How has the pandemic impacted the telemedicine industry?
The telemedicine industry was one of the few sectors that saw exponential growth attributed to not just the pandemic, but the welcome decision from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to rapidly allow the
The telemedicine industry was one of the few sectors that saw exponential growth attributed to not just the pandemic, but the welcome decision from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to rapidly allow the use of telemedicine in India. The decision also took into consideration ethical concerns such as privacy, patient data that would need to be stored in a manner that would make healthcare equitable and available to all those who need it. During the pandemic, access to hospitals and appropriate healthcare was unavailable for most other ailments, and with a burgeoning infrastructure, the one in need had no option but to turn to digital platforms for help, advice, and aid.
● How do you think telemedicine will work in rural areas?
According to a McKinsey report, the penetration of high-speed internet is moving rapidly into the remotest areas of India allowing access to hardware and software services in the digital world. Taking advantage of this, Cartula Heath has developed its app to be a simple solution in native languages where with a basic smartphone the power to access cheap, affordable and quality healthcare is made available in the remotest areas. The data gathered through the app allows real-time solutions for targeted campaigns against various health concerns in states like Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka and will soon be the go-to option for healthcare across India.
● Why did Cartula International expand into the Indian market? What opportunity does it foresee? And after the Indian market, which other markets does Cartula plans to venture into?
After having a strong presence in Australia and Indonesia, we saw a huge opportunity in bridging the yawning gap in the last mile diagnostics & testing services and healthcare in rural India. We created a unique solution that eliminates the shortcomings in the present system. This resulted in Cartula Health India whose mission is to create a democratized ecosystem where healthcare becomes easily available and remains highly affordable for rural as well as urban populations.
● What are the USPs of Cartula Health India?
The health app allows patients access to leading board-certified physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, and a range of other health care specialists which otherwise would not be possible. Cartula Health India offers the cheapest services in the Indian market, with a teleconsultation service for as low as Rs.100 for a plethora of health concerns. The app is extremely user-friendly, available in more than 7 vernacular languages especially for the rural populace as it is built on a strong tech stack. There is 24×7 healthcare access to all non-emergency health services. CartulaJanani gives information on pre and postnatal care as research suggests that India is one of the leading countries with a high mortality rate during childbirth. Cartula Health India is also coming up with health, well-being, and sexual products soon along with ambulance facilities.
Cartula Health is akin to a platform for international coaches for conducting webinars, knowledge sessions, and live coaching for the Indian market. We have a panel of 4500 diagnostic centers across 100 cities within a short span of just 3 months since March 2021. We have also tied up and partnered with e-pharmacy behemoths like PharmEasy, Apollo, 1MG, and MedLife for door-to-door delivery services that are now finally available to the last mile.
● How Cartula Health India is ensuring the adoption of technology in tier IV cities and small towns?
A recent RedSeer report shared grim statistics on the Indian healthcare system. It stated that currently, India has 9 beds per 10,000 people which is far below the WHO mandated 40 beds and 1 nurse per 10,000. It is the need of the hour to implement solutions to ease the tenuous situation of India’s healthcare system. Telemedicine will see a far more democratized system with the increase in the penetration of virtual healthcare into urban and rural areas. This will result in a lowered pressure on the physical infrastructure. Not only will patients have access to a huge network of the best practitioners but also bring consumers from marginally ignored markets under the umbrella of quality health care at affordable rates.
● What are the growth plans for the next 5 years?
Being a part of the digital world, we are always planning something big every day. And with this planning so far we have been equipped with the most brilliant team of doctors, health workers, and pharmacy, diagnostic partners. Cartula Health India revolves around a single aim of converting our nation into a ‘Swasth India’ and making healthcare affordably accessible for all sections of society. We already made huge strides but still a lot to cover in the future. Our immediate plans for the next 5 years, will start with the vulnerable society, where they have zero access to digital connectivity, not even access to quality healthcare. We are planning to build health centers in 600,000 villages, in which all the diagnoses will be done at a very minimal rate and online consultations will be managed. This will help to minimize the healthcare expenses and also will help them to get a better lifestyle. Apart from this our next big step is to involve big data and AI-Driven approaches to prepare packages for the corporates. This data will be used to highlight the disturbing healthcare expenses in the corporates and how we can provide a solution to overcome their issues. We are also working on some holistic approaches to manage healthcare that will be giving instant results and might help the patients manage a healthy lifestyle. We also have also planned to launch a special package for kids, that will help to manage their mental health. But our major 5 years plan is that we provide a platform in which can resolve all your health issues within just a click, doesn’t matter where the patient belongs to in India.
● Any plans for raising funds in the future?
Cartula Health is in the final stage to close the venture capital fund. Recently joined hands with LSC, Govt of India to build strong and affordable healthcare services. As part of the project- We will be conducting free health checks up and screening for industry workers.
Also, we joined hands with AICTE (Department of Higher education, GOVT of India 🇮🇳) to provide the most affordable health care solutions along with internships programs to the students across India.