Delhi based UberHealth is launching preventive healthcare packages for senior citizens, targeting their next-of-kin as customers. The packages include medical tests and checkups, and also include transportation, scheduling appointments, processing paper work at hospitals, and uploading the reports online for the customers to check.
The company was founded by Ajay Pal Singh, Kamal Aggarwal, Ishan Vats Jha, and is self-financed.
Services: Some of the services that Uberhealth incorporates are already being provided by other companies: BookMydoctor and Practo help book appointments with doctors, and apps like Kare4you claim to help avoid queues in hospitals, ensuring consultation in 30 minutes. Uberhealth tried to reduce the complexity for a buyer by combining the services into a single package and adding logistics to it, which is particularly necessary for the elderly: pick-up and drop, finding the right doctor, scheduling appointments, consultation for second opinion, processing paper work at hospitals/ labs, maintaining health records and billing, arranging home visits if required, generating test reports and sharing it online with the benefactor. UberHealth generates and uploads reports of the tests and shares it with the client, along with description in layman’s language. In particular, the company is targeting the Non Resident Indian market.
Pricing: The service charge starts from $30 (approximately Rs.1,800 onwards) per visit. It includes booking an appointment, transportation, doctor’s fee, uploading reports and sharing it. The amount will vary depending on cost of medicines and tests, doctor’s fee etc. The average yearly charges according to the company’s website is between $200 to $500, i.e. Rs 12,000 to Rs.30,000, including service charges. UberHealth’s revenue comes from service fee charged to customers and commissions from hospitals and diagnostic labs.
Go-to-market: The services are available in Delhi, NCR and Ludhiana where they have partnered with Diana Medical College, Apollo and Fortis. UberHealth has approached more multi-speciality healthcare chains, doctors and diagnostic labs. Singh claims they haven’t been turned down yet, as both parties benefit from this model. For transport, UberHealth has tied up with Taxi Pixi’s cab service. The company’s marketing activities revolve around social media and search engine marketing, ads at NRI events, email campaigns and promotions.
Expansion: UberHealth plans to expand to Hyderabad and Jalandhar first, and then into Tier 1 cities by August. They intend to add more online services by October, and expand into 20 major cities by December 2014.
Challenges it may face
- Their’s is purely a preventive healthcare service, not designed for emergencies- which is the biggest concern in the area of senior citizens’ healthcare.
- In the healthcare industry, it takes a while for people to gain confidence in a new brand. In India, people tend to question the reliability of doctors and necessity of medical tests. Singh comments that their representatives will keep an eye on the prescribed tests, and if they find any signs of malpractice, the hospital or lab will be removed from UberHealth’s list. He adds that clients are encouraged to take a second opinion too. However, UberHealth’s revenue model includes commission from hospitals and diagnostic labs- this may not help in gaining easy trust.
- Indian families often prefer doctors they’ve known for a while. If the preferred doctor’s name is not on UberHealth’s list, the service may not seem attractive to the parent.