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Medwell Ventures Embraces Home Healthcare Model – New Segment in Healthcare

For bigger towns home healthcare is just like a family doctor because it not only gives you a personalized treatment but also stores your health records so that you do not receive any random treatment and the medication prescribed suits you well.

BWDisrupt interacted with to Vishal Bali, Chairman & Co-founder, Medwell Ventures to know how his venture of home healthcare ventures is fairing.

The concept of a house physician or a family doctor is a decade old concept where he used to know the health conditions of each and every member of the family at the back of his hand.

As time grew that concept faded away though it still exists in some small towns. For bigger towns home healthcare is just like a family doctor because it not only gives you a personalized treatment but also stores your health records so that you do not receive any random treatment and the medication prescribed suits you well.

Home Healthcare in India is estimated at $2 billion and is growing by 20% annually. An estimated 65% of hospital visits in India involve healthcare that can be managed at home. Over a period of time, lifestyle has changed drastically, there has been a shift from joint family to a nuclear family, we have seen migration from rural setting to an urban landscape, people have been managing busy work schedules unlike earlier times when there was plenty of leisure time to spare. These factors make personalized healthcare the need of the hour.

Medwell Ventures Pvt Ltd. founded in the year 2014 is a powerful combination of healthcare delivery expertise, smart technology and stringent processes. With years of industry experience, Mr. Vishal Bali joined hands with Dr. Ferzaan Engineer and Mr. Lalit Pai to start the business undertaking. After getting the first round of funding Medwell acquired Nightingales Home Health Services in 2014.

Nightingales Home Healthcare provides speciality based home healthcare services through a multidisciplinary team of Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Respiratory therapists, Neurophysiologists and Dentists to patients suffering from chronic diseases. Its care plans cover Neurological Strokes, Congestive Heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Diabetic Wounds and others. Ever since the acquisition, Nightingales developed itself from a general home health care provider to a specialized home health services offering stroke rehab, wound management, respiratory care, dental services, ICU care, etc. - all in the comfort of home.

Initially, the services of Nightingales were only available in Bangalore but post acquisition the services were launched in Hyderabad and Mumbai markets too. In Hyderabad, Nightingales started off with very unique services of Dentistry at Home and later on established three more centers, one of them being a dedicated physiotherapy center. The physio by Nightingales combines the benefits of at-home physiotherapy and clinic-based solutions. After Hyderabad, Nightingales entered Mumbai in early 2016. Currently it has two fully operational centers, one in South Mumbai – Nariman Point and the other in the suburbs- Dadar.

Earlier Nightingales offered services from one location, making widespread coverage of the city a serious challenge. Hence branch model was introduced across 3 cities to bring ease in economics of operations. Nightingales today has 11 branches, 4 Clinics with 1.5M clinical services offered across 3 cities annually.

Within two years of its inception Nightingales has scaled up its full time team strength from 15 people to 900 people across three major cities of India, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

The founders of Medwell had done a seed round of $3 million to set the company in 2014. Later on it got its first round of investment of $10 million from Fidelity Growth Partners India (FGPI) and Fidelity Biosciences. Currently, Medwell is looking for its second round of investment which it will be raising during the course of this year. This money will be utilized for multi-city expansions.

Today technology is a crucial part of any business. Without technology a business may run but cannot take off successfully. Even in the field of healthcare, technology plays a vital role. Using technology to provide faster healthcare solutions, will soon become the norm, but one should be cautious with technology replacing touch. Even Gartner has predicted that by 2025, 50 percent of the population will rely on VPHAs for primary care, finding them more responsive and accurate than their human counterparts.

Medwell is a believer of technology. They have hired Gowtham Jayaram as their Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who was the Products Manager at Yahoo earlier. Nightingales is amongst one of very few home healthcare companies which has a dedicated CTO. Nightingales built a Cloud based platform, BOS, which increased Operational efficiency and improved the clinical excellence of the company.

BOS is a single point of contact to run complete Home health service workflow. The complete workflow can be accessed by Admin app, Staff app & Customer app. These apps provide the functionality to capture the basic workflow, which consists - Customer contacting NHHS, Requests for Services, Staff assignment, Service delivery, EMR update and EMR summary to Patient.

More importantly, BOS and the Apps provide more complex functionality such as:-

Ability to define Services/Service Price at Branch level
- Triggering alerts if Customer request is not closed in time
- Automatic matching & assignment of service request to Staff availability
- Checking if services are being delivered on time
- Works offline for select crucial interactions
- Generate bill and collect payments
- Create and upload EMR

Concept of speciality care at home (dedicated diabetes care plan, wound management, etc. In today’s hectic work life it’s always beneficial to have all the services under one roof. The specialty concept at home revolves around this theory of making it convenient for a patient and the family to get all medical services or medical professionals deliver a comprehensive care at home in each of the therapeutic areas like stroke management, COPD management, Wound care, Palliative care, ICU care, etc.

For example: A stroke package includes visits by Physiotherapist, Occupational therapist, Speech therapist, Nursing professionals and Doctors . If the patient is completely bedridden then bed-side care givers are deployed depending on the recommendation of the treating doctor apart from pharmacy delivery to medical equipments and supportive equipments like wheel chair, cot, etc.

Our revenue model is based on pay per transaction and also package model for long term engagement. Two years back when we entered the home healthcare market there was only one national player, Portea Home Healthcare, however in addition to this there were many regional players. Some of these would be Healthcare at Home, India Home Healthcare, Care 24, Call Health, Pianta and many more unorganized players.

The biggest USP of Medwell is that it is run by the veterans of the healthcare industry like Mr. Vishal Bali, Mr. Lalit Pai and Dr. Ferzaan Engineer. Vishal and Ferzaan have been in the business for more than 25 years and know the gaps and requirements in the Indian healthcare space.

Besides, there are:
• Patient-centric model delivering continuum of care across healthcare settings
• Specialized care across therapeutic areas
• Technology-driven
• Scalable partnerships with healthcare innovators

Every business has its own set of challenges and we need to address these to sustain in the business. Some of the initial challenges which we faced were:
• Providing high quality effective, outcome based service
• Effectively utilization of staff and logistics
• Ensure consistency of service quality maintained
• Measure key operational metrics and optimize them continuously

Two years back when we started our journey, home healthcare was in its nascent stage but now it has emerged as a totally new segment in the healthcare vertical. Our mission in terms of expansion is to reach 1 million customers in the next 5 years across 15 cities. We can now proudly say that we are growing rapidly and may accomplish our mission before time.

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