The New Vistas in Healthcare Diagnostics
Deepak Sahni, Founder & CEO, Healthians
Brief about your journey into healthcare?
The idea of home-based pathology testing crystallised in April 2014, after my 14-year exposure (direct and indirect) to healthcare services. In 2006-08 in my personal capacity, I had represented India in the USA, pitching the country as an ideal medical tourism destination. An association was created, and I helped individual hospitals set up their international patient departments, and in making a sound digital presence. It is during this period that I realised that unlike the US hospitals, Indian hospitals do not offer alternative therapies to their patients and have a single business-focused approach. All research, marketing and solutions are focused on the sick or the ‘sickness industry’ and post-disease phase, wherein the cost, efforts and stress involved are way too high. By 2013, I had a clear vision to focus on a patient-centric activity to fill a major gap in healthcare activities in our country.
The first contact point of the disease and wellness industry is diagnosis and this became our patient-centric area of focus. Currently, this business is either commission-based or franchise-based, wherein 50-60% of the price is absorbed in paying commissions. This cost burden is very conveniently shifted onto patients. A breakthrough was required and hence, Healthians was conceptualised in 2014. We launched our services in February 2015. We directly go to the patients saving them up to 50% compared to the traditional route. Also, we have kick-started the informed wellness market in India where we not only cater to people who are unwell but also to young people whom we inspire and educate to measure their health with accurate diagnostics and support them in altering their lifestyles.
Now a day’s Home healthcare is into trend. What is your vision on this?
The traditional Indian healthcare ecosystem is based on the practise of a person who needs a service going to the service provider (doctors, hospitals or diagnostic services). This is now changing. Now the service providers are reaching out to people and providing services in the comfort of their home. The demand for home healthcare has seen a robust upward trend in recent times in both Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities. This is sure to grow bigger in the coming years. Though a small segment of such services were always available, it was more centred on personal contacts and was high-priced. The quality of services also varied with each experience. However, the home healthcare industry is evolving.
Quality healthcare services at affordable prices are the need of hour for every Indian. The industry is trending towards better patient services, convenience and affordability. This is especially true when we talk about anything that is less serious in nature. The users are ready to accept new services and the difference they experience makes them talk about it. The combination of affordability, quality, convenience and increasing penetration is making healthcare at home accessible to many people. We now see more and more people accepting home healthcare.
Diagnostic @ home as a basic service should have started long back. It is only in the last couple of years that a lot of action is seen in this sector. We are the pioneers in diagnostic services at home sector. The positive response we have received proves that if a better, convenient and affordable service can make someone take better care of their health, then people are willing to use such services more.
The idea of taking preventive and regular checkups to improve health is still in its nascent stage in India. There is a huge unmet demand which was not tapped earlier. Our vision is to make high quality diagnostic services available at the doorstep of every Indian. By eliminating the middle men fees, which is paid by customers, we are bringing these services at affordable price for all.
What is the concept of Healthians? How you are serving your customer at home healthcare?
Healthians is a home based diagnostic service provider with a 360-degree approach to monitoring health. Diagnostics at home is our forte. But, we are not limited to providing diagnostic test and reports only. Educating people about the power of preventive checkups and making corrective lifestyle measures to improve their health is the essence of our services.
Tests can be booked on phone, through app or website or by uploading prescription. This is followed by samples being collected free of cost from your home. We have our own sample collector team which is highly trained. We work only with NABL labs hence guarantee accuracy and reliability. Further on, reports are delivered online, through the app or through courier. Once the reports reach the customers, each customer is entitled to a free doctor and nutritionist consultation. Understanding complicated medical reports has always been a challenge for the common man and our free doctor consultation service is designed to cater to this problem. Our doctors explain the test results to the users in simple language and clears all their doubts. Further, on the basis of the diagnostic investigations done from us, symptoms and lifestyle inputs submitted on the App, a Smart report is generated for each user. Smart report analyses the person’s health trends and is available on the App. This is a more descriptive form of medical test report and is comprehendible by a layman. If the report has some parameter value out of place, which may be an indicator of some complications, corresponding follow-up tests are recommended. With recommendations like which specialist to visit and lifestyle and dietary advice, we help patients to take the right decisions timely. Also, journals and articles on various diseases, their prevention and cure are sent regularly to our users.
How is preventive health & wellness applicable for the diagnostics sector? How you are contributing towards a healthy nation?
Now-a-days, nothing is shocking when it comes to a disease defeating someone. Cases of a fitness freak getting a heart attack or a stroke or a 25 year old becoming diabetic with no family history or a young fit mother detected with cancer have become common. What is more worrisome is that most of the NCD’s (non communicable and lifestyle related diseases) do not come with clear symptoms. By the time a person is diagnosed, it is sometimes too late. Therefore, there is an obvious need of awareness towards prevention and adopting wellness. Diagnostic test, health checkups or a simple blood test is the first step towards prevention. A routine blood test can today screen almost entire body parameters that could atleast indicate if something is wrong. While activities like yoga, gym, running and playing are important steps towards being fit, they do not completely rule out that you are healthy. A diagnostic screening is the only way to validate this assumption. But it should be done in the right frequency and repeated as per your age, lifestyle and gender. Soon, we would not hear of someone being caught unaware about his health condition if he /she believe in regular health checkups.
At Healthians, our vision is to add 10 healthy years to every Indians life. For this we offer convenience, reliability, accuracy and affordability to our users making it easier for them to get tested on time. There are two major factors that make most people shy from preventive healthcare. First is the cost burden and second is the ambiguity surrounding the reports. People don’t understand their reports and even if they do, they have no clarity about how and what to do next. Our services are the solution to both these issues. Our doctor and nutritionist team and our AI supported app, is designed to cater to this ambiguity and help people understand their health inside-out better. People are being educated about the benefits of regular monitoring of health. We provide quality diagnostic services at home at affordable prices so that more and more people are able to continuously screen, monitor and improve their health conditions.