In this unprecedented health care crisis caused by Covid-19, hospitals across India faced multiple challenges of access, safety, supply chain logistics and financial stress, all this resulted in huge patient loads and fatalities, heavy financial losses and a sharp decline in revenues. Elective procedures were cancelled or postponed to prioritise hospital capacity, while patients limited hospital visits because of concerns about potential exposure to infections. Many of them died from the lack of care for non-Covid diseases. There were layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts to contain costs and maintain financial viability. The second wave led to an even bigger, people have learnt their lessons from the pandemic and have started implementing policies which could redefine the way health care is managed and patients are cared for. Similarly Navia Life Care, a health care startup aims to address a major issue of information imbalance, i.e. lack of complex and perceptive information made available to different players in the healthcare ecosystem. This includes lack of availability of electronic medical records for easy access by patients and doctors, or view on prescription patterns for pharma, or even smaller scale issues such as unavailability of waiting times in OPDs for patients or information about drug availabilities at their nearest drugstore, especially after seeing the covid crisis. Financial Express Online caught up with Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder of Navia Life Care to discuss the healthcare start-up ecosystem in India and more. Excerpts:
How did this idea of the startup pop up? What was the inspiration behind this idea?
Navia Life Care was started by Kunal Kishore Dhawan and Gaurav Gupta in 2016. Prior to starting Navia, they worked together on a couple of pharma consulting projects, having a background in healthcare and life sciences. Coming from families with chronic disease patients, and having studied and worked in the field, starting a company in the healthcare industry was a natural decision while making a difference to the ecosystem was a collective passion. More recently, Nupur Khandelwal joined Navia as a co-founder and has been an integral part of the functioning of the company since.
Would you like to explain your business and industry ecosystem in India – how are different companies solving different needs, explain the scenario in B2B and B2C?
The simplicity of our products is our key differentiator. The founders have closely been working with the healthcare ecosystem for years together now. The main reason for the failure of products in this industry is the complexity of the product, the expectation of behavior change, and the timing. We have worked on two of the three factors and we believe the time is just right currently. Our products are very simple for the doctors to use, there is no change of behavior required by the doctor or other stakeholders. Our voice assistant for doctors is so simple to use that doctors can create prescriptions easily. The second key differentiator is our innovative business model – we keep ourselves lean with a focus on exponential growth keeping unit economics as the focus. To do this, we are increasingly looking at expansion through partnerships, instead of being feet-on-street heavy. Partnerships with key players in the ecosystem not only increases our reach but also gives our solution gravitas and credibility in the industry.
What according to you is the scope of health-tech service in India?
Healthcare in India has always been an industry with ample opportunities, and this covid times this sector has witnessed massive growth.
Technology can help in education, better care delivery, improved outcomes, and making patients and doctors aware of better lifestyle choices. In more ways than one, technology has proved to be the most effective way to transform the healthcare industry in India.
India has a large patient population to cater to and an equally large number of healthcare workers, each having a role to play in the implementation of technology to improve access to quality healthcare. Also, with the increasing penetration of health insurance, both government and private organizations are bringing the need for technology to the forefront, which entrepreneurs are always keen to leverage.
The scope is huge and the impact we can make using technology in people’s lives is also very huge.
What type of growth, Navia Life Care registered during this phase?
We at Navia, were very quick in understanding the changing needs of the doctors and patients due to the lockdown and other restrictions because of COVID-19. Navia has emerged as a leading telemedicine and EMR company which helped, and we received a stellar response from both doctors and patients who actively took up the use of Navia’s products which helped them in continued medical care during these difficult times. We are now present in more than 400 cities with more than 8000 doctors on the platform. We have thousands of patients who are being benefited from the platform on a daily basis.
How Navia Life Care being a health player is helping govt/people in this unexpected awful second wave of COVID-19
Our team at Navia is helping doctors and patients 24/7 to the best of its capabilities. Research shows that early intervention and close monitoring can help avoiding criticality of a Covid-19 patient, to help with this problem, we have created a Curated Panel of Expert Doctors on our app called “Navia for Patients” and on a web platform where patients can consult Expert Covid Specialists for early intervention by Video Consultation. A few doctors on our panel are even treating the patients for free. Web at naviasmart.health/covid19 and App at bit.ly/NaviaHealthManager
Is there any plan to enter new verticals too?
Navia has an ambitious vision for itself to achieve by 2025, we wish to enable more than 250 thousand doctors and over 200 million patients in over 10 countries by our digital health platforms. We envision an ecosystem where patient care and patient outcomes are the primary objectives and information is available to all the stakeholders to achieve these objectives. We see us playing a central role in this ecosystem by enabling data generation and data sharing among these stakeholders.
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