Info-tech

Telemedicine start-up iCliniq to raise funds for technology development

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 05, 2016

Dhruv Suyamprakasam, founder, iCliniq

Over 1,300 medical practitioners are registered on the telemedicine platform



Dhruv Suyamprakasam’s foray into a telemedicine venture seemed most unrelated considering that he is a mechanical engineer by qualification.

But his determination to get the idea right probably helped lift iCliniq — an online platform connecting patients with doctors — to become one of the better-known telemedicine companies.

This three-year-old Coimbatore-based start-up is now gearing up to raise funds to support its technology development. Founder-promoter Suyamprakasam told BusinessLine that the requirement would be of the order of $5-6 million to enhance use of technology and build Smart Doctor, a product the company is all set to patent.

The firm has so far received investment of around ₹1.5 crore from the founder and a friend-cum-doctor of his.

Over 1,300 medical practitioners — including doctors, physicians and therapists — across 80+ specialities are registered on this site. “We have, till date, solved 1.70 lakh health issues, and consultations happen in 60+ languages over chat, message, voice and video call,” he said.

Suyamprakasam admits that he initially floated the idea to address the problems faced by patients in India. “But it turned out to be more than that.

“We had people from other countries asking questions to our panel of doctors and most of them were consulting for a second opinion.

“The India market is picking up, albeit slowly.” Asked what is unique about this online consultation platform, he said: “We recently entered into a tie-up with US-headquartered DICOM Grid, a healthcare SaaS company, to make digital medical-image management accessible. Earlier, it used to be a challenge for both patients and doctors to upload/access MRI scans/radiology reports. This has been solved to a large extent, now.”

Innovation

Recalling yet another intervention, he said: “iCliniq used Whatsapp as a channel to connect patients and doctors, but this model did not work for long, as Whatsapp banned the use of its app for our product. We then decided to launch the product on the bots platform by Telegram messenger (a bot is a smart app within an app).”

The bot approach, he says, helped iCliniq position itself as an innovative company.

Published on August 05, 2016
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