Rekuram Varadharaj, Co-founder, healthi, speaks to Prabhat Prakash on how the company intends to build a business model wherein all players in healthcare ecosystem can derive better outcomes
Since inception, healthi has grown 3x times with a retention rate of 90 per cent. What is the success mantra?
We believe that startups succeed when they focus on not just meeting customer expectations, but on increasing and exceeding them. Customer experience and expectations with healthcare have traditionally been low. Research from Accenture (1) shows that the average net promoter score (NPS) for healthcare, a measure of customer experience and expectations, is 9 on a 100-point scale. Due to poor user experience, users often get disengaged, leading in turn to poor compliance (studies show that at most 33 per cent users adhere to physicians’ advice) and eventually poor health outcomes. At healthi, our vision is to drive better health outcomes for the user. Our innovations in personalisation algorithms, predictive analytics and user experience have driven breakthrough health outcomes, often driving 27x more impact than traditional approaches. When combined with extensive and convenient access to quality healthcare providers across 300+ cities in India, these innovations help our growing user base get better outcomes due to 2x better compliance rates than prior highs. This has, in turn, resulted in customer satisfaction and retention rates of 90 per cent + and an NPS measure which is 8x compared to industry averages.
What is the uniqueness of your business model?
We wanted to create a business model where all players in the healthcare ecosystem derive better outcomes. With our model, users get better health outcomes due to better compliance and convenient/easy steerage. Health sponsors like employers and insurance can rely on a single partner to effectively manage the health of their populations and healthcare providers see lower customer acquisition costs and high retention.
What are the expansion plans for the next three years for the Indian market?
The company has been rapidly expanding its coverage and our signed user base has grown 12x between January 2018 and March 2019. We are all set to acquire over 2.5 million signed users by December 2019. Currently, the addressable market in India is about 2 million outpatient transactions with a value of about $28 billion annually and it is growing at a healthy 15 per cent growth rate pa.
How does healthi plan on expanding into the East and South-East Asian markets?
healthi is set to expand its digital health coverage to East and South-East Asian markets within the next 12 to 18 months.
What are the challenges faced by healthi in the Indian market in terms of expansion?
The biggest challenge before us was compliance. Quite often, there are a lot of points in a patient’s journey where lack of clarity or understanding about the importance of the next step can lead to a patient dropping off. They might not visit the doctor for a follow up or leave the medication prescribed without completing the course. No more than 30 per cent of the people visit the doctor for the follow-up visits even if needed. We address this problem by using analytics and technology to make a user clearly understand his/her present medical condition, what is needed to be done, and why there is a need to do it. Then we guide them on how to do it. This is how we solved the problem of drop-offs and today we are proud to state that we have a compliance rate that is 2x better than prior industry highs.
What targets have been set for healthi by 2022 in terms of revenue, market share and brand visibility?
We plan to have 10 million active users on the platform within the next two years.