This startup idea from YoStartups is to build a network of Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units for catering to the medical and healthcare needs of the population, which is not connected to the quality medical establishments. The proposed startup should focus on specialized medical care to make its niche.
The selected medical specialization should be an established, and reliable procedure with minimal follow-ups to avoid any complications and achieve business scalability. One of such specialized field is cataract surgery, which is a well-tested procedure and has a massive market as in old-age most people need to get this surgery done.
Market Definition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
According to a report by United Nations on the state of healthcare in India, 75% of the health infrastructure including doctors and specialists and other health resources, is concentrated in urban areas catering to only 27% of India’s population. This alone indicates a huge disparity in the access to proper healthcare, and the situation is very similar or even worse in most of the developing and under-developed countries in Asia and Africa region.
If we talk about a specific condition, cataract, again there is a huge disparity. Out of the total cataract blindness cases, 90% are from developing countries, highlighting the dismal state of access to a well-established cataract treatment to a majority of the world population. Alone in India, the cases of cataract blindness are expected to increase to 8.25 million in 2020.
Competitor Analysis for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
Most of the players that we see in the field of Mobile Healthcare Services are either affiliated with some government programs or with large corporates or NGO doing it as part of their CSR activity.
There are few companies in the USA that provide specialized cataract outsourcing solutions. Vintage Outsourcing is one such company, helping new and established hospitals, surgery centers and physicians offer quality cataract services to their communities in the most cost-effective and efficient way.
Another similar program is being run by IIT Madras and Shankar Nethralaya in India, where they have got special approval from the Ministry of Health, and have developed ‘Mobile Cataract Surgery Units’ that will travel to the remote areas and perform cataract surgery.
Pain Point & Target Audience for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The target audience for the startup would be the rural and semi-urban population who are not connected to the mainstream and established medical facilities.
According to Deloitte’s global healthcare outlook for 2015, the expenditure on healthcare is set to increase at 5.2% per annum owing to the increasing health needs of aging and growing population. In such a scenario, both developing and under-developed countries are struggling big time to provide essential medical and healthcare facility for their population and are mostly able to concentrate their limited resources on the urban population. The rural and semi-urban population is often left out with insufficient healthcare access.
For a basic surgical treatment of cataract, which takes just a few minutes, people end up delaying their treatment for months and at times years as they have to plan their visit to cities to get the operation done by a qualified medical professional. It also adds to the overall cost of the treatment, which is at times unaffordable to the lower earning segment, which leads to irreversible blindness.
Value Proposition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The proposed startup will establish a network of mobile vans with all the medical set-up and equipment for preparing patients for the cataract operation and conducting the surgery. The startup will also educate the patients and their families about the after-care needed post cataract surgery.
The proposed solution is a win-win for both the patients and the partner doctors/hospitals. Patients will get access to quality cataract surgery at economic cost and without having to travel to far off cities. For doctors/hospitals, they gain access to new patients as the mobile vans keep moving to different areas after their cataract camps.
Business Model for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The startup will work in collaboration with established hospitals and medical centers. The centers will provide all the equipment, technology, and medical professionals, while the startup will focus solely on creating a deep network of the rural population and identify the suitable calendar for cataract camps based on demand predictions.
For every completed cataract operation, the startup will take a percent commission from the partner hospital or medical center. This model will help the startup to focus on developing its network while keeping the capital cost under control.
Once the startup gets enough traction, it can apply for its medical licenses and have its fleet of mobile vans for cataract surgeries. The startup can have some in-house doctors for surgeries and can contract others as per the demand.
Way to Market for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The startup should start with pitching the model to few of the known hospitals and medical facilities in cataract surgery, and get them onboard as a partner. With the partner, the startup should define the cost of cataract surgeries based on demand generation opportunity and higher machinery utilization.
In the meantime, the startup should work with the NGOs that are working at the grass root level with the rural population. The collaboration with the NGO will help the startup get better clarity on demand of cataract surgeries from different locations.
To create brand recollect, the startup can also look to run some General Health checkup camps in the rural areas of their launch. These kind of activities are easy to get sponsored by corporates as part of their CSR, will help create recall among the target audience for the startup.
Healthcare is a highly regulated field; care must be taken that the equipment used, the mobile vans are certified by competent authorities. The startup should establish standard pre-operation and post-operation procedures to ensure that there is no infection.
Milestone for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The startup should target to partner with atleast 2-3 hospitals that are specialized in cataract surgeries in first three months.
The cost of surgeries must be kept very economical in starting, and the entire focus must be on completing as many numbers of successful operations to build a solid use case and story.
Investment needed for the Prototype for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
More than investment, the startup needs the partnership with a couple of medical centers, and hospitals specialized in cataract surgery. These partners can help the startup with most of the resources they need to launch the startup.
As the business plan has a social angle, the startup should look to raise some grant from government bodies or corporates.
Team Capability for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The startup must have a co-founder who has worked in the medical field to lead the partnership with hospitals and medical centers. The team should also have a member with active experience of working with an NGO focused on the rural population. The startup should work closely with doctors right from inception stage so that the equipment, design and the environment can simulate hospital-like conditions.
Investor/Expert Take for 1001 Startup Ideas – Specialized Mobile Healthcare Units
The proposed idea solves a genuine problem that is being faced by a vast population in developing and underdeveloped countries. The startup also has a social angle, which makes it easier to gain traction among the masses and to get support from government bodies and the corporates.
The key for the startup would be to provide cost-effective surgeries to the masses without compromising on the quality and hygiene factor. For this, the startup needs to map the demand for the cataract surgeries and plan their calendar for camps accordingly to achieve higher utilization factor.
This 1001 startup idea article is from Yostartups, YoStartups is a Pre Accelerator and it empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business ideas into successful ventures. Yostartups’ core mission is to take the message of entrepreneurship to 1 billion people globally by 2020.
In case you are looking at scaling or launching a venture on similar lines, you can apply for our virtual acceleration program Excelrate on our website, Yostartups.com, Yostartups’ Excelrate program will help you in streamlining and structuring your startup idea. We have limited scholarships and discount packs for deserving startups, depending on the strength of your application, you may qualify for a discount.
*Any information given in the article does not constitute any warranty of marketability or fitness for a particular business idea for any market or industry segment. It is the readers’ sole responsibility to further research and assess the market opportunity.