Healthcare has been, for a long time, the poster child for an area primed to be disrupted by technology. As the Internet became ubiquitous and smartphones came on the scene, it was thought it was but a matter of time when healthcare as we knew it, specifically delivery of healthcare, would fundamentally change.
But that has not happened.
If someone from 50 years ago woke up after a deep cryogenic sleep and entered today’s world, little would appear to be different. Patients still physically visit hospitals or call up to make appointments.
A small number of people use smartphones to schedule appointments, but beyond that, everything is exactly the way it was before the digital revolution. Patients still wait patiently (pun intended!) in hospital corridors. Doctors, especially senior doctors and specialists, are swamped with patients. Hospitals are swankier, equipment newer, and X-rays results can be collected the same day, but beyond that, our visitor from 1970 would feel perfectly at home meeting her family doctor in much the same way.
Thus, with a healthy dose of scepticism about the unmet promise of technology in healthcare, we met Ashutosh Lawania and Prasad Kompalli, founders of AI focussed healthtech startup mfine, which has raised $4.2 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Prime Venture Partners. As cofounder and senior executive at Myntra, they weren’t new to the world of start-ups or to the challenges of building high functioning teams.
The success and failure of healthcare hinges on trust, explained Prasad. The trust between a patient and a doctor is extremely essential and yet very difficult to achieve. Healthcare is intensely personal and of critical importance. It is not a commodity.