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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Know how CureBay is enabling affordable healthcare in remote places

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CureBay, a startup located in Bhubaneswar, is allowing the last-mile distribution of basic healthcare services by utilising technology and a network of e-clinics to make excellent healthcare available to individuals in small towns and villages.

The firm employs a hybrid strategy to give teleconsultations, distribute drugs, organise appointments, meet patients’ diagnostic needs, and enable tertiary care admission.

COVID-19 exposed the stark disparities in healthcare services across India. While individuals in metropolitan towns and urban centres went to multi-specialty hospitals, their rural counterparts, who account for 65% of India’s population, battled to get access to decent healthcare.

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Shobhan Mahapatra, and Sanjay Swain decided to develop healthtech firm CureBay to focus on medically underserved areas in response to the gap and rising need for doorstep healthcare services. CureBay, located in Bhubaneswar, was created in 2021 to enable the last-mile delivery of basic healthcare services by the use of technology and a network of e-clinics that make excellent healthcare available to individuals in small towns and villages.

A transparent booking approach and concierge services are used by the healthcare startup to give teleconsultations, provide medicines, arrange appointments, handle diagnostic requirements of patients, and enable admission for tertiary care at partner institutions.

CureBay connects patients in rural regions with highly skilled doctors by scheduling on-the-spot video chats and then offering follow-up calls to action such as pathology testing and prescription availability in remote locales.

It operates on a three-tiered paradigm, with a hub-and-spoke network backed by satellite healthcare facilities. The hub-and-spoke network is a centrally controlled system that employs artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and funding from an angel investor network to preserve cost and efficiency while offering high-quality services at cheap cost. Satellite healthcare facilities are situated in outlying locations to increase reach and accessibility in rural areas.

Through a full-tech stack, the firm has established a sustainable fulfilling model that connects people in underserved regions to healthcare providers. Following a diagnosis, patients have access to a network of accredited partner labs and hospitals for specialised treatment, as well as the option to have prescription medications delivered straight to them via e-clinics. The goal is to bridge the gap between hospitals and patients in rural regions and Tier II, Tier III, and beyond cities.

CureBay now operates 17 e-clinics in various districts around Odisha, with plans to add seven to eight more each month. It plans to open 100 additional clinics in the following year.

Priyadarshi explains, “Our services provide the final link in the healthcare supply chain to outlying areas. The physical centres allow individuals to save money on travel while receiving quick relief and treatment, whilst the distribution centres address the issue of availability to medications in remote regions.”

CureBay charges a consultation fee of Rs 100 each patient. It has over 10,000 patients on its platform, with an average spend of more over Rs 600 per patient. Over 50 doctors are now active on the platform. The revenue sharing model is used by the service providers.

It has also collaborated with three national laboratory chains: Metropolis, Onquest, and GenX.

Priyadarshi explains, “We assist hospitals in providing high-quality care to outlying patients. This is made possible by the complete patient data collected by our skilled employees at the e-clinics. It increases the life expectancy of individuals in these distant areas and, as a result, promotes the credibility of hospitals.”

To get the firm off to a good start, the founders secured around $1.5 million from angel investors. CureBay secured $6.1 million in a Series A investment from Elevar Equity in November 2022.

According to Grand View Research, the Indian healthcare industry is predicted to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.27% between 2022 and 2030. According to the firm, there is no direct rivalry, but it competes indirectly with DigiQure eClinic, Ayu.

CureBay has introduced a membership scheme that will allow consumers to lower their expenditures while also making healthcare services more accessible to underserved populations. Users must spend less than Rs 50 per month or Rs 599 for a yearly membership to enrol.

Priyadarshi adds, “We intend to extend to other cities and states that face similar issues in delivering basic health care services in rural regions.”

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