“In 2012, when I was living in Singapore, a phone call turned my life upside down.”
Abhinav Krishna, 31, recalls that the call was from his mother in India. She informed Abhinav that his father was scheduled to go through emergency heart surgery. He rushed back home, but the nightmare was yet to start.
As he was looking for a second opinion from a cardiac surgeon, Abhinav was eager to get a cardiologist from Singapore to corroborate the diagnosis and line of treatment. However, there were many problems. Apart from the hassle of finding an efficient hospital with qualified doctors, he had to go through endless hours of waiting, lackadaisical admission processes, and payment issues.
The gaps in India’s healthcare ecosystem -- especially for NRIs -- led Abhinav to wonder how he could innovate in the space. A year later, in 2013, he founded OurHealthMate (OHM), which is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Bengaluru and Singapore.
Your health mate
OHM integrates health and wellness management solutions on its platform, and functions as a medical appointment portal that allows three-step appointment bookings online. The platform operates on a 3P model, connecting the payer (an individual or corporate paying for someone else), the patient, and the provider (hospital, doctor, or wellness coach).
The portal helps customers to find verified doctors in India, explore services on offer, and know the costs involved. Designed to tackle unique problems in developing countries, the portal circumvents the lack of internet access through a backup SMS system. As of now, the company is focussing on Indian expats living in the US, Canada, UK, UAE, Singapore, Australia, etc., and companies that have a significant number of employees in India.
“Users can compare costs of 2,50,000 medical services offered by more than 30,000 doctors on the platform, before deciding to visit a hospital,” Abhinav says.
After the appointment is completed, the user overseas can get feedback from the doctor.
OHM has also partnered with a US-based insurance company that has revenues of $200 billion (Abhinav refuses to share the name) for implementing health initiatives in Indian corporates.
Abhinav is a computer engineer with a minor in technopreneurship from the National University of Singapore. Before starting up, he had worked in Citibank and Merrill Lynch. He was also the co-founder of Singapore-registered software solutions and consulting company, Pinnacle Solutions and Consultants.
The OHM team includes Dr Akash Kumar, initially the CTO, but has now moved on to an advisory role. At present, 32-year-old Co-founder Ayush Bharti 32, an MBA from University of Virginia - Darden School of Business, is the CTO. Founding partner and CSO Siddharth Upadhyaya, 38, joined OHM after becoming impressed by their services.
Siddharth, who sold his previous startup Hummingbird in Switzerland, started the corporate division, which takes care of 5.7 lakh employees today. The total team size is 60, with 75 percent based in Bengaluru.
The B2B strategy
OHM has been focussing on a B2B2C strategy with two models: one for corporates and another for individuals.
For corporates, OHM provides overall findings and aggregated data to the HR head. This helps the HR take measures for the improvement of overall wellness of the employees. However, they never give out personal information.
OHM uses data from the central data distribution system of the company. If a corporate has been doing annual medical checkups, then the startup collects that data and tries to find the issue. If the corporate isn’t doing health checks, OHM brings them on-board and makes everyone go through a health screening to get data on which they can build further plans.
"We are managing healthcare for over one million employees,” Abhinav says. Their client list includes ThoughtWorks, JP Morgan, and Optum Health.
“A corporate-sponsored user who enjoys a positive experience may register with a personal account to care for relatives who are not part of the corporate plan,” Abhinav says.
For individuals, OHM provides information by uploading electronic medical records accessible to the patient, payer, and provider.
The website can be accessed from a computer or smartphone (OHM has Android and iOS apps.) After selecting the city, one can go through the list of hospitals and information about doctors. OHM also provides every hospital and doctor with a ranking, depending on the facilities, and other additional information.
“A person doesn't need healthcare on a daily basis,” Abhinav says. On an average, a person might do two transactions a year if they are above 35 years of age.
Below 35, it may be zero. OHM is trying to turn that zero into one transaction for those under 35 years of age.
“They are the ones who have a bigger mindset of spending money so we will focus on bringing them on-board to manage their families' healthcare needs,” he says.
OHM charges a double-digit margin to hospitals for every transaction made through their platform. “Our target revenue for the current fiscal is transactions worth $12 million,” Abhinav says.
Profitable since May, OHM claims to be growing 20 percent month on month. At present, it has a user base of 5.7 lakh with areas in Maharashtra and Bihar being its most attractive markets. Till now, the startup has raised two rounds of funding worth $3 million, from angel investors.
According to IBEF, the healthcare market is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022. OHM competes with the likes of Care.fit, Portea, Medical Departures, Care24, and HealthHeal .
“Our services are rooted in a three-pronged strategy: care planning, business intelligence and. quality execution,” says Abhinav, speaking about their differentiator. They promote transparency by providing customers with the best pre-negotiated prices.
OHM, which aims to be the Amazon of B2B healthcare management space, is planning to expand to the Philippines this year. It is also growing their product offering and service portfolio to include women’s healthcare and mental wellness.
To fuel this expansion, the startup wants to raise up to $12 million in Series A funding soon.
“The funds will be deployed to augment manpower and technology,” Abhinav says. “Our aim is to touch more than 20 million lives in the coming years.”