“URGENT! One unit of A+ blood required at Base Hospital, SN Banerjee Road, Cantonment, Barrackpore, West Bengal. Call +91-87xxxxxx95 to help. Please share…” — and so reads BloodConnect, a Facebook group dedicated to solving the problem of blood shortage in India.
There are several such messages floating around on Facebook and WhatsApp, created by groups and individuals in case of medical emergencies.
Apart from the details social media platforms provide, people rarely have access to information pertaining to reaching out to blood banks directly — even those that might be in their vicinity.
Observing the intensity of the problem, Siddhant Jatia, 24, founded a platform called Qyura, which offers multiple healthcare services, including information on blood banks and ambulances.
“We intend to reduce the anxiety and stress of users at the time they need medical assistance. A person need not broadcast messages on WhatsApp or put up posts on Facebook when they need a particular blood group. Now, they can reach out to our network of blood banks and fulfil their requirement at the time of need. We do the same with ambulances,” Qyura’s Founder and CEO Siddhant says.
Launched in July this year, Qyura is an online platform which shares information on hospitals, diagnostic centres, doctors, ambulances, blood banks, and pharmacies. It also allows users to book diagnostic tests, doctor’s appointments, and health check-up packages.
Siddhant, who began his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 16, entered his family business, and diversified into sectors such as automobile, hospitality, and healthcare, adds that healthcare in India is still a severely unorganised sector.
Critical information with regard to medical institutions, doctors, blood banks, and emergency services is fragmented, unclear, and sometimes entirely unavailable. Besides, patients are subjected to indefinite queues, bad services, unequal pricing, and severe neglect in hospitals.
Qyura was built keeping these points in mind.
In two months, the company has been able to partner with over 2,000 medical service providers with names like the SRL Religare chain, Manipal Hospitals, and Apollo Spectra Hospital on its client list.
Carving out a different place
Differentiating itself from others, Siddhant says his is an all-in-one platform for healthcare. A person need not keep multiple healthcare applications on his phone as he can get all healthcare assistance in one place. He intends to enable people to make informed decisions and organise this industry in order to make it more customer-centric.
“True to the genesis of our tagline — We Dare to Care — we believe that even though technology is the need of the hour, you cannot deny the efficiency and impact of human intervention. Not only does the app let you book appointments and make informed decisions about critical health issues, our backend team follows up every appointment with the user as well as the medical service provider to ensure that the Qyura experience is as humane and hassle-free as possible,” says Siddhant.
According to the platform, the service is free for blood banks. However, other services providers work on a subscription model.
In the subscription model, hospitals, diagnostic centres, doctors, pharmacies, and ambulance service providers need to pay an upfront amount and get registered on the platform.
In another model, service providers can subscribe to a commission-based setup where they share a certain percentage of the revenue with the platform.
However, Qyura is absolutely free for users.
Currently, Qyura’s services are available in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. It will soon launch the app in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, and Indore.
“We have come up with a unique model where we associate ourselves with a local channel partner in tier II and III cities and launch the operation,” says Siddhant.
He eventually plans to go international by tapping markets such as West Asia to begin with.
According to a report released by India Brand Equity, the market size of the health sector in the country was estimated to be $75 billion during 2012—13 and is projected to reach $280 billion by 2020.
Tencent-backed Practo is among the leading players in this space, having acquired multiple startups such as Fitho, Genii, and Qikwell. Practo has also entered the online medicine ordering segment.
Besides patient-centric startups, some doctor-centric platforms have also come up. Curofy and Buzz4Health, medical networking apps that power communication between doctors, are other solution providers in this area.