Tech can overhaul home-based heathcare, says HCAH's Gareth Jones
Eponymously named startup Health Care At Home Pvt Ltd's (HCAH) chairman and director Gareth Jones is betting big on India. He believes that new technology and connectivity can overhaul home-based healthcare, a nascent space today. From regular updates to the doctor via home visit reports through handheld devices to GPS tracking and simulation-based training for nurses and specialists, HCAH is using its tech platform to provide advanced heathcare at the patient's home. Currently providing its services to 30,000 patients in 11 cities including Delhi NCR, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, it plans to go pan-India in the next two years.
"Extending the technology touchpoints will be the key for HCAH. Having a patient at home connected to a care provider which is in turn connected to a hospital is very important," he says.
HCAH, a joint venture between the Burman family, the promoters of natural healthcare products maker Dabur Ltd, and Gareth Jones and Charles Walsh, the founders of UK-based Health Care At Home, started two years back and has 500 employees, with front line care providers comprising 8 per cent of the workforce. It has tied up with hospital chains such as Manipal Hospitals, Fortis and Nova Hospitals so that their patients can continue the treatment regime at home.
Bangalore-based Portea Medical is HCAH's biggest competitor, with health care personnel in 24 cities who make 60,000 in-home visits every month. Portea, co-founded by Meena Ganesh, has its own tech platform, including mobile apps. Others in the fray include India Home Healthcare and Nightingale's.
Jones, in an interaction with VCCircle, discusses the startup's expansion plans and the obstacles it faces in providing homecare in India. He also talks about the technology quotient in the homecare business and how the industry can unlock huge potential for pharma industry. "Homecare is not an alternative but a compliment to the hospitals. I am not surprised there are many competitors as people are realising the huge potential here but it will be about who does it the best," he says.