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Get medical opinion through a click

business Updated: Dec 22, 2011 21:57 IST
Vivek Sinha

What do you expect from doctors with degrees from the best medical college in India and in the US? Generally, one would assume a thriving medical practice in any of the best hospitals of the country.

Well, Arbinder Singal and Debraj Shome had other plans. Combining the advantage of rising Internet penetration with the disadvantage of deteriorating healthcare facilities in the country, the duo saw business potential and created the world’s first e-hospital in January this year.

The e-hospital targets patients who require consultations or secondary medial opinion and offers services — through the Internet — right at the patient’s doorstep.

According to Arbinder Singal, a paediatric urologist and founding director of MediAngels, around 80% patients who visit a hospital come for consultations or secondary opinion and do not require admission. “We brainstormed on how can we provide quality medical services to these patients right at their doorsteps, and then came up with the idea of the e-hospital,” Singal told HT.

In March, this year, the private equity arm of HDFC Ltd picked up 12% stake in the company for Rs2.5 crore. The company is in talks with venture capital funds to raise another $5 million (Rs26.5 crore), said Singhal. “We expect the funds to come by February 2012.

The company is also in talks with three insurance companies to provide consultations to medial claims.

How does it work? MediAngels has a panel of 350 super specialists from over 20 countries who offer consultancy in 90 specialities.

Patients are required to upload their medical reports or x-rays on the site and select the super specialist doctor for an opinion for a consultancy fee of Rs750.

The e-hospital already has close to 8,000 registered patients.

“I posted detailed questions about my mother’s cancer, uploaded reports and was given advice by a trained specialist,” said Sujata, 45 a working mother from Surat. “This happened just at a click from my home in Surat.”

Around 50% patients at MediAngels are from metropolitan cities, 40% from smaller cities and remaining 10% from international locations.