Tele-consultation Business: Start-ups needs to be careful

With new guidelines issued by the government of India, relaxation in rules and the insurance providers roped in this technology, Telemedicine or tele-consultation has opened a plethora of business opportunities for many.

At the same time, there are some barriers and challenges that hinder this welcome transformation.

Scalability will be an issue with hundreds of such start-ups jumping at the same time. Probably each company is using the same survey and targeting the same tangents. Providers and consumers, with knowledge and access to technology is limited in India, and expecting them to be comfortable at a very short period, may be elusive .

Competing with already established giants like Practo and Lybrate would be a great challenge. These companies have struggled with tele-consultation for years but the current pandemic has turned the tables around for them making  progress at a faster rate as they already have huge data with them. Also, the hospitals, who already have their own patient base, are putting their own tele-consultation services.

The complexity of the healthcare business with digitalisation, creates a market which needs more planning and in depth knowledge. Mere knowledge of technology cannot bridge the gap as understanding the psychology of the patients and the doctors, is the most challenging task. Involving the users ( Doctors using this technology) may be a good idea for start-ups.

Trust of the patients is with doctors and the hospitals brand. Start-up companies are currently focusing more on the number of doctors getting enrolled without giving much importance on the qualification and experience.

The start-up companies, have to be realistic on what works and what not, as some applications are not relevant till we have detailed guidelines. A sudden change in policies would make their application out of use without any warning signs.


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