COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare Startup

COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare Startup | Karo Startup

COVID-19 has brought the entire world to a standstill. Not only has it exposed the large gaps in our healthcare systems, but it also highlighted the need to get an outbreak handbook. The novel coronavirus pandemic has upended the planet as we all know it, taking an unprecedented toll on health and human life. The healthcare startup ecosystem has quickly mobilized to mitigate the crisis – modifying care access points and modalities while producing financing mechanisms to sustain patient care amidst dire circumstances.

As the scale of the pandemic grows and downstream impacts persist, healthcare organizations are recognizing they need to shift from a reactive stance to a more proactive “new normal.” Operating during this environment would require new capabilities, forcing many organizations to seem external for innovative solutions to guide this transformation.

Countries like the USA and Italy, which spend a complete of about 15% of GDP on healthcare and have among the highest infrastructures globally, have reported an alarming number of COVID casualties. While India, which accounts for 20% of the worldwide disease burden, has yawning gaps in healthcare infrastructure with only 8% of doctors and nurses, and 6% hospital beds. We’ve only 0.7 beds per 1000 people nationwide (86% but WHO norms), <1 doctor per 1000 (almost half of China and 1/3rd of that in the USA), 5million+ medical errors reported annually and 1/3rd patients catching an infection in the hospital.

While the lockdown seems to have bought time to do a quick-fix, a systemic solution is the only way forward. This is where India’s vibrant healthcare startup ecosystem can step in and play a huge role. Our healthcare startup have demonstrated scalable business models that have the potential to redefine healthcare in post-COVID times.

Online Consultation

In the COVID-19 pandemic, the doctors are playing an essential role in handling the current situation. Because of coronavirus, consulting doctors isn’t as easy as earlier. But luckily, Healthcare startup are reducing the gap between the doctor, patients, and hospital. The smart rise in technology has been a boon for health care. Also, if you are feeling too sick to urge out of bed, you’ll be able to get to see a doctor. Several online doctor consultation apps help in consulting doctors convenient and simple are:

1. Practo – Bangalore Based Health Startup

Practo - Bangalore Based Healthcare Startup | karo Startup

Practo, a Bangalore based health startup launched in 2007 by Shashank and Abhinav Lal. It’s expanded over 36 cities now and in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil. It’s an internet health service platform that helps patients make appointments with doctors and a software platform where their digital health records are stored. It’s one of the simplest healthcare startup in India.

2. Lybrate – Helps Patients Find Doctors near their Location

The Delhi based startup helps patients find doctors near their location and connect with instantly. Founded by Saurabh Arora and Rahul Narang in 2013, Lybrate allows patients to consult with doctors on a video call. It also enables you to take a face to face appointment. There are over 1,50,000 professionals who assist you on Lybrate.

Lybrate - Helps Patients Find Doctors near their Location | karo Startup

It is one of the healthcare startup funded by Ratan Tata, which incorporates a great experience in starting and expanding small businesses to a greater extent. Lybrate lab+, an online lab testing service, permits a patient sample to be collected right from their home, with results later shared online.

Home Healthcare

Today, while world leaders are urging people to be at home, a significant section of the population continues in need of regular medical support, including access to lifesaving treatment, e.g., dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. Home healthcare could be a perfect solution for such times.

Some of the key home healthcare providers are:

1. Zoctr – Your Home Health Partner

Zoctr - Your Home Health Partner | healthcare startup | Karo Startup

Zoctr is a home healthcare startup that aggregates a platform that integrates several health services like doctor appointments, home health services, remote monitoring services, laboratory, pharmacy and ambulatory support. Founded by Nidhi Saxena, Zoctr raised $1 million from founding father of SPA Capital Sandeep Parwal, founder of Organic Wellness Krishnan Gupta, and many other angel investors. The platform offers supportive and palliative care and is present in Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.

2. Care24 – Mumbai-Based Home Healthcare Platform

The Mumbai-based home healthcare platform was founded in 2014 by IIT Mumbai alumni Garima Tripathi, Vipin Pathak, Abhishek Tiwari, and Pranshu Sharma. Care24 offers verified caregiver services across Mumbai. As of February this year, the startup had clocked 600 transactions every day. They offer 24×7 nurses, attendants, and authorized physiotherapists, who help individuals through the rehabilitation process.

Care24 Mumbai-based home healthcare platform | Karo Startup


As people get more habituated to consuming products and services at home, ePharmacies sales should accelerate beyond their historical 60%+ growth and capture a more meaningful market share in pharmacy retail (vs. current share <1%). Until now, ePharmacies have faced many challenges, including unclear regulations, value proposition hinged on heavy discounting, etc. However, ePharma companies have recently launched multiple innovations such as a subscription model with auto-refill for chronic patients (2/3rd of pharma consumption), same-day delivery, certified substitutes, etc.
Some of the best e-pharmacies are

1. Netmeds – Online Store for Medicines and Healthcare Products

NetMeds is a provider of an online store for medicines and healthcare products. It’s a healthcare startup that started in 2015. It provides an internet platform that gives prescription, over-the-counter drugs, and healthcare and wellness products. Users can directly look for medicine or upload their prescriptions. It allows users to shop for various healthcare products like skincare, family care, baby care, etc.

Netmeds - Online Store for Medicines and Healthcare Products

2. Medlife – Online Pharmacy for Medications

Medlife - Online Pharmacy for Medications | healthcare startup | Karo Startup

Medlife is a provider of an online pharmacy for medications started in 2014. It offers an app for purchasing medicines. It allows users to shop for drugs and various healthcare products like family care products, skincare, baby care and more. Users also can book an appointment for a lab test, online doctor consultation, and lots more.

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