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Apollo TeleHealth May See Realigning Of Consumer-Facing Business

Apollo TeleHealth, a leading multispecialty telemedicine network of Apollo Hospitals Group, may see its consumer-facing business to be realigned with a push to wellness and health management. Its business to consumer (B2C) offerings include the mobile health services it offers through Ask Apollo app.

There is enough room for growth in the segment with the high mismatch in doctor-patient ratio and demand-supply mismatch between the urban and rural markets, said a senior company official.

“We are trying to put all the B2C services into one basket and that will come as a front end,” said Vikram Thaploo, CEO – TeleHealth at Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited.

“Apollo has been into B2C space earlier also, but the segment has started seeing traction with more players in the market. Acceptability by the people and the doctors went up,” he said. The company has around 850 doctors dedicated to various segments in which Telehealth operates, and it has access to 2,500 specialists from the Apollo Hospitals for the B2C model.

Mobile healthcare technology firms like Lybrate, in which Ratan Tata and investment firms like Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners have invested, has been emerging in the mobile and online healthcare services segment including on online consulting.

Established in 1999 the company as a telemedicine venture to connect the Apollo Hospitals internally, it currently has a Business to Business (B2B) model where it offers services to the corportes or franchisees who will then dispense healthcare services, a B2C model where it mainly have the mobile platform named Ask Apollo – where it offers video, audio or email consultation; facilities to book appointment with Apollo doctors or labs; get the medicine delivered; or picking up condition management packages, among others. The third model it has is the Business to Government (B2G) where it delivers the telehealth services in collaboration with public health systems.

In 2010, Apollo Hospitals started expanding the TeleHealth to rural India and developed and established its software till 2014. From 2014, it developed a clinical decision support system which helps doctors to do clinical decisions quickly and systematically along with bring in automation into clinical delivery. Later, it has also tied up with Google to provide content to Google Card, which would come up in healthcare related searches in its search engine. The company has also used Aritificial Intelligence in collaboration with Microsoft for cardiac care which claims 99 per cent accuracy and tied up with various governments to offer tele health services to public health centres.

It is also open to acquire small start ups with solutions for speciality segments. It is also mentoring various healthcare related start ups, he added. Thaploo quoting various reports said that the pureplay video and audio healthcare consulting market is around $39 billion globally and $32 million in India. If the hybrid models like the hospital to hospital or hospital to corporates services put togther, the market in India would be around $300-500 million. He added that there is room for the existing players, since the doctor-patient ratio at present is highly inadequate.

Apollo TeleHealth is one among the top three telemedicine firm along with China-based Ping An Good Doctor and Switzerland-based Medgate, said Thaploo. Its services has been accessed in 48 countries, and over 100 cities in 25 Indian States.-Business Standard