InterviewIssueSep 21

DoctCo Aims to Redefine Rural Healthcare

Heath startup DoctCo has been instrumental in bringing a change in the healthcare system with the launch
of Swasthya Ghar Tak buses in Uttar Pradesh. Nimith Agrawal, Founder of DoctCo, reveals more about the startup in interaction with IMT

DoctCo recently flagged off a bus Swasthya Ghar Tak in Meerut, Aligarh and Varanasi.How can these buses  bring in a change in the healthcare system?


The path-breaking initiative was conceived during the second wave of covid when the founders of DoctCo decided to help out the people residing in rural areas suffering from the debilitating effects of the covid pandemic. Once the first bus made the desired impact, like-minded people and organisations came forward to increase the scale and scope of the initiative. We have now decided to scale it up to 11 buses (three in Aligarh, two each in Agra and Meerut, three in Varanasi and one in Mathura).

Seeing the desired impact and success of the initiative, we have decided to increase the scope of the screening of patients for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, hypertension and cardiac diseases to name a few. We wish to increase the number to 100 buses in the coming months. Each bus will be manned by a doctor and a nurse and will be equipped with telemedicine equipment. This will help needy patients obtain super-specialist consultation on the go, totally free of cost.

How are these buses equipped to handle critical data?

The telemedicine equipment will also have Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices, which will transmit critical
clinical data to the consulting doctor in a real time frame, helping him take an appropriate clinical decision. Each bus will cover five to seven villages every day with a population size of between 2000 and 3000 residents. One hundred buses will be able to cover 500-700 villages every day, impacting two to three lakh lives on a daily basis and millions every month. The support from the Government of UP has been invaluable and has helped us scale it up rapidly. If nurtured well, this could be a role model for rural India in future.

In which other areas do you plan to launch the initiative?

Our initial plan is to launch the services in UP and later scale it up to the other neighbouring states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, HP and Chhattisgarh, depending on the funding support.

Tell us about the funding mechanism?
The initiative is currently being funded by close to 400 NGOs and philanthropic organisations, chief among them Crypto Relief NGO led by crypto visionary Sandeep Nailwal, Umeed Project, United away and Lung Care Foundation, although many more organisations are coming forward to support us. However, the initial expense was incurred by the founders of DoctCo on humanitarian grounds, before others came forward to support us.

Where will DoctCo want to position itself five years down the line?

DoctCo aims at redefining the surgical experience in Tier II/III cities and rural areas. We aim is to bring super speciality support to Bharat to improve healthcare delivery at the last mile. This would require a pan India presence. We wish to, therefore, have 700-800 such centres pan India over the next two to three years, commencing with North India first, especially the three adjoining states of Delhi-NCR – UP, Haryana and Rajasthan. We aim to obviate the need for a patient in smaller cities and rural areas to travel to bigger cities for super-specialist consultations, minor or more complex surgeries to bigger cities by bringing high quality and affordable treatment right at their doorstep. We wish to substantially improve the overall patient experience besides giving them exceptional healthcare services.

How has the start-up performed during the first quarter of FY 2021-22?

We got incorporated in the month of April 21 and the covid second wave hit the country immediately afterwards. So, we’re still in a stage of infancy but scaling up rapidly. Over the next few months, we shall be opening more than a dozen new centres. The future looks very vibrant for our growth and sustenance.Our services are already drawing attention from customers and investors alike. 2022 is going to be the year of growth for us.

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