Technology has brought about an enormous and welcome change to the healthcare industry. Patients now have access to some of the best diagnostic tools, new and cutting-edge treatments, and a myriad of minimally-invasive methods resulting in less pain and quicker healing. Remote consultations with specialists, targeted therapies, and the availability of intuitive mobile apps have led to improved patient care and a superior healthcare experience overall. The impression of consulting doctors over video or audio calls and online prescriptions has not got many takers. But the COVID-19 outbreak ushered in the new normal and has given a massive boost to healthtech services, especially telemedicine. Fearing COVID-19 infection, users have resorted to telemedicine services for their medical needs.
Bengaluru headquartered Meta16Labs Healthcare, and Analytics Private Limited (m16labs) is looking to make healthcare solutions available to everyone, especially in semi-urban and rural areas.
Anil JJ established the startup in 2018 after he realised the inadequacy of access to proper healthcare during a bike trip to the Himalayas. Anil, who comes with 20 years of experience in the healthcare information technology space, then joined hands with Dr Ashvath Vinayak Kulkarni, a Dental Surgeon by profession.
The health tech startup initiated its core product, MyTeleOPD, a digital clinic and telemedicine aid platform, to engage doctors from across the country to confer with patients from the rural and semi-urban areas. Patients can connect with doctors via voice and video calling even with a feature phone and can receive the prescription via SMS.
MyTeleOPD targets PHCs – state-owned rural healthcare centres and connects with them. The telemedicine service entrusts the PHCs to disseminate with specialised doctors across the country and take the second opinion or get further transparency on the condition of the patients.
PHCs usually do not have specialist doctors and consist of only general physicians or healthcare workers or pharmacists who provide an essential diagnosis. Taking the help of MyTeleOPD platform, patients can connect with specialist doctors and obtain specific treatment depending on their infection.
Anil clarifies that MyTeleOPD is not an aggregating platform. “We are not aggregators, but we are enabling the clinics, hospitals, and healthcare institutions to run their practice virtually on our platform.”
Features of the Health-Tech Startup
Meta16Labs’ core product, MYTeleOPD also gives digital clinic services where hospitals can join hands with the startup to offer consultation services anywhere across the country. As of now, KMC Manipal utilises the strategy at its hospitals which can enable the patients to consult KMC Manipal doctors from any corner of India. The startup has also enhanced a hospital operating system, Meta hOS, for small or large-sized hospitals. It helps lab and diagnostics centres to classify patient data in a safe and secure manner.
M16 labs aim to digitise and endow doctors and healthcare professionals by improving patient rendezvous mechanisms and a streamlined communication system. They also strategically position themselves as tech spouses of micro, small, and mid-sized healthcare organisations and contribute to their bottom line growth but lessening bleeding points in the overall operations of the hospital and controlling income leakages and reducing “cost of IT” by about 60-70 per cent.
The company claims to have over 500 doctors currently and has recorded around 6,000 consultations since March. While Anil refused to share elements about the healthcare institutions MyTeleOPD is working with, he amplified that the startup is being used by doctors across Bengaluru, Mysore, and Shimoga. OPD and telemedicine assistance are available at a monthly subscription rate of Rs 499 along with pay per use. The bootstrapped startup encounters stiff competition from other notable players such as BestDoc, DocEngage, MCura, and InstaHealth, among others. The startup is also looking to widen its existence across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, and also explore growth avenues in North America.
“Our platform is being used by nine clinics, including solo practice doctors and multispeciality clinics. We are also working with four hospitals, 2,000 OPDs, and four institutions and service companies,” Anil claims.