Medical Second Opinion incepted in the year 2012 is an innovative online portal catering to the second opinion needs in medical cases in a cost effective and a pro-active manner through online medium. This start up initiated by Mr.Sachin Chaudhary, an IIM alumnus addresses the growing requirements for Second Opinion for patients seeking to take the advice of specialists not always available in small centers and tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Apart from this, Medical Second Opinion also offers users the option to consultant specialists for their first time consultations both online and through a monthly OPD in various cities.
“Grown up in the small town of Haridwar, I had seen how patients had to spend a lot of time, money and effort to travel to see a doctor miles away for quality consultation. The motive behind the growth of Medical Second Opinion is to act as a bridge to connect doctors and patients by leveraging technology that is available to all” says Mr.Chaudhary, who is having 10 years of global experience across healthcare delivery, management consulting, healthcare it, and healthcare analytics among others.
Medical Second Opinion works as a virtual hospital following the model of a hospital network. Any user can logon to the website www.medicalsecondopinion.co.in and define his or her episode of medical history, select the doctor she or wants to consult, the mode of consultation and pay the requisite fee.
Internationally renowned team of doctors including the like of Dr. Bijoy Khanderia, the Chief of Cardiac Sciences, Mayo Clinic USA; Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chief Cardiologist and Founder Chairman, Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon and other big names in the medical industry are available at at nominal charges with MSO’s network. Consultation charges are taken as per the selection of the doctor. The charges for corporate and individual categories differ but largely range from Rs. 55 (for physical and diet counseling) to Rs. 1000 (Specialist Opinion) depending on the doctor and his field of specialization. Such nominal charges for consultations make sure that all section of people can use Medical Second Opinion before committing for a particular treatment action plan.
“Medical second opinion offers both online and offline consultation methods which can be used as per the convenience of the patient. The website offers a secure and password protected free cloud space called My Health Record which can be used to store individual health records” says Sachin. Any reports and records from MHR can be shared with the doctors during online consultations. The online portal also provides software generated alerts and reminders for patients to remember their blood test or booster dates. “On the other hand, users who are not so technology friendly have the option to get the consultancy from their physically present OPD Centers and the other panel of hospitals” he continues. The team of specialist doctors travels to pre designated OPD centers to give face to give consultation. The company has started its face to face consultation services in Eternal Heart Care Center and Tagore Hospital and Research Institute in Jaipur.
Business Strategies of Medical Second Opinion:
The company generates revenue from the consultation share from the doctors. “Medical Second Opinion also facilitates medical tourism and ensures complete medical assistance directly with the doctors and charges the facilitation costs for foreign patients. Revenue is also generated from the yearly memberships to Freedom Health Cards; the company's recently introduced discount cards on medical bills at leading hospitals” explain Sachin.
To spread out awareness of their concept, MSO uses mass media communications including print, and radio advertisements to market its website and features. The company has also initiated a marketing program by signing up with corporate/ residential societies/ universities to encompass a larger set of intelligent and enabled users.
Achievements and Future Plans:
In its 4 months of intensive operations, the company already witnessed a monthly consultation load of over a hundred patients. “While in a country which suffers from a constant crisis of access to quality healthcare, any practical solution is always welcomed” says Sachin.
The initial ventures of the company was funded out of Sachin’s savings, but soon he was joined by the Singapore based GAP VC, to back the idea. The company intends to raise US $ 3-5 Million in the next 6 months to fund the expansion and support the growth and is being actively considered and evaluated by few leading VC / PE for series-A funding.
“As part of our future plans, Medical Second Opinion plans to add video and mobile consultation as a way to connect with the doctors while taking the consultation” explains Sachin. MSO has recently signed a joint venture in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Africa and is working to set up subsidiaries overseas. Adding more specialties and doctors to the already existing pool of top doctors and surgeons is also an important step for the company going forward in the near future. With more corporate clients and hospital collaborations in the pipeline and around 18 cities for Connected OPD sessions planned out for expansion, the expectation is only towards north.