Away and anxious? This service can take care of ailing parents
The startup UberHealth offers healthcare packages for the elderly, making lives easier for the loved ones staying away from themBy Twishy Shahi 20 May, 2014
The concern about parents’ well-being haunts the most to those staying away from them. They would surely have some peace of mind if someone offers to take care of everything, from booking a medical appointment, taking the parents to and from hospital, helping with all the processes and to finally uploading all the reports online.
UberHealth, a healthcare startup, provides preventive healthcare packages for senior citizens, making lives easier for people living away from home. The Delhi-based startup founded by Ishan Jha, Kamal Aggarwal and Ajay Pal Singh is operating in New Delhi and Punjab and is bootstrapped till now. “Due to work or studies, most Indians (including us) have to move away from home, but the family is not willing to move because parents have a social circle there, and they will not adjust to a new place easily. All three of us felt the need for such a service and started UberHealth,” said Ajay Pal Singh, Co-founder of UberHealth.
What does it offer?
UberHealth provides two kinds of packages: Preventive Healthcare package and Doctor-on-Call. In the Preventive Healthcare model, the user signs up on the website and fills all the information regarding the patient along with uploading the medical reports. They can then request for an initial consultation with a physician along with some preferred dates and time. The physician analyses the medical history of the patient and suggests some tests and consultations to get an idea of the current health status of the patient. He can then send the recommendation to the client. The physician prepares a preventive care plan for a year based on the current health status, derived from the checkups done. “This plan is customisable and is prepared as per the needs of the elderly,” said Singh.
With the Doctor-on-Call feature, the elderly can call UberHealth when they require the service. It works with hospitals to get an appointment. “Once an appointment is fixed, we send a person with a cab on the day of the visit. He picks up the patient from their home, takes them to the hospital, gets all tests and consultations done, and helps them obtain the prescriptions etc and then drops them back at their place. Finally, all the reports are uploaded online and the child can see what is happening with the parent’s health status for all the visits,” he added.
Affordability of the services
The doctor visit starts at US$20(tier 2 city) and US$30(tier 1 city) for the appointment, transport, the person taking care of the travel and hospital visit, online report uploading etc. However, the first consultation is free.
“In case the client wants us to help with medication etc. as well, we offer them a prepaid model where they can deposit some money, which is used for things like medication or any tests and we provide the bills,” explained Singh. People can pay online through the website. Paypal can be used for international payments and an Indian payment gateway is for domestic payments. It charges on per visit basis for doctor on call.
The revenues of UberHealth come from service fee from the clients and service fee from healthcare and service providers.
Tie-ups with doctors and hospitals
The startup has tied up with hospitals in New Delhi and Punjab including Apollo, Fortis, DMC Ludhiana, Artemis, Moolchand, Kailash, Pushpanjali Crosslay, AIIMS, Bensups, Urgent care, Med harbor, Irene and Dr Lal Path labs.
“For doctors, we are keeping a simple approach to contact through practo/similar portals in the beginning. But, we are in talks with leading consultants in various areas. We do not want our customers to travel long distances, so the idea is to provide service to our customers who are within the 10 km radius of our healthcare service provider,” Singh said.
According to Singh, there are benefits for the hospitals by associating with UberHealth. “They are getting more number of patients and the retention of the patient is also ensured if the service provided by the hospital is to customer’s satisfaction. They even have opportunity to get access to NRI clients themselves. Besides, we help the hospitals with branding, provided they have good services,” he said.
Different from the clutter
There are many healthcare startups offering health check-up packages for men, women, elderly and family like Indus Health Plus and Singapore-based OurHealthMate that offers non-resident Indians to book and pay for their family’s health check-ups. Health Vectors is a Bangalore-based startup in the area of technology-based medical screening and diagnostics services for the corporate and retail sectors.
In addition to the competition from various players, many families already have a family doctor, which might be challenging for UberHealth. But Singh believes that the family doctor can only treat the elderly when they go to him. Also, the doctor cannot provide online reports and feedback to clients living away from home. “We are providing complete logistics and ensure the elderly face no hassles. Also, we are adding more healthcare providers and doctors so if the patient wants to get in touch with a family doctor, we will be more than happy to connect with that doctor,” Singh explained.
The company is carrying out various marketing activities online and offline to create awareness about its services. It is engaging with people through online surveys, social media, NRI communities, expat communities, forums and blogs.
It is promoting itself offline through various events in San Francisco Bay area and NIT Alumni meet in the Bay area. “We are also planning to collaborate with some corporates that can offer it to their employees for their families,” he added.
Expansion plans of the startup
UberHealth plans to expand to 20 major cities in India by the end of 2014. The immediate future plan is to spread across cities such as Jalandhar and Hyderabad as these are huge NRI bases. It is also planning to launch its app in the month of June.
“We are adding physiotherapy services in the next few weeks. We are adding more hospitals and healthcare providers in every city and also partnering with various service providers like TaxiPixi for cabs service,” Singh said.