Being a doctor is a process that takes years of preparation, practice, and perseverance and the same often burns a hole in your pocket. And when you do become a doctor, it takes a long time before you start earning more than enough.
But, with financial technology taking over every space, it wasn’t long before it looked into the problems of the medical industry. Whether it is the growing number of alternative lending platforms in India or online Insurance start-ups, healthcare has been a growing interest for many fintech start-ups.
Entrepreneur India takes a look at the different ways in which fintech start-ups are advancing in healthcare.
Doctors and Patients – Loans for All
While doctors struggle to reach the stage where they do have an easy access to finances, patients often find it difficult to cover the expenses for their operations or other procedures. Noticing this growing need, fintech platforms have extended the helping hand to medical professionals and patients. Not just that, 'medtech' start-ups, too, are extending their operations to have a fintech wing. In India, Practo was said to be partnering with a fintech start-up to offer loans to doctors and patients.
Blockchain in Healthcare
From pharmacists to biggies in the healthcare industry, blockchain can revolutionize the sector. It will not only bring transparency in the sector but also make way for easier transactions. It will also help in the transfer of information among doctors, creating possibilities for doctors to collaborate and work together. Global leaders like Accenture and Microsoft have invested in blockchain to create a transparent data base system.
Financial Planning for Patients
Along with the sickness, an added tension that a patient or his/her family has to face is the rising cost of surgeries. It doesn’t just stop there. From surgeries to post-operation care, patients have to shell out a lot of money, often because they don’t have time to plan or even the finances to think of the future. They end up opting for surgeries or operational procedures with no financial plan, and by the end of it are left with little or no money. Helping them manage their finances and plan it well is the start-up Affordplan. Focusing on non-emergency medical services, the start-up offers minute planning on how patients can save on an every-day basis.
While payments have been one of the biggest focuses in fintech, more and more fintech start-ups are looking at collaborating with healthcare start-ups to facilitate payments. Internationally, Simplee, is a SaaS-based start-up that provides payment solutions in healthcare. Some start-ups have the option to save or view their bills online. Other start-ups like Moneygram allow one to pay their bills online.
Making Health Insurance Accessible
Health Insurance has to be one of the most important segments of the insurance industry. With its penetration level in India being very low, the health insurance start-ups have been sprouting up to make way for a change. Bigger Insurance companies, too, are coming up with innovative insurance verticals that will change the game. Ideal Insurance had recently launched 121policy.com that primarily focuses on health insurance for now. It is looking at bridging the advisory gap between the insurer and consumer. It will also be producing innovative products like maternity cover, senior citizen health coverage, diabetic cover, corporate health insurance, overseas health insurance etc.