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How Healthtech Startup Mykare Health Is Uplifting Patient Experience And Empowering Small, Medium Hospitals

SUMMARY

Digital health startup Mykare Health provides a suite of hassle free services to patients seeking treatments and elective surgeries at transparent pricing, along with seamless experience and quality care

Cofounder of Mykare Health, Senu Sam, says that he is envisioning to build India's largest asset-light affordable hospital network with Mykare Health

Currently, Mykare Health is operational in 12 South Indian cities including Chennai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore , Madurai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Mysore, Pune, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram

The Indian healthcare landscape presents a myriad of challenges, including the scarcity of affordable services, accessibility and low insurance penetration.

According to a report published by the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), insurance penetration remains dismally low at 37%, despite the government’s efforts to promote universal health coverage. While the national health insurance scheme, PM-JAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana), plans to cover the bottom 40% of India’s population, there is a catch.

The report further suggested that the government-sponsored schemes primarily target the lowest income groups, leaving a significant portion of the underserved middle class to face the highest burden of Out-of-Pocket Expenditures (OOPE) on healthcare.

“High healthcare costs and limited access to quality treatment impact low and middle-income groups in India.Transparency issues, operational inefficiencies, fragmented patient experience and overall shortcomings in delivering quality care also lead to treatment delays,” said Senu Sam, founder of Kochi-based healthtech startup Mykare Health. 

Further, he noted that small and medium-sized hospitals and surgeons could play a vital role in offering affordable elective surgeries to lower-income groups. However, the lack of visibility, experience, and awareness of these hospitals and their resources hinders their utilisation.

Before starting his venture in 2022, Sam held leadership positions at premium hospitals like Apollo and Gleneagles Global  for over 12 years. From his work experience, he knew how challenging surgeries could be for unprepared and underserved patients struggling to find the best possible procedures at pocket-friendly pricing.

However, a personal experience compelled him to address these issues head-on. “When my father had to be admitted for surgery, I realised the person’s pain undergoing the entire journey. From finding a suitable hospital, coordinating with it and waiting for days, or even months, for surgery appointments can be tough,” he recalled.

To help improve patient experience, access and outcomes, Sam teamed up with techies Rahmathulla T.M. and Joash Philipose to design a comprehensive framework ranging from initial consultation to postoperative care at home after discharge.

Mykare Health primarily helps in researching and panelling specialist doctors and quality hospitals, zero cost EMI, end-to-end operational support for prompt and reliable healthcare services. Its core focus is planning and managing elective surgeries across major disciplines, including orthopaedic and vascular care, urology, proctology, laparoscopic procedures, ophthalmology and cosmetic surgery. 

Mykare Health operates at a hyperlocal level in Tier 1 and 2 cities in South India. “About 99% of our patients are locals, mostly within the radius of 10 Km of network hospitals. However, we also cater to inter-city/town patients,” explained Sam. Currently, Mykare Health is operational in 12 Indian cities, including Pune, Kochi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. 

Within a year of its launch, the platform had a network of 100+ hospitals in place and 4.5K+ beds. It has now grown to a 75-strong team, managed 3.1K+ surgeries and 3.5K+ preventive health check-ups and catered to 85K+ users. 

The startup operates an asset-light model and shares revenue with partners. In June 2023, the startup raised $2.01 Mn seed funding from investors including OnDeck ODX – US, Avaana Seed, Huddle, Endurance Capital, F Health, Stanford Angels and Phoenix Angels and angel investors including Ajit Mohan (former MD, Meta India), Nitish Mittersain (joint MD, Nazara Technologies) and  Arjun Vaidya (founder, Dr. Vaidya’s) among others.

Sam said that the freshly raised capital will be utilised towards enhancing the overall patient experience and strengthening its talent acquisition efforts.

How Healthtech Startup Mykare Health Is Uplifting Patient Experience And Empowering Small, Medium Hospitals

How Mykare Health’s Tech Stack Drives Quality, Accessibility & Better Patient Experience 

The pandemic had a few hard lessons for the healthcare industry, especially regarding the critical importance of expanding healthcare services minus all barriers. Although Mykare Health was born in the thick of it, setting up the business had never been a cakewalk for the founding team. 

“I pitched my maiden venture (Mykare Health) to 80 investors or so, but all of them rejected it,” he recalled. Meanwhile, he had an opportunity to shift to the UK but decided to stay back and build his company here, which has a valuation of INR 100 Cr, the founder claimed. 

Unlike other players, Mykare Health has developed a stringent vetting process for onboarding specialist doctors and hospitals. For onboarding the doctors, the in-house team initially reviews their qualifications and then runs a peer review for further validation. It also checks patient reviews posted online and then onboards the doctors  only after they meet every criterion. 

For onboarding hospitals, their registration documents and online feedback are examined and peer-reviewed. Additionally, Mykare Health’s team has set 30 parameters for the hospitals that are onboarded to ensure they offer quality care. Some of the parameters include National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare (NABH) certified hospitals, prompt and qualified support service among others.

Besides the treatment, a patient can also expect to save 20-30% on their surgery expenses and postoperative care by planning through Mykare Health. Sam also claims that Mykare Health has tied up with 10+ NBFCs and fintech platforms to provide a variety of medical loans to help users.

Additionally, optimising current healthcare resources available at Mykare Health’s network hospitals can also bring down costs and wait time. This requires an efficient scheduling protocol for seamless co-ordination between clinics/OPDs, ORs and surgeons’ slots, maximising productivity and OR utilisation.     

Mykare Health has developed all its tech tools in-house, including an AI-driven auto-updated dashboard and real-time updates. 

Sam said that the entire elective surgery journey is unorganised and broken, right from preoperative consultation, price transparency to postoperative support. In contrast, Mykare Health’s end-to-end platform offers personalised and standardised care for patients looking for affordable and best-quality surgical care. 

How Healthtech Startup Mykare Health Is Uplifting Patient Experience And Empowering Small, Medium Hospitals

Will Small & Medium Hospitals Script A New Success Story For Mykare Health?

In a digital-first ecosystem, transformative digital health  driven by maximum resource utilisation and the best possible outcomes is expected to cover the entire care continuum. Moreover, healthcare delivery won’t be merely episodic, confined within the medical facilities. Simply put, the value proposition of new-age healthcare startups is to make 24×7 quality care affordable and accessible, as demonstrated by Mykare Health.

But Mykare Health is not the only player in this space. Recently, there has been a surge in tech-driven healthcare startups providing personalised care for patients undergoing elective (non-emergency) surgeries. All of them offer preoperative planning and postoperative support and are quickly gaining traction due to their broad-spectrum convenience. 

Out of this bunch, Gurugram-based Pristyn Care has already joined the coveted unicorn club (2021). Others like Medfin and AyuHealth and its ilk offer single or multi-speciality assistance to ensure a hassle-free patient throughout the journey.  

Aware of the crowded market, Mykare Health has doubled down on serving medical travellers  from cross border seeking affordable healthcare in India and connecting them to small and medium and specialised  hospitals to generate a consistent revenue flow. 

Based on the startup’s research, it has been found that only 10% of the top hospitals in India attract the majority of international patients, while the remaining patients seek affordable yet quality care elsewhere. Sam claims that Mykare Health’s strong vetting process can help foreign patients find highly skilled doctors and NABH accredited facilities, making medical care about 40-50% less expensive than high-cost hospitals. 

Although it did not disclose the name of the country, the startup claimed that it has already identified touchpoints to onboard medical travellers from a neighbouring country and aims to tap a significant number of medical travellers from South Asia in the near future. 

This can be a robust revenue channel, to say the least. A recent FICCI report shows the country received 6.5 Lakh medical tourists in 2022 despite the pandemic challenges. In April 2023, Shripad Naik, the union minister of state for tourism and ports & shipping, also stated that more than 1.4 Mn medical tourists visited India in the past year, making it a leading destination for medical tourism.     

Despite India’s potential in medical travel , most small and medium hospitals still struggle to attract International patients, although they have teams of skilled and experienced doctors across multiple disciplines, according to Sam. Therefore, a platform optimising cost and care for planned surgeries and connecting global patients with suitable medical facilities and doctors can be a win-win for all.  

Sam will focus on growing Mykare Health’s operations in southern India this year to move closer to his vision and will expand to northern India. “Other industries like fintech and ecommerce have gone way ahead compared to healthcare, which needs empathy and strategy for expansion and profitability,” he said. 

Can Mykare Health and its ilk push the envelope in elective surgery by revolutionising patient experience and empowering mid-to-small medical facilities? As an industry expert said, it is about making affordable quality care a primary objective. When that is done, and successful execution follows, the country’s overall healthtech market size may soon go north from $21 Bn in 2025 and hit $50 Bn by 2033.   

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