In this interview, Prashant Kashyap, Co-founder and COO, of Connect & Heal spoke about, how the company has adapted to the rapidly evolving needs of healthcare services in India, and how Connect & Heal offers personalized, language-specific doctor consultations in just 90 seconds, eliminating language barriers and enhancing patient experiences.
Read the complete interview:
TechGraph: How has the digital health landscape evolved in India over the past few years, and how has Connect & Heal adapted to these changes?
Prashant Kashyap: India’s digital health landscape has rapidly evolved, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Post the pandemic, the demand for accessible healthcare services delivered through digital platforms has surged tremendously. In response, Connect & Heal has adapted by integrating primary and preventive care services into a unified platform, making healthcare more comprehensive and convenient for users.
Our main mission is to bring the concept of family doctors back into households. With this philosophy, we navigated and pivoted Connect and Heal to be an integrated one-stop platform for the entire primary and preventive healthcare needs, with the primary care physician at the center stage.
Along the journey, we also realized that we could not solve the problem for everyone, so we decided to cater to 40 million households in India, primarily those of salaried individuals. As a result, we went down the path of making our platform available for employers and insurance companies who are looking to solve the health problems of their communities.
TechGraph: India has diverse healthcare needs based on region, socio-economic status, and culture. How does Connect & Heal cater to this diversity in its services?
Prashant Kashyap: Connect and Heal maintains a wide network of partners to ensure extensive coverage across various regions, addressing regional disparities in healthcare access.
Additionally, Connect & Heal offers multilingual support to accommodate linguistic diversity, ensuring that individuals from different linguistic backgrounds can access healthcare services conveniently.
To promote cultural sensitivity, Connect & Heal provides diversity training for its healthcare providers. This training ensures that healthcare professionals are equipped to respect and understand the cultural nuances and preferences of patients, fostering a more inclusive healthcare environment.
Furthermore, the platform actively engages with communities and seeks feedback from users, allowing for continuous adaptation and improvement of its services to cater to the diverse and evolving healthcare needs of the Indian population.
TechGraph: Telemedicine and online health consultation often face regulatory challenges. How do you navigate these challenges in India’s healthcare ecosystem?
Prashant Kashyap: Connect & Heal prioritizes strict adherence to India’s telemedicine guidelines and ethical principles, ensuring that data security, patient privacy, and informed consent are at the core of our operations.
This commitment not only helps us maintain regulatory compliance but also builds trust with our users. By empowering patients with knowledge about telemedicine and online health consultations, we contribute to the broader acceptance of these services.
We have also established feedback mechanisms to continuously improve our services based on user experiences and needs. Connect & Heal understands the importance of integrating telemedicine services into the broader Indian healthcare system for seamless continuity of care. We remain flexible and adaptive, ready to evolve in response to changing regulations.
TechGraph: What unique features or services does Connect & Heal offer in the online health consultancy space that differentiates it from other platforms?
Prashant Kashyap: One of our distinctive offerings is personalized, language-specific doctor consultations within an astonishing 90 seconds. We understand the importance of timely access to healthcare, and our platform ensures that patients can quickly connect with healthcare providers who speak their preferred regional language. This not only enhances the overall patient experience but also eliminates language barriers, promoting clear communication between doctors and patients.
TechGraph: What role do artificial intelligence and machine learning play in enhancing the services offered by Connect & Heal? Can you provide examples of how these technologies improve patient care?
Prashant Kashyap: At Connect and Heal, we use pre-trained ML models to analyze diagnostic reports and create personalized video sequences with real-time doctor explanations. This enhances patient understanding, reduces wait times, and improves care. AI also helps identify high-risk patients by generating trends from multiple data points and thereby providing personalized summaries with relevant guidance. C&H combines AI with human interaction to ensure trust and a personal touch.
TechGraph: The doctor-patient relationship is crucial in healthcare. How does Connect & Heal ensure a meaningful and effective connection between doctors and patients in the online environment?
Prashant Kashyap: Connect & Heal ensures that patients have the opportunity to establish a strong connection with their designated doctor. Patients can schedule multiple consultations with the same doctor, promoting continuity of care and allowing the physician to develop an in-depth understanding of the patient’s medical history, needs, and preferences.
This holistic perspective empowers doctors to address a wide range of health concerns comprehensively, taking into account the patient’s overall well-being. Patients can trust that their doctor will guide them toward appropriate and evidence-based treatments.
TechGraph: Are there any plans for expansion or collaboration with other healthcare stakeholders, such as hospitals or insurance providers, to further integrate Connect & Heal into the broader healthcare ecosystem?
Prashant Kashyap: We currently maintain a well-established network of hospitals, clinics, diagnostic labs, and other healthcare points of care. We also collaborate closely with insurance providers to ensure seamless delivery of benefits on our platform. Our ongoing efforts are focused on expanding the care network and ensuring that healthcare services are accessible across India.
TechGraph: Lastly, can you share any upcoming developments or innovations that Connect & Heal has in the pipeline to continue advancing healthcare technology in India?
Prashant Kashyap: Connect & Heal (C&H) is dedicated to advancing healthcare technology in India through a range of upcoming developments and innovations. Our core belief is that relationships are built on conversations, and we are harnessing AI to create personalized interactions. Accomplished professionals will guide patients through our services like Smart Dx, Smart Rx, and Smart Coach.
Additionally, C&H Labs is poised to leverage the widespread use of smartphones to promote healthy living. We are actively participating in India’s Health Rail initiative on the ABDM/National Health Stack, offering codeless integration for providers, promoting information symmetry, and facilitating consent-based data sharing for a seamless care continuum.
This unified platform will bring together patients, providers, and payors, fostering a more integrated and efficient healthcare ecosystem in India. These initiatives underscore our commitment to advancing healthcare technology and improving the healthcare landscape in India.