Seva 360 – A new health exchange in India

seva360LogoA company that pops up over and over again on my website is Sevamob. Its a fantastic organization that has used innovative mobile technology to bring healthcare and other advisory services (farming, animal husbandry etc.) to the masses in North East India. Sevamob recently launched a new service and product. Its similar to services here in the US ala Zocdoc and its competitors (TopDoc, Clinic Book etc.). So what’s  Seva 360 all about and what can it offer as a product and a service?

Seva360.com is a health exchange that aims to streamline patient-healthcare provider discovery specifically in developing countries. Patients can schedule appointments with doctors, maintain and track their EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and participate in support groups. Doctors and other health care providers can streamline their operations as related to practice management and of course generate more revenue via new channels such as Seva360.

So how does it really work? Users can sign up for this service @ Seva360.com. The value proposition for patients is 3 fold; first – users can find doctors and check their backgrounds and other reviews (which is only as good as the network effect the exchange can generate), second – users can schedule video or clinic appointments and third users can maintain an online journal of their well being i.e. track their blood sugar levels, weight etc. On the other side of the equation are the health care providers who can augment their existing revenues, provide medical services via video and mobile clinics and gain significant advantages in streamlining their operations i.e. integrated billing, practice management and EMRs.

The revenue model is straightforward – and the burden is on health care providers. Sevamob charges a transaction fee paid for by the health care provider so a patient is not impacted by this additional service. However, there is a matter of concern – healthcare providers can set their own price and this price again is directly proportional to competition. Its unclear from the service whether there is a ceiling for prices in order to ensure patients aren’t exploited especially in cases where the selection of doctors is low for any particular condition.

The product is still in its infancy and as such can use plenty of improvements. The website itself needs to be optimized both in terms of UI and customization towards the Indian population. For example the interface to find doctors by zip code and distance is applicable for users in the United States than in India (zip codes are pin codes in India and distance is in kilometers). The registration interface is clunky and once registered there is a lack of direction i.e. user flow design is lacking and  fails to answer some questions such as “what’s the hotspot for the user in order to take the next action?”. Its confusing as to who the target market is (low income users in villages vs. middle income in cities)  and this might have a direct impact on customer acquisition and related costs. Lastly, I’m quite unsure if Seva360 satisfies the product-market-timing paradigm. It certainly has the quintessential first mover advantage but that advantage is only sustainable if the product can gain traction. Can it gain the critical mass? Time will tell.

However, the service is innovative and certainly aims to challenge the status quo. A patient can not only make appointments online but is also in charge of his/her own EMR. This gives the patients firm control over his/her records and allows for seamless healthcare delivery. There are few features and capabilities Seva360 introduces which other healthcare services in the US like ZocDoc can embrace and that’s coming up in an upcoming post. For now its quite obvious that there’s reverse innovation in action, yet again.

 

 

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  • Sevamob

    Ajay ji, thanks for a great review and very useful feedback. Just wanted to mention that a) We have made some tweaks to the UI based on your feedback above b) Target for Seva360 is internet savvy patients and doctors c) Our operations are based in Lucknow and parent company is in Atlanta . Thanks again for taking the time.

    • ajays

      Thanks for the comment! That’s great you’re addressing the changes mentioned above. You guys are doing a great job. If you need any advise please feel free to email me directly.

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