With traffic doubling on the home healthcare segment, Hyderabad-based CallHealth plans to cover 50 Indian cities by 2019 and make a foray into some other countries. CallHealth positions itself as supermarket in the health care at home sector and is already dealing with about 2000 calls per day from the 11 cities it currently covers.
Offering services ranging from doctor consults, diagnostic tests, medicine delivery, at-home nursing and physiotherapy, according to CEO, Hari T, CallHealth has a witnessed a doubling of orders in less than six months. All these services can be booked through a phone call, its website or by downloading a mobile app.
Hari believes that the firm can dip its toes in foreign waters because "the point is that whatever we are building as a platform and a service, it can be replicable in any place that has a fragmented health care ecosystem." And in this, he says, "we are obviously looking at, and committed to taking it beyond India".
While quick to add that it is still premature to share the exact plan, he says, the company always believed that the first opportunity would be India, then some of the developing countries, followed by more developed nations.
He points out "whatever platforms we developed were never purely for India; they were always meant to look at the complexities, and regulatory issues applicable to different countries... extend it to those countries through perhaps local partners". Right now, CallHealth is spread across 11 cities: Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Chitoor, Warangal, Nellore, and Kurnool.
Those who understand this space, say home health care is an activity dependent largely on the availability of medical and paramedical workforce. It may, therefore not be possible for this model to work in countries where the necessary workforce is in shortage. Within Europe for instance, the UK already has home health care providers and has looked at this model in the past. In other places such as the US and in Japan, there is already a high penetration of home health care services.
Is the Indian model of home health care delivery replicable abroad? For instance if South America, is a lucrative market then what has stopped American players from tapping it. These of course are questions that the company, promoted by Sandhya Raju, daughter-in-law of B Ramalinga Raju, the founder of Satyam Computers, will have to look at.