The Problem

In India, we live in a world of undersupply when it comes to access to skilled medical practitioners. Globally,  healthcare is positioned as demand constrained, with not enough practitioners to serve the billion+ patients who need medical services every day. Especially when it comes to practitioners like doctors, nurses and technicians we are told we are staggeringly undersupplied. Although over the years, the inequality in life expectancy in India has decreased drastically, we’re still left with a flat-line trend on an increase in available resources with respect to the increase in demand for efficient healthcare delivery. 

Driving Resource Efficiency

Resource efficiency is a measure of efficient utilization of available resources in achieving the end outcomes. For a population of 1.3 billion, India has an unmet demand for ~1 million doctor consultations every day(excluding those covered under welfare). With resource efficiency at an abysmal 34% (IBEF 2019 report), the scope for delivering effective health outcomes is massively constrained. Add to this the regulatory barriers in practice, credentialing, verification, etc., between the states;  many well-qualified practitioners do not find avenues to maximize their available time dedicated to the job, thereby resulting in lower wages, extreme local concentration in urban centers in chase of better pay, and hyper-competition in urban vs extreme shortage in rural centers. 85%+ of healthcare in India is delivered by private entities, who have over the years invested billions into building the infrastructure and extending reach. Yet, along with being highly regulated, constraints in the engagement of skilled resources have resulted in high CAPEX healthcare institutions often struggling to meet footfall demands.

The fact of the matter is that there is a chronic supply-demand mismatch in healthcare in India and also the Asia Pacific, primarily powered by information asymmetry. This mismatch and nonalignment of data stacks across the healthcare industry result in loss of revenue opportunities for healthcare providers and practitioners, bad to non-existent patient outcomes, and ineffective impact of most welfare schemes. 

The Value Manifesto

When thinking about the product strategy at MedPiper, very early on the founding team realized that hardly anyone cares how good the product is. The only way an entity in the healthcare value chain will care about us is if we empower and maximize outcomes while minimizing product friction and to a degree, removing trivial interactions required to achieve the end goals. In the early stages of such an endeavor, we realize it is almost futile to focus on building products or tuning features. The fundamentals of product development adopted from consumer businesses seemed to fail and often have opposite effects, in regulation-driven ecosystems like healthcare.

What we always focus on when we think of product strategy is how to deliver outcomes to our users in the most seamless way possible. Many a time, we also focus on existing platforms to deliver our value rather than building out something that requires new attention mechanisms and hence drop-offs and thus loss of value for our practitioner customers. 

As a startup, each and every person involved should now internalize that:

1. building features does not guarantee value creation for users

2. producing and writing software can not be a goal in itself

Current processes in most early age startups in healthcare like Agile or Waterfall models do not focus on value creation as the single highest priority, but instead have lofty aims like customer involvement and fast development. In the world where Agile was invented, product and value perspectives mostly didn't hold influence.

A product manifesto that is obsessed with value transfer and creation for users is needed. As startups and professionals slowly move in the direction of value-based product strategies we at MedPiper also believe that:

a. Assuming user needs via previous experiences is highly overrated. Instead, we empathize with our customers and take regular feedback.

b. Opinions from the team and outsiders are highly blinded to their limited pool of experience, often from non-healthcare settings. Instead, we test our ideas and check if users engage in the value created in the simplest ways possible.

c. We feel discussing what feature should be built is usually the wrong conversation to be had. Instead, we focus on what value the outcome generates for our users, is it measurable, repeatable, and tangible.

d. Writing software or putting together solutions should not be a goal of any process. Enabling our users to work better and faster towards transactional outcomes should be the actual goal.

The Impact

At MedPiper we optimize the calendar of a Doctor, driving maximum opportunity visibility for the given active hours the Doctor has opened his engagement availability for. We are trying to solve the supply-demand mismatch and enabling overall efficiency in healthcare via higher utilization of available practitioner hours. 

This makes MedPiper a platform where the demand side is represented by leading healthcare providers, large and small hospitals, and digital health platforms. MedPiper has worked hard also to onboard unique demand-side opportunities such as pharma companies researching new drugs with doctors, insurance companies looking for client health verification among others. 

Every day, over 58,03,200 doctor hours are wasted in India. MedPiper wants to play a pivotal role in enabling 20 million additional consultations in India while also helping practitioners find lucrative opportunities where their skills can be fully used. 

If you think you would like to participate in our journey as a user or a partner please write to [email protected]