise over $42 billion in the coming years. However, mostly the present online platforms provide services like booking appointments, facilitating video chats, telemedicine and drug delivery also only in urban areas.