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India's HealthPlix raises $22M to accelerate growth and enhance healthcare delivery

HealthPlix, an Indian startup offering its in-house platform for doctors to help record patient data digitally, has raised $22 million in fresh investment to broaden its reach in the country and allow more doctors to utilize its software to offer improved care to their patients.

In India, roughly 300,000 doctors practice medicine regularly. However, this figure appears minuscule compared to the country's rapidly expanding population. This has resulted in doctors not finding enough time to adequately assess each patient. HealthPlix wants to solve this problem through its platform, which is available in a freemium model.

The Bengaluru-based startup lets doctors create a 360-degree medical profile of their patients that can be helpful during consultations and for treating chronic diseases. The platform also offers a collective intelligence to doctors that helps them understand characteristics such as what diseases are cropping up in what areas and what treatment regimens are being used by different patients and doctors.

"We help doctors diagnose diseases earlier than otherwise they would by being their true assistant," said Sandeep Gudibanda, co-founder and chief executive of HealthPlix, in an interview with TechCrunch.

Founded in 2014, the startup has already empowered more than 10,000 doctors who treat 2.5% of the country's entire population using the proprietary software. It aims to serve over 25,000 doctors by 2024 and reach 50,000 by 2025 to treat nearly 15% of the Indian population. Of the total number of doctors on board, 70% are outside metro cities, HealthPlix said.

Gudibanda said HealthPlix handles a volume of 110,000 patients per day and has facilitated over 70 million consultations to date. The platform reaches about 334 towns in 28 states across the country.

Although the market of electronic medical record (EMR) platforms in India has a number of players that all claim to help doctors treat their patients efficiently, HealthPlix believes that its doctor-first approach gives it an edge over the competition.

"Every time you make a decision, whether it's a small feature, a revenue opportunity, whether you build a tech stack or any decision you're making, are you putting doctors first?" asked Chaitanya Raju, executive director at HealthPlix.

The startup targets doctors who own clinics and look for new-age solutions to enhance efficiency. This helps them get a wider reach as the country's healthcare primarily is undertaken in small clinics and nursing homes instead of at large-scale hospitals, where Indian patients typically visit when their symptoms and illness have gotten worse.

Alongside giving a digital solution for keeping patient history and consultations, HealthPlix uses AI to make it easier for doctors to write prescriptions and search for appropriate medicines and diagnoses. The AI deployment also speeds up identifying patients based on their medical data and helps define critical elements that may be relevant for the patient or help the doctor during the treatment.

HealthPlix lets doctors write a long prescription of, say, 100 characters with just eight clicks instead of writing those characters manually, said Raju. Additionally, the platform offers translation of prescriptions to let patients easily understand what their doctors have prescribed them.

Approximately 60% of the prescriptions processed by HealthPlix are originally written in English by doctors. However, once printed, the prescriptions are automatically translated into the patient's local language, Gudibanda said.

All the data available on the software is fully encrypted, and the startup's modeling is only on anonymized data, Raju said.

The Series C round, led by Avataar Venture Partners and SIG Venture Capital, is divided into $20 million raise against equity and $2 million in debt. It also saw participation from existing investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, JSW Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Blacksoil Capital and Chiratae Ventures.

"We have seen many business models that have failed to scale in the health-tech ecosystem, and we believe that Sandeep has built a great team to deliver on HealthPlix promise," said Mohan Kumar, investment advisor to Avataar Venture Partners, in a prepared statement.

HealthPlix looks to utilize 80% of its fresh funding to grow the doctor base and invest more in sales, product and engineering teams. Currently, the startup has a headcount of 392 people. It will also invest in clinical decision support to help doctors treat the patients better. Moreover, it plans to explore a couple of models to explore how it can disrupt the insurance and the payer side, Gudibanda said.

"We invested in HealthPlix to help further the team's vision of being the active catalyst for technology adoption in healthcare by allowing doctors to be more productive, thereby driving better outcomes for patients," said Bhavani Rana, investment advisor, SIG Venture Capital.

Gudibanda said the startup's revenues grew 3.5x over the last year and are expected to rise 2.5x to 3x next year. So far, HealthPlix has raised about $36 million. The valuation after the latest funding was not disclosed.