Software must be a catalyst for scale, efficiency, says Neehar Cherabuddi

DIAGNOSTICS is the core business of DoctorC, a tech-first healthcare provider in India. Founded in 2014, to address the problem of healthcare services in India, the company has created the most consumer-centric healthcare services.

DoctorC offers the highest quality diagnostic services in 13 cities across India. In an exclusive interview to TechTrail, Neehar Cherabuddi, CEO and Co-founder of DoctorC, speaks about COVID and its impact of the health services…

How has the COVID pandemic affected the health services sector?

The impact of COVID on the healthcare sector has been significant. 

o    When the lockdown was announced, the revenues of healthcare services – hospitals, clinics, labs etc. dropped significantly. It’s been over 6 months and so many businesses are yet to recover to their pre-COVID level of revenue.

o    The healthcare services directly or indirectly involved in the fight against COVID have seen their revenues bounce back faster compared to others

o    Another significant challenge for the healthcare sector has been the availability of healthcare workers. Several healthcare providers have faced challenges with both retaining their existing employees and hiring new employees as the fear of contracting COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind

o    Consumer behaviour has also significantly changed. More and more consumers are preferring their healthcare at home now instead of visiting the lab/hospital. We have witnessed over a 5x increase in demand for home service and blood collection since the lockdown.

Medical and para-medical professionals have been in great demand, but will this demand continue post-COVID?

COVID-19 has brought the challenges and problems of the healthcare infrastructure of the country front and centre. One of these challenges has been the availability of medical and para-medical professionals. 

We believe that the demand for healthcare at home will continue to increase. With this, the demand for high quality medical and para-medical professionals will also continue to increase.

Technologically, what changes will have to be made in fields like clinical research, to meet the growing needs of the time?

We do not use relevant software tools and technologies that push clinical research into meeting our growing needs. Software, when used right, will eliminate a lot of inefficiencies and inconsistencies in any system. Software must be a catalyst for both scale or efficiency. Practically speaking, this isn’t happening today. We are already seeing how Machine Learning and A.I are being used for various initiatives – from simulating clinical trials to drug discovery. This needs to happen in a big way in India.

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