Mobile and internet technologies are now being seen as the means to address India’s deficit of doctors, through innovations in technology and tele-medicine. Two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Jaideep Singh and Vivek Bansal, have come up with an innovative idea in this direction. The duo have set up a health tech startup that offers instant paid video consultation with leading doctors and an option to ask a free question from them; their query is answered within 48 hours. Their venture, called seeDoc, was formally launched in March this year and till now, their fast growing app has registered over 300,000 downloads, 100,000 Q&As and over 10,000 video consults.
Globally, digital health startups attracted $5.8 billion (roughly Rs 39,241 crore) in funding in 2015. Indian health tech space is witnessing the fastest traction in the last one decade. Vivek tells FE: “seeDoc is an app that focuses on high quality service and employs India’s leading doctors and specialists from top institutions with years of experience in general medicine, cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, and other key areas.”
Vivek brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, operational and executive management experience in building technology businesses globally. He is also the founder of Plus Ventures, which is an early stage investment firm focused on technology enabled products and services in sectors like internet, mobile and consumer services.
Origin of the idea
Describing the startup’s journey to the market place, Vivek says, “My co-founder, Jaideep Singh and I came up with the idea, because upon our return from the US we found that access to high quality medical care was completely broken in India despite the fact that there are close to 1 million medical doctors here. We concluded that due to the lack of quality primary health care services in the country, there is an urgent need for a transparent and trustworthy mechanism that is easily accessible and affordable.
Combining together technology, years of medical experience and an intelligent diagnosis procedure, seeDoc was created with a mission to provide a convenient, high quality, and transparent medical service that is easy to access from the comfort of your home or office.
How is it different from other offerings? Vivek retorts: “seeDoc is not only a video consultation platform, but a complete medical service company. Through the use of cutting edge technology such as low bandwidth video-audio, artificial intelligence, and expert systems, seeDoc provides a very high quality of service and consult. Also by integrating with thousands of service providers nationwide, seeDoc provides a lot of convenience to patients, so that you don’t need to leave your home at all.”
From doctor’s consults, lab tests, medicines, followups until feeling well—if seeDoc has its way, you’ll never need to leave your home. “The service is highly differentiated by its usefulness and uniqueness, and all our user reviews reaffirm this fact. We aim to scale this service out to every Indian, and make quality primary healthcare service accessible and affordable to all. Currently our highly qualified and experienced doctors are available 7 days a week from 8 am to 10 pm, and will soon be available 24 hours as urgent medical care is on our priority list,” says Vivek, who holds a Masters degree in computer science from Kansas State University and a BE degree in computer science from MS University.
Making it happen
Talking about the startup’s funding, Vivek says, “We are backed by venture capitalists (VCs) as our founders have been VCs investing in notable companies in the US and in India. Our leadership team consists of successful entrepreneurs/VCs who have established and invested in highly lucrative technology businesses and created over $2 billion of value.”
Vivek, who also worked at NEC Research Laboratories, where he was part of the R&D team whose efforts led to the very inception of broadband and internet technology, says: “We are currently focusing on providing an exceptional user experience and are finding that users nationwide are flocking to the service. Users can either opt for an instant paid video consultation or ask a free question from our leading doctors which gets answered within 48 hours. We charge a standard fee of R400 from our users for our instant video consultation. In a market worth over $25 billion of revenue and growing at a CAGR of 15%, seeDoc is already the No. 1 video consultation company in India and plans to rapidly expand its leadership in this space in years to come and as users migrate towards technology enabled solutions that are highly convenient, of the highest quality, and trustworthy.”
Business success so far
Currently, seeDoc has around 6 lakh users on the app. Out of these, more than 2 lakh users have opted for one of its services like instantly video consulting a doctor, asking a question from doctors or taking the diabetes assessment test. “We have been steady at an average of 500 daily video consults. In total, our video consults have grown 4.5 times (from 10,000 to 45,000) as the team of doctors and specialists has grown rapidly,” he informs.
The health startup has also strengthened its offline footprint in the past one month in Delhi NCR by partnering with leading labs and chemists like Metropolis Diagnostics, SRL Diagnostics, Religare and more; thus providing complete medical consultation services to the users. “We are a highly trusted app with a rating of 4.3 on the Play Store.”
Going forward, seeDoc intends to provide video consultations nationwide, and have market leadership with over
500 video consults per day and over 45,000 video consults completed. In the near future, it plans to expand rapidly across multiple cities as the startup scales up its services “and also ensure that patients who need physical consultations or allied services like medicines or lab tests are not left out.”
The health startup has tied-up with leading providers of healthcare services in the country like labs, chemists etc to provide quality medical services from the convenience of their smartphone. “We also aim to further strengthen the team and grow our panel of doctors in the coming months, along with intelligent marketing strategies that clearly help patients understand the value that seeDoc brings to them,” Vivek summarises.