Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector has the risks of more such breakouts and the need to stay informed ahead of crises.
Entrepreneur Bhagwat Dhingra — who earlier worked with top pharma companies such as Unichem Laboratories and Alkem Laboratories — realised the large gap existing between patient and doctor preparedness to deal with newfound diseases.
To help healthcare professionals upskill themselves and stay abreast with the latest medical knowledge, global best practices, and clinical case studies, Bhagwat, along with his co-founder Abhishek Ghosh, launched MediSage in 2019. The Mumbai-based upskilling startup is a professional learning network for doctors.
MediSage brings together global experts who provide evidence-based advice to doctors via videos, podcasts, updates from global journals, and peer discussions. The knowledge platform curates content provided by doctors, for doctors.
“The eureka moment was actually during one of my field trips to the interiors of Bihar in the mid-1980s. I realised that tuberculosis —a lesser-known yet devastating disease at the time — was fast spreading, and health care practitioners were not aware of methods to diagnose it. I conducted elaborate camps and travelled across India to educate doctors, helping them with an early diagnosis. This was when the seed that eventually led to MediSage was planted,” Bhagwat tells YS.
Providing curated medical content
MediSage is available on the startup’s website and as an Android and iOS app. At present, the startup provides three forms of content on its platform.
It offers short, curated videos called Mediflix made by medical experts, providing pointed information on relevant patient challenges. MediSage also enables live interaction with national and international experts, where doctors can raise clinical queries and clarifications among their peers.
The knowledge platfirm also enables doctors to get access to the latest publications and peer-reviewed journals.
“We will shortly launch courses in collaboration with leading global universities. Some other new-to-industry formats are in the works, which will make upskilling fun and part of a doctor’s regular rhythm,” Bhagwat says.
Business and more
Speaking about the business model, Bhagwat says the startup partners with universities, medical associations, and subject matter experts to curate and certify content. Doctors do not need to pay MediSage to create content on its platform. However, they can earn money if they share or publish original content.
“Experts are paid for original content that they share or publish on the platform. The exact amounts depend on seniority, viewers garnered, length of relationship with us, etc.” he adds.
MediSage earns its revenue from partnerships with pharma companies that use the digital platform to access, connect with, and provide data to doctors. The company declined to share further details on the pricing model.
“We have already achieved $1 million annualised revenue run rate (ARR), and now have our eyes set towards $2 million ARR,” the co-founder says.
At present, the startup claims to have over 400 doctors and healthcare experts curating content. It is recording around 30,000 monthly users on the platform. The bootstrapped startup is also looking to raise funds in the coming months.
According to Grand View Research, the global medical information market size was valued at $2.15 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.4 percent between 2020 and 2027. Curofy, UpToDate, and PEPID, among others, are some of the other notable players in this space.
Speaking about the vision MediSage has for the next three years, Bhagwat says, “We want to be the knowledge partners for over one million doctors and other healthcare professionals, including paramedics, within India. We want to build our presence in the Asia-Pacific region. We also want to offer content in multiple digital formats for convenient learning and upskilling.”