May 16, 2016

5 DO's for every telemedicine startup

Tele medicine wiki

It was 2:23 am when I received a call on our helpline from Ms Renu (name changed) putting up in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Her problem was a minor itching on her breast and that problem gave birth to bigger tensions the moment she surfed the internet and read about breast cancer from various links available on Google. She was paranoid and her voice was aching with pain mixed with worries for her future. Being an entrepreneur running a telemedicine startup, I could pacify her over call before taking down the details such as her age, name, region, current medication (if any) and duration of the problem.

Upon my declaration as an assistant to an experienced homeopath, she got confused and her common questions started revolving around that awkward timing for the pitched consultation with a registered homeopath while focussing on the disease which might not be there at all. For her good, it took me good 3 minutes to convince her to talk to our homeopath at that moment only. Without any delay, our experienced healer Dr Rashi was at the disposal of Ms Renu (name changed). Dr Rashi studied the patient well while talking to her and e-prescribed the best German homeopathy medicines of the make of Dr Reckeweg to control itching on her breast along with a follow-up date falling after 15 days of the date of consultation.

After 15 days, we got a call from Ms Renu for the due follow up and Dr Rashi got connected to the patient. She was feeling better with those homeopathic medicines. Soon she was also advised to undergo the tests as required for the detection of breast cancer. Later, their results were in favor of the patient as predicted by Dr Rashi on day 1.

Any telemedicine startup in today's time involves actions/reactions revolving around the above-mentioned flow more or less. Further, this gives rise to the below-mentioned DOs for the betterment of the telemedicine setups in homeopathy or any other category for that matter:-

Identification of the true customer
Identify your customer on the basis of predefined metrics. For some domains, their customer is the one who has just made one transaction on the platform. For the other, it can be anyone who buys the medicine as per the prescription shared by their doctor.

Trained, trustworthy and reputed doctors on board
Ever seen a successful hospital with doctors having only a couple of years of experience? Then how can anyone think of running a virtual hospital with the deficiency of good & reputed doctors? Moreover, every great hospital has a highly successful doctor who pulls the maximum crowd towards to registration desk of the hospital. Fr eg: Dr Naresh Trehan, who was in Escorts before becoming the founder chairman of Medanta - The Medicity. In Alternacare, Dr. AK Gupta is one big magnet for all the iron nails personified as potential customers in this statement!
Every telemedicine startup must handhold the doctors while training them on the guidelines containing strict some DOs and DONTs while talking to the patients.

Know where your potential customer hails from and spends max time on
The initial 3K-5K calls shall tell you clearly where your potential market lies. Then search all the possible mediums through which those customers can be reached out with. Looking for the mediums/places where your potential customer spends the max time at should take the priority. Most of the alternative healthcare startups know that their potential customer is the one who mostly reside in tier 2/3 cities, visits the homeopathic pharmacies, health stores, healthy food outlets. Reads about chronic ailments which can't be cured through allopathy, etc.

Security of details/data of the customer
Though the term data is a simple four lettered word but it has maximum to do with your business. This not only can carve out various ways to generate revenue by associating with pharma companies but can also predict about the major breakouts using learnings from the EMRs and EHRs. Not only data can bring out positive results for the company but its misuse can also invite legal notices. Hence, the all the data must be highly secure and the doctor/patient consultation must be discrete to the non-doctors in the panel/company.

Constant push follow-ups with your customers
India is a country where not more than 1% people do any physical activities to keep themselves fit and healthy. This clearly shows how Indians keep their health after everything else on their priority list. The study suggests that most of the patients in India knock the door of a doctor when their situation becomes critical. Hence, running a startup in digital healthcare and expecting the return of your customers for follow-ups might not hold true. Firstly "Healthcare", secondly "Digital" - definitely not a good combination for Indians. Hence, a proper hand holding is required while consulting and further treating the patients digitally via any method.
Awaiting your valuable views on this post!


About the AuthorAbhishek Dwivedi@adwivedi
Abhishek Dwivedi is an entreprneur. and a growth hacker, he  is a positive individual with a holistic view of running a startup from ideation stage.

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