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Eka Care, a startup helping digitize health records of Indian patients, raises $15 million – TechCrunch

Eka carea startup aiming to digitize Indian patients’ health records has raised $15 million in a new funding round to hire more engineers and bring additional doctors to its platform, which has amassed over 30 million registered users and 5,000 doctors .

Hummingbird Ventures led Eka Care’s Series A round, which included 3one4Capital, Mirae Assets, Verlinvest, Aditya Birla Ventures, Binny Bansal and Rohit MA, among others.

Founded in December 2020 by Vikalp Sahni and Deepak Tuli, who previously co-founded travel booking platform Goibibo, Eka Care enables consumers to manage their digital health records, which doctors can access via an in-house digital clinic management tool.

“I don’t see a future where you won’t continue to digitally store a large portion of your health data,” Sahni said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Today, its platform enables nearly half a million chronic patients to store their health records digitally.

“If you go to a doctor and you have a medical record, the doctor has to go through every page of that record, which is not for anyone to read through and remember,” Tuli said. “But when it’s a graphic, it’s easy to remember and see… That’s the fundamental difference for a doctor.”

Vikalp Sahni (left) and Deepak Tuli (right)

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Eka Care started its journey as a record keeping app for doctors and patients. Last year, it received approval from Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) in New Delhi to allow users to create and use their Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) and integrate the platform with Unique Health Interface (UHI).

The government plans for ABDM to offer a unified digital health infrastructure. At the same time, ABHA acts as an individual account to help consumers easily share their healthcare data with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare technology companies. UHI, on the other hand, provides an interoperable IT network that allows people to connect with different healthcare providers using their ABHA identities.

“The essence of UHI and ABDM is that public health record apps will be the health locker for patients,” Sahni said. “It’s absolutely what we want for users. So it was a natural integration for us.”

Sahni said that while using ABDM is optional for users, Eka Care recommends consumers create their health IDs because it allows them to share their health records with the open ecosystem.

Eka Care also integrated the government’s CoWIN last year to allow its users to find COVID vaccination centers and store their vaccination certificates on the platform.

The implementation of the government’s plan to digitize health data has helped Eka Care attract the latest investment.

“We find that timing is critical for every major venture investment market,” Akshay Mehra, India Lead, Hummingbird Ventures, told TechCrunch. “In this case, with help or through the government pushing ABDM forward, we thought the Eka team was well placed to execute on this strategy.”

Mehra also cited Sahni’s previous experience working with the government — where he was part of the team working behind India’s contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu — as one of the reasons that convinced Hummingbird Ventures to make the investment decision.

“Of course we don’t want to name any players outside of the competition, but their patient orientation is the hardest to crack,” he said.

A number of companies have joined the government’s digitization plan in recent quarters and started to offer solutions based on the UHI. This includes players like DRiefcase, Docon and Bajaj Finserv Health.

Without explicitly naming any competitors, Sahni told TechCrunch that many players still see health as a transactional journey. “We will be at least 50X more in terms of our MAUs, DAUs and the total number of users using our platform,” he said.

The executive also pointed out that Eka Care has both patients and doctors on its platform, giving it a competitive edge over similar healthcare offerings. “Somehow, because of our broader technology business lead, we were able to take advantage of the tailwind coming from CoWIN, ABDM, the best on the market,” Sahni said.

Eka Care claims to have become the largest health record archive in India with over 30 million medical records and 1.6 million ABHAs.

In addition to supporting the government ecosystem, the company offers a Gmail integration to store medical records directly from email. It also allows users to upload medical documents via WhatsApp or by clicking on their photos. The Eka Care mobile app also includes a heart rate monitoring feature that uses the smartphone’s camera to suggest heart rate.

Eka Care mobile app

Eka Care app for Android

Keeping sensitive healthcare data on a digital platform often raises security and privacy concerns for users. Eka Care claims that it takes care of user safety by performing several measures.

“We have some really good people on our tech team. You have done a good job. A lot of these guys also worked with me on Aarogya Setu and Goibibo,” said Sahni. “I’ve never seen more hacking attempts in my life than on Aarogya Setu during my stint. And fortunately, we are now putting everything we have learned on Eka Care.”

The company also works with outside agencies and has an in-house security and anonymization team to ensure the safety of user data, he said.

“There is an external agency that we hired. They run penetration tests on our systems every month,” said Sahni. “They test us externally as hackers like white hat hackers and try to give us all the early warning that we did.”

Eka Care too Expectations that it never rents or sells user information or data to third parties, and never uses or transfers its user data “to serve ads, including retargeting, personalized, or interest-based advertising.”

Currently, Eka Care operates on a subscription-based model to generate revenue. It sells subscriptions to doctors so they can connect with their patients and store their records digitally on the platform.

“Our goal is for the doctor to be able to type in the electronic patient record (EMR) in less than 30 seconds. The rest of the time they should just talk to the patient, understand more about them and give them more confidence,” Tuli said.

Eka Care plans to expand its revenue model and explore other ways to monetize its offering. Some of the funding it received in the new round is said to be dedicated specifically to monetization experiments.

“If consumers are not willing to pay, then maybe insurance companies are willing to pay because they buy insurance. So there are many ways,” said Sahni.

Eka Care also plans to expand its workforce, currently around 100 people, by hiring more engineers and accelerating the doctor hiring process. It has its sales team in 14 cities including Tier 2 cities and metros to onboard doctors. However, there are plans to extend this reach to new cities.

With the new funding, Eka Care has raised a total of $19.8 million, including $4.8 million before the current round. The exact valuation of the company after the refinancing has not yet been announced. However, Tuli said it would be closer to “three-digit million dollars.”

“With Vikalp and Deepak, we are supporting an exceptional team with experience and expertise in building and scaling digital platforms,” ​​said Ashish Dave, CEO of Mirae Asset Venture Investments (India), in a statement.

Eka Care, a startup helping digitize health records of Indian patients, raises $15 million – TechCrunch Source link Eka Care, a startup helping digitize health records of Indian patients, raises $15 million – TechCrunch

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