One of the creative minds behind social media giant Twitter, Biz Stone has backed Delhi-based healthtech startup Visit which is on a mission to democratise healthcare by shrinking the shortage of doctors using artificial intelligence (AI).
Founded in 2016 by BITS, Pilani students Anurag Prasad, Vaibhav Singh, Shashvat Tripathi and Chetan Anand, Visit is an AI-powered chatbot for health advice. The Visit bot connects its users with a network of specialists for a tele consult over video, phone and chat to get a treatment plan.
The funding round was led by Biz Stone in his personal capacity. The round also saw the participation of Snapdeal co-founders: Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; US-based BlueJeans Network co-founder Alagu Periyannan and Karthee Madasamy, a former top official of Qualcomm Ventures.
In a blog post, Biz Stone shared, “Visit facilitates a symbiotic relationship between AI and doctors, making a hugely positive impact on patients. This is why I can get so optimistic about technology amplifying the best in humanity. Investing in Visit is my small way of contributing to a future where AI is seen as a positive enhancement of humanity that really does improve lives.”
Visit: Democratising Healthcare Using Artificial Intelligence
Users interact with the Visit Chatbot by adding their symptoms and the bot follows-up with a series of questions to predict the most probable diagnosis. The questions are generated by a Machine Learning model, trained using a knowledge base of probabilistic relationships (over 20,000) between variables such as conditions, symptoms, risk factors, past history, etc.
However, being millennial themselves and playing between applications, Visit founders understand that beyond getting the treatment, a user can easily uninstall the application.
To address this, they have introduced AI-based chatbot which tracks user’s activity, sleep, calories and fitness data to help them reach their goals with continuous reminders, insights and motivation. Users can also log their daily meals, blood pressure, blood sugar to seek help in Chronic Care Management.
“The objective is not to replace the doctor, but to help practitioners in an assistive way by regular patient check-ins and reminders related to their care plan including — medication reminders, activity notifications, prescription re-fills, etc.,” Biz Stone said.
Inc42 caught up with Vaibhav Singh, co-founder of Visit, to understand more about the app and its latest stats:
- 2,000 specialists: Psychologists, dietitians, dermatologists, sexologists, gynaecologists, preventive cardiology and paediatrician, besides general physicians and 16 MBBS doctors have aligned with Visit.
- Visit has recorded 200K chat conversations and handles about 1,500 daily chat queries ranging from general health, medicines, skin problems, diet or nutrition and gynaecology.
- The average user conversation on Visit lasted 8.5 minutes before chatbot was introduced in February and after that it lasts around 13.5 minutes.
- For the last eight to nine months, Visit has recorded 24-26% M-o-M growth.
Vaibhav further mentioned that as a B2B interface, their major source of revenue comes from corporates and health insurance providers. In a blog post, Visit co-founder Anurag shared that some of India’s top employers and health insurances — Times Group, Rolls Royce, HDFC AMC, Wipro CCLG, Religare Health Insurance work with Visit to make the platform available to their employees and subscribers as a health benefit.
The funding will be utilised towards building its telemedicine app, including offering AI driven diagnosis. The healthtech startup further aims to reach a million more users in 2018 and become the go-to app for quality health advice.
HealthTech Market And The Opportunity For Startups Like Visit
According to the WHO, the world suffers from a shortage of at-least 7.2 Mn healthcare workers. In India, for every doctor, there are 2,000 patients lined up with in-clinic waiting time running in hours.
At the time when Google has introduced Symptom Search in India for better answers to health queries, Vaibhav said that as per statistics, Google receives nearly 35 Mn queries about symptoms, and therefore, Visit wanted to bring healthcare to people who can’t access it.
As per IBEF, healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors both in terms of revenue and employment. The total industry size is expected to touch $280 Bn by 2020. And as per Inc42 Data Labs Tech Startup Funding Report 2017, healthtech witnessed 111 deals and investment of $333 Mn in 2017, thrice the amount raised in 2016.
As a combination of fitness and wellness application along with medical support space, Visit has identified the problems faced by users and has found a solution using deep technologies like AI, ML and NLP while continuing to work towards strengthening its application. With the boost of funding from marquee investors, how well does Visit enable its AI-product and retain itself in users’ smartphone only time will tell.