When faced with major medical decisions – undergo surgery or not? Is minimally invasive a better option? – most people feel overwhelmed and seek avenues that can help assess options and make the best decision. SurgeryXchange in one such platform which seeks to provide patients and their family such an avenue. From providing credible, unbiased second opinion from highly qualified doctors on medical matters as well as discovering various hospitals, specialty doctors and comparing prices of procedures, the platform also offers medical interventions under medical tourism. Arun Sachidanandamurthy from SurgeryXchange speaks to Networked India about what the platform offers, how they differentiate from other such competitors and response from users so far.
Networked India (NI): What is SurgeryXchange about? How did you come up with the idea?
Arun Sachidanandamurthy (AS): SurgeryXchange helps in providing a highly credible, transparent and cost effective option to those seeking medical interventions and surgeries. SurgeryXchange is a price discovery and surgery fulfilment platform that is augmented by a highly credible, ethical and unbiased second medical opinion.
Each one of us has had some experience with medical interventions, either personally or with a family member. When this happens the need for trusted advice is paramount. Once it is ascertained and surgery is advised as needed, reality of the cost of surgery strikes. With less than 20% of the population covered by insurance we believe there is driven need for access to healthcare that can save some money and more importantly fill the gap for a trusted second opinion, which when sought through a practitioner in another hospital can be biased.This is why the germination of SurgeryXchange.
NI: Who are the founders of SurgeryXchange? Give us some details on their professional background?
AS: Naveen Bannur, a graduate from BITS Pilani is the Founder of SurgeryXchange. He has over 25 years of experience in managing all facets of business that impact growth and revenue. Naveen’s expertise lies in infusing business strategy with value, driving development and growth.
Arun Sachidanandamurthy, is a seasoned professional with 10 years of experience in both business and technology. He is a Post Graduate in Management from Symbiosis School of Media and Communication, Bangalore and B.E., E.E. from UBDTCE Davanagere. He is responsible for Product marketing and management.
NI: How does SurgeryXchange distinguish itself from other healthcare advice and service booking platforms? What is unique about your platform?
AS: We are the only platform that provides integrated offerings to reduce cost of healthcare, check prices, compare hospitals and most importantly provide the option of validating the need through a highly credible and ethical medical second opinion engine.
NI: Which medical specialities does SurgeryXchange cover?
AS: SurgeryXchange is the place to come to for all planned surgeries irrespective of the specialty. Our partnerships with Tertiary care hospitals gives us the breadth to handle all requirements. Our partnerships with single specialties brings quality focus and potential cost savings. We do not handle just in time and emergency cases.
NI: What is the basic offering of the platform? How does one go about availing a second opinion on having a surgical procedure?
AS: Basic offerings: SurgeryXchange is a place to reduce the cost of surgeries and medical interventions with an option to validate the need for a surgery. You can discover hospitals, compare prices and also potentially reduce the cost of surgeries.
Supplementary Medical second opinion: We provide two levels of Second Opinion. An expert Opinion from a specialist or if one is unable to make up their mind or need multiple specialists to look at it, we provide the option of seeking opinion from a trust board where three specialists look at it and give the user a collective course of action. The way the process is designed ensures removal of any bias and compromise of ethics. Data handling and storage methods used ensure safe access to users. The process is made easy by having a user upload his/her diagnostics and a brief medical history and seek an opinion. The entire experience is completely online.
NI: What is the kind of response you have received from users so far?
AS: The response has been very encouraging. We have some excellent references already. A user in Austria sought a second opinion and we were able to help within 8 hours. There is increasing interest among the Indian consumers to find best options with the surgery they are advised. The users are given a rating mechanism which helps us better the overall experience. The users on the platform have been able to seek second opinion on behalf of their relatives. We recently had a user book a surgery through the platform for his mother to be carried out in a hospital in Bangalore while she was a resident of Madhya Pradesh. The users are deriving benefits of cost, time, convenience and choice with our integrated offerings.
NI: In your opinion what is the future of platforms like SurgeryXchange in a country where majority of the population struggle to access basic healthcare services and cannot afford advanced surgical procedures?
AS: There are 3 issues with healthcare when classified broadly. Access, Affordability and effectiveness/efficiency. Obviously these effects have varying impact on people based on the situation they are in. The overarching vision of SurgeryXchange is to be able to work across these challenges over a period of time. While it is difficult this is exactly what the team is working towards. As we start covering the tier 2 cities we think we can provide such access. When enabled with technology, we can solve many of the issues with access and affordability if not all. If SurgeryXchange becomes a reverse bid platform for Hospitals we are then sitting on a unique proposition to reduce costs as well.
NI: SurgeryXchange also offers medical tourism. Tell us a bit about this service and its benefits.
AS: SurgeryXchange is a do-it-yourself platform for those planning Medical Interventions. Medical tourism is today run by agents in India and in the host markets. While this is very difficult to disrupt, we intend to start with trying to disrupt it on the Indian side.
For the more Internet savvy seekers of medical care in India who are from other countries or domestic tourists in India seeking medical care in tier cities, www.surgeryxchange.com is a credible, transparent, open platform that enables to get prices from hospitals directly.