By Anusha Ashwin
Navigation in the Indian healthcare system is predominantly tough and there is a need for a simple, unified approach to bring a quick resolution to our healthcare woes. When a doctor is just a phone call away or is ready for a video chat at that crucial golden hour, is the agenda a number of startups are working at.
Providing the expected easy 360-degree health platform is Thiruvananthapuram-based PurpleHealth that delivers a large and diverse spectrum of solutions, services and products to consumers, healthcare providers and institutions.
Currently, the healthcare delivery ecosystem operates through individual, independent and unconnected silos. PurpleHealth in this scenario aims to build a collaborative healthcare platform through integrated technology that connects the diverse constituents in the healthcare space. Currently, the healthcare delivery ecosystem operates through individual, independent and unconnected silos. PurpleHealth was founded to bring a change to this stereotyped approach.
A simple start
Four tech-enthusiastic entrepreneurs are the brain behind the investor-backed PurpleHealth. Spearheading the team is co-Founder and CEO Vikram Nair. Dr Nagarjun Mishra supports Nair as the Chief Officer of Business & Strategy; Mini Balaraman as the COO; and Prakash Sathyapalan as the CTO of PurpleHealth. In a chat with VoicenData, Vikram Nair fills in more on PurpleHealth.
He says, “Having over 15 years of experience working with technology companies in leadership, strategy and product design roles, I was always inclined towards creating a platform which would help a larger community. In 2013, I met Mini Balaraman and Prakash Sathyapalan, who had just come back from the US, with strong technology and operations backgrounds from Silicon Valley. Subsequently, we rounded out the team with Dr Nagarjun Mishra, who had both a medical and corporate health background. What united us was a passion for the healthcare space and the belief that we could provide a new perspective to the market.”
The perspective became vivid when the team’s uniform belief that mobility solutions is the answer to tackle India’s healthcare system was ascertained. “We felt that we could use modern technology and a fresh approach to solve some of the problems in the healthcare industry. As well, India is going through a sea-change in terms of technology with people getting online and the mobile revolution creating many new opportunities. We felt that the time was right to do something impactful in this area, and thus we created Purple Health,” reveals Nair.
With the step-wise development of the company, PurpleHealth was evolved into an entity in 2014 with an ability to offer a 360-degree health platform that delivers a diverse spectrum of solutions, services and products to consumers, healthcare providers and institutions. PurpleHealth aims to build a collaborative healthcare platform through integrated technology that connects the diverse constituents in the healthcare space.
The platform provides users access to doctors, hospitals and health-related products and services. It allows users to choose doctors, schedule appointments and set up video and voice chat with doctors. PurpleHealth also provides technological support to help healthcare providers engage with their customers. The platform currently has over 40,000 doctors, a network of 4,000 hospitals and clinics spread across 250 cities and are present in all major metros. The company’s partners include Apollo hospitals, Fortis, Max Healthcare, Global Hospitals, Rockland Hospitals, Vasan Dental Care and SPARSH.
VC-backed steady growth
An initially bootstrapped company, PurpleHealth impressed Katabole Technology Ventures to raise a seed fund of around Rs 67 lakh in 2015. The fund was deployed to strengthen the team and improvise its product offerings.
Just this past December, Uber recently considered Purple Health to be among the top 15 most promising start-ups in India among over 5500+ who applied to their Uber Pitch competition.
“We are doing well in the digital health space and have received tremendous encouragement and interest in our technologies. Our user adoption has also increased since inception. We have a robust sale team who would reach out to doctors and engage with them, we are also participating in different industry events and forums to engage with our target audience. We are active online as well,” touts Nair.
More in store
Nair believes that the telemedicine market is still nascent in India, although he expects it to grow quickly and substantially over time. As internet connectivity improves and reduces in cost, and as smartphone penetration increases, mobility solutions in healthcare will accelerate in adoption, Nair envisions.
“It’s still early days in terms of telemedicine overall and certainly in rural India. Communications and internet infrastructure need to improve and reduce in costs before telehealth services like video-chat with a doctor takes off. Having said that, we see that rural India has the biggest need for such technology and certainly there’s a large market potential there since so many people are underserved in terms of access to any form of healthcare. It is only a matter of time before many people in rural India start using telemedicine services,” outlines Nair.
Nair has a well-planned future roadmap. His team intends to launch never-seen-before products, both, in the B2B and B2C space. In the next few months, PurpleHealth will be in news for new products and mobile apps launch. PurpleHealth will focus on foraying new markets in the healthcare space and will research on better usage of data to help outcomes for patients and healthcare providers.
Balaji Jagannathan, Founder and CEO, Katabole Technology Venture, vouches for Nair’s plans. PurpleHealth excited Balaji Jagannathan of Katabole simply because of its planned approach and that it has the potential to recognize the scale of the problems the healthcare space presents.