MHEALTH VENTURES INDIA HAS ROLL-OUT A DIGITAL PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR DOCTORS WITH THE POTENTIAL OF INCREASING ACCESS AND QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE IN INDIA
What big bet are they making?
mHealth Ventures India (MVI) is creating an eco-system that can increase access and quality of health care services in India. MVI started facilitating telemedicine services by connecting doctors with patients via phone, and through the MeraDoctor app using a chat function since 2013. Through technology interventions, MVI is expanding their efforts trying to develop an eco-system that can move the needle on health care services in India. As a first step, they have developed the digital payment service Paycillin, in which certified and verified doctors via an app can issue bills to patients who can chose every digital payment method available in India, including loans. Doctors can use this software for all their clinic billing and data needs. Through Paycillin, MVI aims at having patients’ health data available for doctors in a cloud, which will improve mutual learning and increase the quality of health services.
What challenge is the big bet solving?
The private sector is the dominant provider of healthcare services in India given the low public spending on healthcare. The private system fragmented and patients usually pay out of pocket in cash. India lacks public health insurances that operate at scale, and private insurance companies have a very low penetration rate. With around 80 percent of India’s doctors serving only 28 percent of its population and almost 99% of outpatient clinics in India not actively using technology in everyday practice (with exceptions as directory listings), digitizing clinics and embedding tech in the daily workflows of doctors opens a massive opportunity to improve quality, access and cost of care in India.
How is the Big Bet innovative?
MVI believes in a digital transformation in the health sector that is currently complex and fragmented. Their approach involves working with doctors and patients bottom up to build a digital platform that uses technology to improve access and care. There are three aspects to this innovation: I) digitizing payments in clinic adds a very useful technology layer to the doctors’ daily workflow, while it also builds up data on the practice; II) getting a critical mass of doctors on-board will allow doctors to innovate around new service delivery and insurance models; and III) a patient database that can improve the quality of health services both by giving insights into previous treatments and being a learning platform for doctors.
What is the current situation?
After setting up a virtual hospital that served over 400,000 patients across all states in India, MVI decided to focus on getting local doctors on-board to enable better care and referral flows. They have built a clinic payment and billing solution that has been positively received by doctors. Over 15,000 doctors have signed up for the software and they are in the process of refining the tool and growing the base. By using the payment system, they now aim at creating a digital platform, where patients, doctors, labs, insurance companies and pharmacies can interact and offer/seek services.