COVER STORY

For the record

32VenkatSuravarapu Click to cure: MedRecordz founders Venkat Suravarapu (right) and Sastry Chemudupaty | Ramchandra Pentukar

A Hyderabad-based company's integrated electronic platform connects doctors and labs to customers, and ensures hassle-free storage of medical records

Visiting a doctor has become an all-day process, and includes the time spent on travel, in the waiting room, buying medicine, etc. You also have to keep your medical history on hand before meeting the doctor. In emergency situations, you might not get the time to do all this. So, wouldn't it be useful to have all the required information on one platform? Well, in about a month, this could become reality. Hyderabad-based startup MedRecordz will launch an electronic platform that connects health care providers, such as diagnostic centres, physicians, hospitals and pharmacies, with customers. There are sister apps—MedRecordz for the customer, DrRecordz for the doctor and LabRecordz (currently in use) for the laboratories—which make up a smooth network for easy transfer of information. Using MedRecordz, a customer can fix an appointment with a doctor and access his medical reports. He would also get SMS alerts if the appointment has been postponed or cancelled. After the visit, the customer receives the diagnosis and prescription, which is also given to the pharmacy. With DrRecordz, doctors can register their patients, upload all prescriptions and manage all patient records. On LabRecordz, laboratories can upload results and deliver it to doctors as well as patients. It connects the doctor and the diagnostic centre, which enables transfer of prescriptions from the former to the latter, and then transfer of the lab report from the lab to the customer and doctor. The pharmacy is also in the loop, and the customer's medicines can be home delivered. The vision is to create a smooth network that minimises hassles for the customer while giving doctors and labs a chance to promote their brand.

Venkat Suravarapu and Sastry Chemudupaty, both alumni of Indian Institute of Technology Madras, founded MedRecordz. Sastry, who went to the US, was a software developer at Infosys and also worked with Kodak before returning to India in 2000 to start Vicisoft, an electronic content management company. Venkat studied at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and worked with Tata Telecom before going to the US, where he was head of marketing for an energy consulting firm. “My parents were old and I found it difficult to choose the right doctor,” says Sastry. “I wanted to provide a unified health care platform, which can be shared by different users but managed well for the ultimate consumer.” The two techies have been working on this health care platform for the past two and a half years, trying to iron out the kinks faced by similar companies.

“Trying to get the end user to upload onto a platform does not work, because the user will not be proactive,” says Venkat. “So, it has to come from the provider side.”

Using LabRecordz, the customer calls for a lab test and, after the sample is collected and the test is done, the results are uploaded on his mobile. Other such apps or facilities require patients to upload their past lab reports manually to their account. “The idea is to connect different providers and stitch them together for the benefit of the end user,” says Sastry.

The founders have, so far, invested Rs 1 crore in the venture, while an external investor has invested Rs 50 lakh. If all goes well after the official launch, they might look for investment to expand beyond Hyderabad.

The MedRecordz app would be free for the customers. “Revenues will come from health care providers (users of DrRecordz, LabRecordz and OptiRecordz), who will only stand to gain from this,” says Venkat. There is hope that convenience will lead to loyalty and the provider will have a lot of repeat customers.

While they have not touched the larger labs in Hyderabad, they have managed to rope in 85 of the 600 labs in the city. Word of mouth, they say, will also add to the numbers. “Over a period of time, this data can be used for research and surveys by pharma companies,” says Venkat.

While time and stationery will be saved, this system will also allow the lab or the pharmacy to run campaigns to pull in more customers. “They can give discounts to their existing customers and also draw new customers,” says Sastry.

They also plan to create a Facebook account for doctors, where the company will rate doctors and help them increase their patient base. “He [the doctor] will create new business and add scale to his practice,” says Venkat. The duo believes that, at the end of the day, the individual is happier to go to a recommended doctor. “New business happens through existing customers because the customer networks,” says Sastry. “Usage will draw the crowd.”

CURRENT TRACTION

* More than 3.5 lakh unique health profiles

* More than 1.4 lakh identifiable by unique mobile numbers

* More than 2.1 lakh categorised by demographic factors such as name, age and sex

* More than 10 lakh health records (from diagnostic centres and opticians)

* More than 9,000 users

* 85 diagnostic centre partners

* 75 doctors using DrRecordz

* 52 paying opticians using OptiRecordz

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Topics : #health

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