Startups driving health innovations

February 27, 2021 | 11:00
The pandemic has sped up digital transformation in healthcare, prompting numerous innovative startups to step up their game to fill the gaps in the market.
1532 p17 startups driving health innovations
New platforms are constantly developed to streamline operations, Photo Le Toan

MedPro was established in 2018 as a startup by top-notch experts in the healthcare and technology field to address previously unmet challenges such as the frequent overload at many large hospitals as well as the long waiting times. MedPro provides online booking for healthcare appointment to reduce waiting times. After three years of development, the startup has provided services to 500,000 users in Vietnam.

General director Bui Trieu Anh Tuan noted that MedPro has partnered with nearly 30 hospitals to provide services like online booking, cashless payment system, and smart medical cards. Its partners include leading hospitals in many localities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, and Can Tho and this year, the startup will expand its coverage to Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, Binh Dinh, and Binh Duong, with a potential customer base of two million people.

Similarly, Zoop Care is a platform facilitating communications and collaboration between healthcare providers and consumers. The company is actively expanding its operations in Vietnam to contribute to higher quality and more cost-effective healthcare.

Lucy Duong, COO of Zoop Care, said that during market research, the team noticed that it was common for service providers to sort tasks manually with great difficulties. Daily administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling or patient registration are mostly done on paper, with no effective archiving method in use. In addition, multiple mediums are often employed to contact and manage customers. This disconnected approach prevents them from optimising their operations.

“We developed Zoop Care as a broadly centralised platform to detangle all knotted ends. It serves as an all-encompassing solution, enabling seamless communication with customers,” she said, noting that Zoop Care is designed with many useful features, such as online booking, automatic reminders, smart calendar, treatment reminders, automatic response collection, and real-time reporting.

Meanwhile, eDoctor provides a virtual space to connect patients and doctors during social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Deputy CEO Alain Huynh said that the potential for digital healthcare is huge as the healthcare market will double in the next 7-10 years. Digital healthcare makes up less than 1 per cent of the total market size currently, a figure which is projected to skyrocket.

“So we have great room for players in many sub-sectors such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical technologies, retail, wellness, and telemedicine which are all at the forefront of digital innovation,” Huynh said. “Customer behaviour and the market may change forever if lockdown and social distancing remain the major measures to fight the coronavirus. The right solution at the right time will give startups the greatest competitive edge.”

A report by Fitch Solutions identified great promise in digital healthcare. Internet access is widespread and the country has seen rapid development in 4G and 5G. Building on these foundations, the government is driving a digitalisation agenda in hospitals and clinics. As a result, Vietnam has seen a growing number of foreign players showing eagerness to invest in these startups to capitalise on the market potential.

Medix Global is looking to forge collaborations with local partners, especially in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular, and diabetes, through the company’s investment arm, Medix Ventures.

Medix chief executive and founder Sigal Atzmon said, “Since our launch in July, Medix has already seen significant demand for our services as customers look for support on their medical journey. With this in mind, we are looking for innovative companies in Vietnam or international companies looking to expand into Vietnam that can combine data-driven solutions in the healthcare space. This will increase the efficiency and technologies necessary to bridge gaps and provide better access to quality care.”

She said that Medix would focus on providing personalised support by tapping into innovative services that improve not only the individual’s experience but that also benefit Vietnam’s healthcare landscape.

By Thanh Van

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