Medifixit: An App That Provides Healthcare Options To Patients
There has been an explosion in mobile healthcare apps over the past few years. At first, nobody really paid attention to this trend. But globally, healthcare apps started becoming a viable way to lower the costs of healthcare and save lives. Affordable and high-quality healthcare is also catching up in India. StoreHippo, a new age Mobile e-commerce platform, in collaboration with Healthcare Multimedia Infomatics, has built a comprehensive online portal MediFixit, which aims to fulfill all healthcare services and requirements of an individual and connects patients to physicians, diagnostic centers, hospitals and clinics, as well as pharmacies. MediFixit can be accessed online and also downloaded as a Mobile App, on both iOS and Android devices. In an exclusive interview with CXO Today, Capt. Sameer Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, Medifixit shares concept and how its app is facilitating the healthcare market.
Today there is an app for practically everything. How will Medifixit stand out in the already overcrowded app marketplace?
Every app is focused on something specific and not all of them are for healthcare services. What we are doing is a bit different. We are providing an ecosystem for the entire gamut of healthcare services through our platform and to every kind of health care service provider. We are offering seamless integration for all the services. We have built the platform from scratch taking into account the mandatory requirements and all possible health care services, not targeting any specific healthcare area. This way, we can keep adding more services on the platform.
Would you say that Medifixit has a solution for everykind of ‘non-conventional’ problem?
In a way, yes, we have designed it in a way that there will be solution for all the possible problems faced. We are providing 30-35 different kind of services that one can think of, when it comes to healthcare, in the platform framework. Every possible service is available there, though not all are activated right now. Most other apps/platforms have started with the doctors and appointments system, but we have designed it for all service providers, whether it’s a doctor or a pharmacy or a diagnostic center, homecare service or an ambulance. From a user’s perspective, he/she doesn’t require to go to 10 different sites or apps.
What are the functional areas of the app. Will this app do all the work?
Absolutely, if you are looking for a doctor, you will find them. Doctor’s appointment, getting a doctor’s a prescription, you will find here. E-prescriptions and e-consultations are possible here as well, apart from clinical service. If a hospital/clinic wants a pharmacy attached to it for online availability of medicines, it’s possible. The doctor will know if the medicines are available in the pharmacy or not. So we are makeing it that simple. The pharmacy can also have an online store. The diagnostic center can be directly approached by any doctor or patient if it’s connected on Medifixit. The investigation test information details that were carried out and past ones as well can all be stored online and shown to the different doctors for consultations. The bigger pharmacies have online facilities, but often not the remaining smaller local ones. So for those pharmacies who are lacking behind they can have an online presence too.
Do pharmacies and other supplementary units of the healthcare sector need to make any investments?
Nobody needs to invest in anything whether it’s a diagnostic center, pharmacy, or any healthcare firm. All that is required is a mobile device with a working internet connection, and all features can be accessed through that.
In such a case, how does Medifixit make money?
We have a couple of revenue models. We are mainly going for low cost subscriptions and targeting a larger base of services and solutions. We are keeping our fee very low, we are making it affordable for all service providers. For a pharmacy to setup their own online store is very expensive, monthly recurring charges are there, annual charges are there but we have made it very nominal, starting from only INR 2100 for full year. The monthly subscription model starts with INR 275. Medifixit also gives you 1 GB online storage space with continuous backup in this price, so record keeping is manageable here as well. We are very cost effective. Everybody counts the penny, and being a social entrepreneurship model, what we have decided is that we will not try and recover the costs associated with development so far, and keep the prices low for all service providers to be on the platform without needing to worry about price shocks later on.
Are there any hidden charges or costs involved?
No charges for listing is involved. We are transparent to even listed phone numbers. Other service providers are charging INR 15,000-30,000 annually for similar features and some of them charge hefty amounts per lead. However our packages start at INR 2100 annually going upto INR 7500 with 100GB secure online storage space with continuous backup. You can see the difference. Everything is automated to ensure full transparency is maintained at all times.
Do doctors or pharmacies, with who you tie-up, pass on the benefits of being on your app to the customers, like cheaper fees?
We are not aiming at giving any discounts as such, it’s up to the healthcare service providers directly. They can decide to pass on the savings they make by being on Medifixit, directly to the patients in need of the services who have come searching for them on the platform. Medifixit is not a grocery shop which will offer discounts for their products. We are providing a facilitating service for patients in need of healthcare services and making it convenient to locate and avail the services. We are not asking for any commissions as some of the other platforms, who charge a very high amount per lead unlike us. We are not charging any percentage of the consultation fees from anyone. We have a fixed price model. This is why a lot of the doctors who have seen the software/Apps are happy now, and they are willing to come on board to do the promos and all.
So is it more about getting the idea to a particular level of acceptance?
No, even for future we do not intend to recover the money invested so far. This is a social acknowledgment in our language. It’s social entrepreneurship, so we have decided that we to give something back to the society. For later on, as long as the operative cost is recovered or met and small profit is there, that will be suffice. We are not driven by profit alone
Does the App work on 2G signal or it will require more data usage?
The App works on 2G Internet as well. Knowing the fact that Internet fluctuates within seconds, you will be able to connect even in areas with low connectivity. This will auger well for remote areas where 3G/4G connectivity doesn’t exist. The App is designed for low bandwidth usage.
IoT is catching up everywhere, does Medifixit have loT in its future plans?
Yes, it’s already built-in. IoT is basically connecting different devices, having a lot of devices integrated in terms of work, formats. The way our database is designed is that it is extremely flexible. So we have already provisioned for later on that there will be a lot of IoTs involved. Different kinds of things will be invented which we don’t know about yet, so we have already it in our plans for that.
So, does your internal database have the flexibility to track, or create that ecosystem?
We already created the ecosystem, in a manner such that it is extremely flexible, and can incorporate things at a later stage, which haven’t even been designed yet.
How do you see the future from the perspective of Medifixit and the industry, in general?
We have just started expanding out of Gurgaon. We were looking to see if the service providers will like us or not, use us or not, and we have seen the response is 30 per cent positive. Some of the healthcare service providers are on different platforms where they have already paid in advance and no refund is possible, and they will wait till that gets over, to come onboard are platform fulltime. We have also got a tie-up with one of the largest diagnostic chains in the country with a pan India presence, so all their centers will be coming on board very soon. We are trying to collate different integrated services on one platform, but as they were in different formats, it has taken a while.
Today the moment you want a pharmacy you just have to open the Medifixit App on your phone, and click two buttons on it to find out which one is around you. It’s hyper local, you need the medicines here, you can have it now. That is the kind of acceptance level it gives. I want to give the convenience to every person before thinking about profits. We are fully functional for usage all over not just in India, but anywhere in the world. In our Database we already have 23,000 medicines. We are not limited to India, our App is designed such that it can cater to the any person in the world, having incorporated a trillion users in the design framework itself.
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