Revolutionising healthcare for low-middle-income communities

Karma, through its tech-enabled services, envisions making a significant impact by bridging this gap via  paramedic-assisted telemedicine clinics and video-enabled teleconsultations that allow rural patients to consult with doctors remotely, overcoming the geographical gap and providing timely medical advice from specialist doctors. Jagdeep Gambhir, Founder & CEO, Karma Primary Healthcare reveals more

What is the future of technology-enabled healthcare providers in India?
The future of technology-enabled healthcare providers in India holds immense promise, offering the opportunity to revolutionise the traditional healthcare landscape. Embracing technology integration, we envision a healthcare system that is patient-centric, seamlessly accessible, equitable, and affordable, particularly for those in rural semi-urban regions. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will elevate patient diagnostics, referrals, and the overall quality of care. Through powerful data analytics and predictive modelling, we will be able to unlock the potential of personalised medicine with better patient outcomes and pave the way for a healthier, more vibrant India.


Tell us about your growth plans five years down the line.
Karma operates in the private rural healthcare industry, aiming to revolutionise healthcare for low middle-income communities. As of May 2023, we ran ~45 clinics across seven states (Haryana, UP, UK, Gujarat, Madhya  Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Odisha), connecting rural India with specialised doctors via paramedicassisted
telemedicine clinics. Our vision entails transitioning from Healthcare 1.0 to Healthcare 3.0, adopting a
patient-centric, value-based care model. New revenue streams like advanced diagnostics, insurance, financial
products, pre-operative evaluation, post-operative care rehabilitation, and Data Monetization are key priorities,
along with shifting our product mix to patient-centric value-based care.

The plan includes expanding our clinic count from 40 to 200 and patient base from 90K to 500K in the next five years, unlocking substantial growth opportunities. Collaborations with like-minded philanthropic institutions, individuals, and CSR arms of corporates are also on our agenda to extend our reach and strengthen healthcare delivery in rural areas.

What kind of technologies are you using to cater to the masses?
Access to specialist doctors to rural patients through telemedicine platforms and centralised patient information management: Karma’s telemedicine platform is providing a seamless connection between rural patients and a  network of highly skilled specialist doctors irrespective of their geographical location. From orthopaedics to dermatology and beyond, Karma ensures that rural patients receive the same level of expert medical care as their urban counterparts. From vitals and symptoms to comprehensive case histories, all patient data is diligently  recorded and securely stored in the portal. This ensures that doctors have access to accurate and up-to-date information about patients. Utilising mobile apps and WhatsApp for community engagement and digital health  records: Enhancing community engagement, mobile apps facilitate door-to-door campaigns, reaching even  remote areas.

Additionally, Karma provides digital health records via WhatsApp, securely delivering test results and prescriptions to patients’ smartphones.

Rural India still lacks basic healthcare needs. How can Karma Primary Healthcare make an impact with techenabled services?

The private rural healthcare industry in which Karma operates is challenging due to population dispersion, immature healthcare practices, and cultural norms. Access to quality healthcare facilities remains a significant challenge, with a dearth of well-equipped medical centres, hospitals, and qualified healthcare professionals in remote areas. Many rural communities face limited or no access to essential medicines, diagnostic services, and specialised treatments, leading to delayed or inadequate care. The absence of proper healthcare infrastructure often forces residents to travel long distances, incurring significant costs and delays in seeking medical attention.
Karma, through its tech-enabled services, envisions making a significant impact by bridging this gap via  paramedic assisted telemedicine clinics and video-enabled teleconsultations that allow rural patients to consult with doctors remotely, overcoming the geographical gap and providing timely medical advice from specialist doctors (Internal Medicine, gynaecologists, paediatrics and dermatologists which is difficult to access in rural India), eliminating the need for long travel for primary consultations. Our comprehensive patient data integration and advanced analytics for disease profiling help in collating data on a holistic view of patient health and analysing trends, and identifying patterns and disease profiles for better understanding and effective interventions.

Are you in a tie-up with the government for tech-enabled initiatives?
Karma Healthcare, being a tech-enabled primary healthcare startup, has a unique opportunity to collaborate with
the Indian government for tech-enabled initiatives like the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). We actively planning to collaborate with the government as an ecosystem partner through the ABDM and strive towards strengthening healthcare infrastructure, enabling data exchange and integration, creating health awareness and education programmes and integrating financial products and insurance services to enable quality healthcare without financial burdens aligning with the broader objectives of the ABDM to provide universal health coverage.

Recently, you have raised Series A equity funding. How do you plan to utilise the fund?

The recent equity funding will play a pivotal role in propelling our growth and broadening our service spectrum.
At present, Karma operates in seven states with 40 clinics. Looking ahead, our vision for the next three years is to escalate the number of clinics to 140 by 2026 and 200 by 2028, simultaneously expanding our customer base  from 90k to 500k. Achieving this ambitious goal requires augmenting our workforce, investing in technology, and focusing on providing value-added services to its patients.

Listed below are some of our plans to utilise the fund:

Expanding clinic network and customer base:
Increase the number of clinics to 140 by 2026 and 200 by 2028. Strengthening workforce and infrastructure: Recruit additional nursing staff, doctors, technology experts, and operational personnel. Allocate resources to cover setup and operational costs for new clinics.

Enhancing patient services and care: Prioritise value-added services for patients, including: Advanced diagnostic facilities. Access to a wider range of medicines. Personalised care management programmes. A robust referral system to ensure comprehensive patient care.

Investing in R&D: Bolster existing technology platforms through research and development efforts. Explore partnerships with Health AI companies to advance predictive health analytics capabilities.

Boosting  marketing and community engagement: Allocate additional resources to marketing efforts to effectively communicate new offerings. Intensify community engagement programmes to foster trust and relationships with local communities.

Undertake advertising endeavours to expand brand awareness. Implement retention marketing strategies to enhance patient loyalty.

Tell us about your revenue model.
Karma Primary Healthcare operates on a revenue model that encompasses multiple streams. As of today, our main verticals are:

1. Primary Care Consultations:

o Consultations with general physician: Revenue stream focussed on providing primary patient care through consultations with General Physicians.

o Specialist consultations: Expanded service offerings include consultations with dermatologists, internal medicine
specialists, paediatricians, orthopaedic specialists and gynaecologists.

o Pharmacy: The aim is to provide convenient access to essential medicines.

o Diagnostic services are offered for accurate and timely disease detection.

In the next three to five years, we aim to develop and strengthen the following channels:

1. Value Added Services:

o Advanced Diagnostics: To ensure early detection and accurate diagnosis, advanced diagnostics offered such as Ultrasounds, X-Rays, CBC, and cervical cancer screening are necessary for further diagnosis.

o Insurance and Financial Products: Karma can partner with Insurance companies to offer a range of insurance
and financial products for effective healthcare financing.

o Personalised care management programmes: These programmes will enhance patients’ well-being by
providing personalised support and guidance throughout their healthcare journey.

Referral System: The services include: Pre-operative evaluation, preparation and instruction
Post-operative care – Rehabilitation: Post-operative services encompass pharmacy support, doctor follow-ups, regular check-ups, and rehabilitation programmes.

1. Technological Advancements: We plan to invest in research and development to enhance our existing
technology platforms.

2. Data Monetisation: In this stream, Karma will prioritise ethical data-sharing practices, ensuring strict adherence to privacy regulations and maintaining the confidentiality (anonymized) of patient information.
o Insights for Insurance Companies: collaborate with insurance companies to leverage patient profile data.
o Developing Predictive Analytics through Health AI companies: partnering with digital health AI companies to
develop a predictive analysis of disease patterns, deep patient pattern studies and forecasting etc.

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