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A trip to Hawaii encouraged this startup to make HealthTech handy for Indians

Doctor Insta Pvt Ltd, which runs an app and website, has over 3 lakh registered users and receives 5 lakh unique visitors on the site every month. The healthtech startup has plans to build Internet connected booths in remote areas.

A holiday abroad always fascinates Indians when it comes to exploring travel options. However, a fun trip may turn into a nightmare if a medical emergency occurs. The same lurid incident occurred in Amit Munjal’s life during his trip to Hawaii, which encouraged him to conceptualise DoctorInsta.

Narrating the conceptualisation story, Munjal, the Co-founder and CEO of Doctor Insta shared, “The inspiration behind my venture was usage of a similar service while being on a remote island of Hawaii and that video consultation saved my life. A friend connected me to a doctor through a video call using the US-based online healthcare consultation provider Doctor on Demand’s app for first aid. So, I wanted to launch a similar service in India for the overall well-being of people and for bringing On Demand preventive and curative healthcare to everyone’s doorsteps.”

Launched in 2015, DoctorInsta charges a flat fee of Rs. 400 from patients. The startup had raised seed funding of $500,000 (Rs3.31 crore) from BrahmaX Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm and a couple of Angel Investors in US and India.

Besides that, the healthtech startup has recently closed a large undisclosed amount of fund from a US Venture Capital company.

In bid to learn more about the venture, WI bureau spoke to Munjal at length about his strategies and future plans with DoctorInsta. Here is the edited excerpt:

Business model

The business model is divided into three parts:

  • B2C: User pays a standard fee per consultation with Specialist Doctors
  • B2B2C: Employer pays a small PMPM (Per Member Per Month) fee and the employees can consult a Doctor/Caregiver at a discounted price.
  • Doctor Insta Inclusion (DII): For the rural areas of India in collaboration with companies running e-Kiosks. User pays a standard fee of Rs100-150 per consultation with MBBS Doctors.

Fund utilisation

Seed funding: $500K from BrahmaX Ventures and a couple of US and India based Angel Investors

Series A funding: Larger Undisclosed round from a Healthcare Focused US Venture Capital Company

The funds have been utilised for product, team and business development.

Role played by investors

Investors offer their advisory services in the areas of marketing, business development and strategic brainstorming. The good thing about Doctor Insta investors is that they are strategic investors and not financial investors who have not just invested in the company but also vested in it.

Technology play

It is needless to say that to address the healthcare challenges present in the country, technological adoption in healthcare has to increase. Healthcare in India still has a long way to go. The penetration and adoption of smartphones and internet will enable doctors and patients to collaborate real-time. Telemedicine can also alleviate the problems faced in rural healthcare by facilitating Virtual Doctor-Patient collaboration. With greater digitisation; healthcare providers will be able to deliver services more efficiently. Concepts like ePharmacy, eDiagnostics, health ATMs will provide a robust eco-system to support both patients and service providers. It is good to see that most healthcare providers are now willing to shed their initial reluctance towards technological adoption and are now open to exploring the unlimited possibilities presented by its adoption. It will be interesting to see how technology will change the healthcare landscape as we know it in the years to come.

Revenue model

  • B2C: User pays a standard fee per consultation with Specialist Doctors

Anyone who wants to consult with general physicians, psychologists, sexologists, dieticians, pediatricians and many other specialty areas can pay flat fees of Rs. 400 for each consult through the Android / iOS app, or Doctor Insta website

  • B2B2C: Employer pays a small PMPM (per member per month) fee and the employees can consult a Doctor/Caregiver at a discounted price.

Any large employer with a size of more than 5,000 employees is opting for DoctorInsta’s TeleMedicine services for their employees as well as their dependents.

  • DII (Doctor Insta Inclusion): For the rural areas of India in collaboration with companies running e-Kiosks. User pays a standard fee of Rs100-150 per consultation with MBBS Doctors.

Overcoming challenges

One major roadblock is the adoption and engagement of telemedicine in India. Independent research studies show us that 70 per cent of the OPD cases do not require any in-person visit, yet people in India may feel the need of going to OPD. The only way to overcome these challenges is to educate people about the benefits of telemedicine and slowly but steadily people will understand and adopt the services.

Geographical presence

To target the rural patients we are in talks with local general physicians, NGOs and companies which are setting up e-Kiosks in villages and small towns. It would be the reality that online doctor consultation will be coming to rural and semi-urban areas, offering a convenience so far limited only to urban areas. In the ATM health patients can drop by to consult specialist doctors over video link. Currently, the average fee for online consultation costs above Rs. 200. For remote areas, it will be Rs. 100-150. In the initial stage we are planning to launch these services in villages across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where health scenario is grim and lately we would target outskirts of Delhi and slum dwellers in Mumbai. Doctor Insta is in talks with local general physicians and plans to set up 500 kiosks (Health ATM’s) across the country in phases in coming months. The kiosks will focus on Psychology, Psychiatry, Sexology, Dermatology, Gynecology, Diet and Nutrition and chronic diseases such as diabetes. The monetization will happen gradually. Our current plan is to grow the volume and expects 50,000 daily consultations by March 2017. Currently, we conduct 400-900 consultations daily.

Pricing strategy

Our Pricing strategy is very simplistic with a fixed fee structure for B2C consults. For B2B2C, we have customized pricing solutions in place. In the first phase, our focus is on Growth and Unit Economics.

Scaling up

We are in the process of making Doctor Insta – world’s largest Video-Medicine company. We are focusing on multiple areas for scaling the venture by targeting all segments of the society – retail, corporate as well as rural masses.

Future plans

There are 1 million Allopathic Doctors in India, each doing 50 consultations a day which means 50 million consultations happening in India everyday. In 3 years, we want to acquire just 3 per cent of this market i.e. 1.5 million consultations a day. We also want to expand our services to other developing and less developed nations in alliance with strategic partners in these countries.

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