The time is now for Practo & Telemedicine

Behavioural change is stressful, especially in matters that directly impact our lives. Nevertheless, times like these force us to look at usually glanced-over alternatives to get things done. One such change; and arguably one that will stay post-COVID, is Telemedicine.

Founded in 2008, Practo was one of India’s leading telemedicine companies even though growth was slow. However, based in a healthcare-scarce* country like India, Practo was at the right place all along; it’s just that the right time is now. In the last four months, online consultations on the platform witnessed a 1000% growth, and Practo raised $32 million in funding led by $20 million from the A1A life insurance company, and fresh infusions from existing partners, Tencent and Sequoia Capital. With India’s telemedicine market expected to reach $5.4 Bn by 2025, the company shows no intention of slowing down.

Practo, calls itself a ‘one-stop-shop for all your medical needs’ and connects patients to offline stores and provides online consultations from ‘anywhere, anytime’, even at odd hours and on holidays. It now has around 25000 verified online doctors and boasts a CSAT score of 90%^. 80% of the company’s telemedicine customers were first-time users, and approximately 50% of consultations were from non-metros. Therefore, Practo is now a catalyst for inclusive healthcare; talk about profit with positive impact!

Though Practo’s CSAT score disproves the naysayers who deem Telemedicine a temporary phenomenon, the company itself cannot be complacent. Other key players like mFine and DocPrime have reached new milestones in 2020 with mFine seeing a growth of 300% in speciality and super speciality cases and 1000% growth in mental health queries. Moreover, newer startups like Meddo and Navia Lifecare are also catching up with the competition.

All in all, whoever wins, this is the beginning of a great leap for healthcare in India.

* India has one government doctor for every 1,139 people, whereas the WHO recommends a ratio of 1:1,000. Existing medical staff and infrastructure is disproportionately concentrated in metros.

^ Customer Satisfaction Score, more than 90% of users rate Practo 4 and 5

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