Last 2 to 3 years have seen significant activity in the HealthTech space. Startups have mushroomed by dozens, all of them adding one or more apps to – what is fast becoming a crowded, and even confused Healthcare space.
The one thing that intrigues me (as a consumer) the most about the current state of HealthTech space is this prevailing confusion on – which Apps to keep, or which app to use for what. If one was to look at apps from various travel companies – they all provide a core functionality of allowing you to book travel. All the Food apps provide you the basic service of – delivering food. In the HealthTech space however – everyone seems to be doing something different. And this is perhaps a reflection of the evolving maturity of this segment. Situation becomes further complicated because – barring search function – none of the apps appear to meet user needs comprehensively, and none appear mature enough.
I spent time analyzing several of the currently available Health apps – and I think we need several categories to classify them.
Search apps – Doctors, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centers, ambulances, blood banks etc.
- Online (Video/Audio) consultations
- Online pharmacy apps
- Hospital procedures price comparison apps
- Medical records storage apps
- Fitness tracking apps
- Doctor networking & referral apps … and a few more
While Practo, Lybrate and Just Dial are the leading apps in the search segment for Doctors, Hospitals, Diagnostic labs etc., the leading online pharmacies include the likes of Netmeds and 1mg. Healthkart deals in various non-pharma products. Lybrate and Practo had also started with the video consultation model, but after an initial euphoria (which also helped them raise initial money) this model has largely faded. DocsApp is also focused on Online Doctor Consultations.
HealthifyMe, Nike Running, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, GoQii etc. focus on fitness. Curofy aims at building Doctor’s network and case discussions forum. LetsMD, CrediHealth, and some others like these provide price comparison for standard hospital procedures.
A host of other apps – HealthLeaf, Careons, Fitastik, Remedo, Medimojo, Map My Doctor, CureFy, MyHealthVault, RxTab, JUSTaarogyam, My Medical, getvisitapp, JustDoc, SuperDoc, Doctor on Demand – and perhaps dozens others offer several functions & features. Unfortunately, some of these apps appeared unstable, and somewhat confused on the core offering.
A new promising kid on the block appeared to be the twin apps of – ‘Healnt’ and ‘HealntMD’. Although I am yet to explore these apps fully (and I couldn’t register for HealntMD – which is a Doctor’s app) – these apps appeared to bring a completely fresh paradigm to the HealthTech app space. A video on the Healnt website and Google Play Store indicates that HealntMD is the app which Doctors would use when consulting patients in their clinics, or when answering patient questions, reviewing reports during non-clinic hours. If Practo/Lybrate/JD specialize in bringing patients to Doctor’s door, HealntMD seems to specialize in what the Doctor does in his clinic. Integrated with the patient side app of Healnt, the two apps seem to have the potential to transform the space. I am going to try leveraging contacts with my doctor friends and try taking a closer look at HealntMD. The company claims to have built foundation of what can be a PublicEMR – something badly needed by the society, and something completely missing as of now.
It’s still very early times in the healthtech app space. We will undoubtedly see new business models emerging, and the pace of both – casualties & consolidation – increasing.