Healthcare is a complicated affair, and many of us only begin doing our research once symptoms arise.
By then, it could be too late. The ability to search online for the right provider is nothing new, but the process still left a lot to be desired.
Information about different services by different providers would be scattered all over the web, and some of us end up resorting to the nearest provider, or one that’s recommended to us by family or friends.
For me, the most tedious part of the research is finding out which provider’s pricing is the most affordable for me, as this information sometimes isn’t readily available online.
John from Healtopedia added, “Once you’re ready to book, it’s often through calling, and for a growing number of providers, through WhatsApp.”
“Sometimes, you may not even be able to get in touch with the relevant person to book an appointment, particularly where walk-ins are not allowed.”
With Healtopedia, a health and wellness discovery platform, the aim is to simplify the discovery, education, comparison and booking process for users.
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From Serving Only International Customers To Locals Too
The site’s focus is on preventive health and wellness, including precision diagnostics and health-related wellness services.
“We began with health screening due to our prior 5 years of experience working in Medical and Wellness Tourism through George Medical Getaway,” John said.
They were helping international patients (health tourists) discover available services and compare them in a standardised way to come to an informed decision and secure appointments easily.
Through that offering, they soon realised that many Malaysians wanted the same services, and it turned out that what they had built was directly applicable to locals too.
When they launched at the end of February 2020, there were already several local competitors in the market such as Doctor2U (by BP Healthcare), BookDoc’s marketplace for corporates, and Fave who also has health screening listings.
However, John revealed how Healtopedia sets itself apart.
“One of our core unique propositions is that we are a multi-provider, multi-vertical marketplace. Additionally, we also operate in the medical tourism industry, which enables Healtopedia to bring international customers to our partners.”
Healthcare Booking Made Easy And Transparent
According to John, Healtopedia does not mark up the prices by any of their partners, but there’s still a maximum transaction fee of RM7.50 charged to users.
It’s something that they’re planning on removing completely, once they incorporate their revenue models with that of their partners’.
Since all the information is readily available on Healtopedia, I had to ask John why someone would then opt to book through the site rather than directly with the service provider.
“When we first launched Healtopedia, we certainly faced this exact issue, where a few people would window-shop on Healtopedia and then try to approach the hospital directly,” he revealed.
“Oftentimes, they even told the hospital how they found them and our partners would graciously inform us of such occasions.”
But he didn’t particularly see this as a bad thing.
“I think this is a natural risk of any platform, and if the ultimate goal is about addressing individuals’ health, by all means, we welcome the use of Healtopedia as a benchmark for your decision-making process.”
By doing so, however, users won’t get the added benefits of going through Healtopedia which include receiving promos and discounts offers from time to time, for example.
Making a booking on Healtopedia is similar to making one on Airbnb, where the essential information is already provided to you and all you have to do is click “Add to cart” and then check-out.
You can choose to either pay through Healtopedia or pay on location at the hospital on the day of your appointment.
Results Speak For Themselves
Healtopedia currently offers over 200 products from over 10 official partners which include KPJ Group, Pantai Hospital, Prince Court, Sunway Medical Centre, and more.
Over the next 12 months, they’re aiming to add 120 partners and 1,000 products in six or seven wellness verticals.
“At first, explaining the benefits to our early partners were difficult to communicate without result, but once they have experienced the number of customers coming from Healtopedia in the last 4 months, they have a greater sense of the value brought about by us,” John said.
Since launching (excluding the months of March and April during the MCO), they’ve completed over 1,700 transactions and earned over RM600,000 in revenue.
On average, their site attracts 30,000 monthly active users, a far cry from where they want to be, John said, but it’s been a good value proposition for onboarding partners.
“As a result of COVID-19, I think now, more than ever, providers are looking at ways to digitise non-essential services, and that’s exactly what we offer,” he added.
“We help providers digitise their services on a marketplace basis, which gives them direct access to a greater market reach and potential new customer bases.”
This has a direct result in increasing revenues from new market segments and reducing the direct and indirect costs associated with customer acquisition and process optimisation such as marketing, customer service, and booking teams.
John Lim, Chief Operating Officer
Healtopedia aims to grow into a dedicated health and wellness marketplace as well as an end-to-end health aggregator for users, and John hopes that part of this will come from strategic partnerships with others in Malaysia.
- You can learn more about Healtopedia here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Healtopedia