Satish Kannan, Co-Founder & CEO, MediBuddy

It seems absurd how less than a year back it was normal to take your sniffling noses to a packed hospital to consult a doctor and wait near another patient, someone who may be suffering from a long-term illness and may have come to consult another doctor. It was considered ineffective to consult a doctor online because how could a doctor properly evaluate you if they don’t see you in person? However, 2020 proved so many of such notions kaput; putting popular beliefs to rest and demonstrating with amazing results that the transition to going completely online was possible, effective, and saved many resources! Nevertheless, a couple of years back, when such a notion was ‘unthinkable’, Satish Kannan and Enbasekar D envisioned the need for a safe and online consulting platform where doctors and patients can communicate without worrying about privacy. Thus, the duo joined hands in 2015 and launched DocsApp. One of India’s first online doctor consultation platforms, DocsApp has revolutionised the healthcare space by adding new channels of communication among patients and doctors.

Before social distancing became the norm, Satish observed another, pretty evident, yet neglected distance between the common man and healthcare. He witnessed the Indian healthcare industry grappling with the skilled workforce in skewed doctor-patient ratios that forced other medical professionals and rural Indians to bear the maximum brunt. He also feared that if this situation were to continue, the gap between rural India and access to quality healthcare might never be bridged. “In the absence of doctors, the patient is often treated by whoever is available, irrespective of their qualifications. Enbasekar D and I put our heads together to leverage technology to provide quality healthcare to millions of Indians irrespective of their geography. With DocsApp, we proved that almost 70% of health issues can be diagnosed and treated online. However, when we started online consultations, it was a whole new concept in India, and Indians were hesitant about the same.  The biggest challenge initially was to make people trust the platform and make them believe that the doctors on the platform are real doctors with experience. To strengthen our services and capabilities, DocsApp recently merged into MediBuddy, creating an entity that sits at the pinnacle of the healthcare industry,” says Satish Kannan, Co-Founder and CEO, MediBuddy.

Being a customer-centric organisation, MediBuddy regularly takes feedback from customers and try to incorporate them. Having customers at the centre and being the leader in the industry, MediBuddy believes in building products and providing solutions for customers. For instance, they partnered with multiple payment gateways to facilitate a seamless payment experience. Additionally, the duo leaned heavily on social media to reach out to users and communicate with them as per their preference. From curating content in multilingual languages to creating insightful campaigns that connect with users and crafting the MediBuddy UI similar to WhatsApp, MediBuddy is built on a strong foundation customer-centricity.

A Bundle of Medi Solutions

Satish and his team have equipped MediBuddy to be at the forefront to help millions of Indians to access high-quality healthcare. MediBuddy is a partner to several leading enterprise customers in the country and helps millions of users access a wide range of sponsored healthcare services. MediBuddy members have access to inpatient, outpatient, wellness, fitness, and preventive care services offered by their healthcare providers’ network. Accessible both as an online portal as well as a mobile app, MediBuddy gives members unparalleled, real-time access to all their health benefits anytime and from anywhere. With a partner network of over 90,000 doctors, 7000 hospitals, 3000 diagnostic centres and 2500 pharmacies covering over 95% of all pin-codes in India, MediBuddy has helped over 1.27 crore Indians in the year 2020- an impressive feat! The brand has ensured that even small towns like Bishrampur and Manwath have access to healthcare and medicines and labs. Additionally, to make healthcare more affordable, MediBuddy implemented a value-based subscription- MediBuddy Gold, that addresses the healthcare needs of the user & his/her entire family. A gold user can avail the benefits for consultations, lab tests & delivery of medicine and save up to Rs 9976 annually.

Keeping the customer’s need as the number one priority, MediBuddy focused its efforts on raising awareness and ensuring the availability of trusted medical advice to help control the spread of the disease and panic during the deadly pandemic. Moreover, to ensure quick access to medical expertise, MediBuddy added a unique feature, a medical department dedicated to Coronavirus on their platform, where medical consultation was provided free. “To help contribute our share, we also partnered with various accredited labs to provide home pick-up of the COVID-19 lab test. Additionally, we launched a Coronavirus Risk Assessment Tool to help individuals assess the level of possibility of them being affected.  MediBuddy also introduced a new feature on its app to locate an available bed and ease difficulties. The MediBuddy COVID-19 Hospital Bed Availability Checker provides complete details regarding the availability of beds in real-time at nearby hospitals for COVID-19 patients,” adds Satish.

Offering credit where credit is due, Satish says that the company is blessed to have a team of experts who work in unison for the company’s progress and share the same vision and mission as the founders. “Enbasekar and I worked towards putting together a great group of talented people. I strongly believe that we should value our employees the same way we value your customers simply because they are our company’s biggest assets. Customers may be why our company continues to shine, but without our employees’ dedication and hard work, we would have not gained customers in the first place.  The outlook that I share with my team is that we can provide quality healthcare access with technology by our side. What motivates us is the direct impact that we create in making our customers’ lives healthy and happy,” Satish points out.  With a vision to make high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable for billions of Indians, Satish and his team are currently focusing on further strengthening their doctor base, patient reach and developing their products.

As someone who has his eyes and ears tuned into the healthcare sector’s nuances, Satish states that there has never been a more exciting time to be in the digital healthcare space than right now. He explains that AI, Blockchain, Voice Search, Chatbots and VR are among the most promising health technologies in 2020. “Health technologies encompass all the devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems designed to streamline healthcare operations, lower costs and enhance the quality of care for individuals. Given the impact of COVID-19 on the Global and Indian digital health industry, we expect the Industry size to grow up to a worth of US$ 6 billion (INR ~431.97 Bn) by 2021, expanding at a rate of 40%. The Indian digital healthcare market is expected to grow by 6x with a record CAGR of 25% by Dec 2021; based on the forecast that digital adoption will be faster than that of traditional,” Satish concludes.

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