Healthians is a diagnostics service which collects samples from the doorstep.
By Deepsekhar Choudhury
You may want to get a preventive health check-up done every year, but the high cost of medical tests keeps you away. Help is at hand with Healthians, a healthtech startup that promises diagnostic tests at rates much cheaper than that charged by private hospitals or diagnostics chains. It has a fleet of phlebotomists on call to collect samples from the patient’s home, which are then tested at NABL-certified labs. After the report is generated, Healthians also offers a free doctor consultation.
The most popular lab test package includes liver, kidney and thyroid tests for Rs. 999. The average package costs about Rs. 1,600. Deepak Sahni, who founded Healthians in 2015, says that the tests are up to 50% cheaper than what is offered at diagnostics labs generally. This has been made possible by what he calls ‘eliminating the middlemen’.
Sahni, a healthcare industry veteran who has worked on digitally integrating hospitals, doctors and clinics, says rather than investing money in building real estate by establishing labs, he went with an asset light model which utilises unused capacities of existing labs. The NABL-accredited labs are branded as Healthians, infrastructure is upgraded and the company’s own pathologists are stationed in them. Its mobile app tells the customer what is happening with the sample at each point. Even the temperature at which the sample is stored during transportation is communicated through an app to ensure transparency and reliability.
According to Sahni, the model cannot be replicated by legacy players with brick-and-mortar collection centres as they work on a B2B franchising model. He says that even though some of the bigger players offer a doorstep collection service, they charge an extra Rs. 100-150 for the same and keep a check on the number of such customers. Most diagnostics companies are restricted to a certain region as they have to set up a new lab from scratch which costs over Rs. 4 crore.
“It takes others 20 years to have 60-70 labs, while we had 20 in four years and we will have 40 next year,” he adds.
From just operating in Delhi for the first two years, Healthians has expanded its presence into 32 cities. In the last three years, its revenue run rate has grown from Rs. 7 crore to Rs. 35 crore. The main focus of the company is the preventable tests market, which accounts for 55% of its consumer base. Apart from targetting the Rs. 35,000 crore pathology market populated by chronically ill patients, he sees an extra 20% leg-room for the preventable segment.
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures was an early backer of Healthians. Recently, it mopped up Rs. 85 crore from a Series B funding round led by Japan-based DG Incubation and DG Daiwa Ventures. Other investors included Kotak PE, Trifecta, Tokio Marine and Singapore-based fund Mistletoe. In previous rounds, it had raised about Rs. 70 crore.