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‘We are creating a healthcare ecosystem that keeps patient care at the centre’

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KnowDi is a healthcare app designed to serve as a one-stop solution for patients and doctors. Pramod Arehalli, Co-Founder, KnowDi shares more details about the platfrom, its advantages, growth plans for his company and its vision for healthcare, with Usha Sharma

Tell us about the KnowDi platform. Why did you think of venturing into this competitive market?
KnowDi has been founded by serial entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of the healthcare domain. At KnowDi, we are creating a collaborative healthcare ecosystem that keeps patient care at the centre, while driving benefits for all stakeholders. KnowDi is a centralised healthcare platform that connects all the important components of the ecosystem — patients, doctors, hospitals, labs and pharmacies. While it’s true that a number of startups have entered healthcare in the last few years, we believe healthcare is still in a very nascent phase when it comes to technology adoption. If we look at the healthcare ecosystem as a whole, there are way too many issues starting from proper access to ineffective data management. We believe that the healthcare ecosystem needs a holistic, patient-centric and technology-powered solution, and that’s what we’re building.

What are the unique services offered by your platform against others?
There’s a two-fold answer to this question. In the first place, we believe in taking an integrated approach to the entire healthcare ecosystem. We’re building a complete solution for patients, which incorporates all stakeholders in the value chain. So patients can look towards KnowDi for all their healthcare needs, whether that’s doctor appointments, delivery of medicines, diagnostic tests, or managing their medical history. In fact, we even provide access to Ayurvedic doctors, enabling patients to access alternate methods of healthcare as well. Secondly, KnowDi’s strength lies in its data management system. We believe that one of the biggest keys to successful outcomes in healthcare is access to complete and comprehensive medical data, something which is sorely lacking today. That’s why our entire platform is designed in a way that enables patients to store and manage their medical history in a secure and confidential way. At the same time, other stakeholders in the ecosystem, be it labs or doctors, can get access to this data and make faster and more accurate diagnoses. This has massive potential as far as improving healthcare outcomes in the country is concerned.

How do you manage patients’ medical history? What measures do you take to ensure data privacy?
KnowDi has a special, highly secure database where patients can store all their medical data including results from diagnostic tests, prescriptions for medication, X-rays, doctors’ diagnoses and so on. Users can not only upload their own medical history on the platform but also that of their entire family. When a user books an appointment with a doctor through the KnowDi app, the doctor can request access to their medical history. Only if the patient decides to give access via the app, will the doctor be able to access the medical records. The patient provides authorisation to the requesting doctor to view the records via an OTP and a QR code. If the doctor has access to a complete medical history, the diagnosis and treatment plan becomes much easier. Plus, if all the medical history is online on the KnowDi database, patients no longer need to worry about losing any medical document as it can easily be accessed online even if they lose the hard copy. Over time, such a comprehensive database of patient history will have a transformative impact on outcomes in the healthcare sector. As far as data security is concerned, the platform leaves no stone unturned.

You have tie-ups with offline chemists, which critical areas do you assess before partnering with them? Why are you not considering online players?
Our business model is based on the principle of leveraging technology to boost existing businesses, rather than creating a supply chain from scratch. We believe that local pharmacies have a good grip on the local demand as well as on procurement. We want to use our platform to give these local businesses an expanding customer base. There are few things we assess before partnering with any pharmacy. The first is that they have to be present in the localities where we are currently operational. This is because we believe in a hyper-local delivery model and our customers get medicines from pharmacies that are located within 2 km of their home. Secondly, we have a transparent quotation process when it comes to orders, we make sure that the pharmacies we work with are open to this process. As part of this process, when a customer places an order, this order becomes available to all the pharmacies within a 2 km radius. The pharmacies then respond to the order with the best price and delivery time they can offer, and the customers chooses the one that suits them best. This ensures that we maintain a fair and transparent process, while offering the best possible service to our customers.

How many doctors have registered on your platform? What are your offerings for doctors and patients?
The platform is currently being launched for Bengaluru market. And KnowDi has already tied up with 22 hospitals, 50+ pharmacies, and over 750 doctors in the region. KnowDi is one of the few healthcare apps that are designed to make a doctor’s life easier. It gives doctors access to a whole new set of customers. With our data management tools, doctors are able to access the comprehensive medical history of the patient at the click of a button, making accurate and timely diagnosis much easier. The app also facilitates real-time monitoring of patients’ health records which again plays a major role in timely diagnosis and prevention.

How is the company looking to grow, organically or inorganically?
Since, the time we entered the market, we have opted for organic routes to grow. There has been a great response from all stakeholders — whether that’s doctors, labs, or pharmacies — and we’ve seen an overwhelming number of organic sign ups on the platform. Given the strength of our value proposition, we should continue to see this strong demand growth as we expand. At the same time, our strategy is not purely organic. We believe in scaling up quickly, and are backed by established investors from across the globe. As we expand to newer geographies, we will be looking at growing and scaling up with substantial investment.

Tell us more about your business plans.
We are seeing some good traction in Bengaluru and will be consolidating our presence across the city in the next 6-9 months. After this, we will be shifting our focus to other major cities in South India including Chennai, Kochi, Trivandrum, and Hyderabad.

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