The absence of safe, effective, and well-functioning medical devices and equipment (MDEs) impairs health service provision and leads to poor patient outcomes thus posing substantial health system and national security risks.
A study published in 2017 by Karin Diaconu, et al, suggests that 40 - 70 % of medical devices and equipment in low-income and middle-income countries are broken or unused or unfit for use. This impairs service delivery to patients, resulting in lost resources.
Chethan K.S, Co-founder and biomedical engineer, MedPick, is a qualified biomedical engineer who graduated from VIT and started exploring startup companies. At MedPick, he performs multiple leadership duties such as interacting with hospitals & vendors, and onboarding them with Medpick; assisting the clients during the complete sale and procurement procedure; and educating the Healthcare sector about the importance of effective hospital asset management through the Biomedical Network. As a core team member, he works closely with the entire development and sales team to ensure a continuous flow of efficient results.
MedPick is a B2B platform for pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories, and refurbished sellers aimed at simplifying the process of procurement of medicines, medical devices, and medical equipment by maintaining transparency at every level of the transaction.
MedPick works transparently with the Healthcare sector
Chethan throws light on how MedPick is working transparently in the healthcare sector, “MedPick is a B2B platform for medical supplies, devices, equipment & pharmaceuticals. We help healthcare businesses like hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, retail pharmacies, home health centers, and biomedical engineers to access our portal and procure hospital supplies online. The way we do it is by directly contracting with the manufacturers and authorized distributors to list their products on medpick.in and make them available for buyers. Our business model includes providing these services to sellers and buyers, encouraging them to complete the transactions in a way beneficial for both. We constantly update the product information on our website and help buyers to make purchase decisions. The entire process intends to save money, time, and provide transparency and great customer service. Our founding team consists of founding members who are physicians, biomedical engineers with experience in entrepreneurship. Our advisors include industry experts in the field of marketing and medical equipment,” he says.
Procuring medical supplies for Hospitals, Retail Pharmacies, Laboratories, and Health Innovations
Chethan briefly explains how MedPick is procuring medical supplies for Hospitals, Retail Pharmacies, Laboratories, and Health Innovations.
Hospitals - Small to medium-sized hospitals (less than 100 bedded) find it challenging to procure medical supplies. They have to source from multiple suppliers, negotiate prices and payment terms, and work with the biomedical team for installation and maintenance. All these activities consume physicians’ time and loss of revenue to the hospital. We help them with sourcing, purchase, installation, and regular maintenance. “At MedPick we have developed proprietary tools that can be accessed by hospitals to simplify these tasks. This will save time and cost to the hospital and help practitioners to focus on patient care. We bring in a high level of transparency to all the transactions on our platform. Our after-sales customer support is very effective and we try to improve on it continuously,” says Chethan.
Retail Pharmacies - A pharmacist in a small stand-alone retail store has many roles to play. Procurement, inventory management, payments & receipts, accounting, compliance, licenses, finance, sales & marketing, fulfilling prescriptions, payroll, GST, operations, and proper removal of expired supplies. “All this is done while they partner with ‘online drug stores’. Unable to withstand the competition on customer acquisition, the brick-and-mortar stores are forced to go out of business. Most of their work being manual and paper-based we intend to help them simplify these processes by using our tools. Our Astra application allows them to source through stockists while comparing prices, get notifications on the latest offers, avail GST invoices, and get financing through our partners for all purchases. Retail stores can also engage with consumers through our tools and send them customized offers. Because our revenue is through annual subscription we do not mark up product prices on our platform. They stay the same as provided by stockiest and manufacturers,” says Chethan.
Laboratories – “Similar to hospitals, diagnostic laboratories can also procure medical supplies through MedPick at wholesale prices, with a 55-day credit facility, avail GST invoices, after-sales support. They will be able to get into our ‘MedPick direct program’ which will guarantee supply and prices with ‘minimum order quantity’. They can use options to automate their procurement via mobile applications. They will be allowed to request custom quotes and deliveries. We provide consultation on an individual basis to advise on refurbished equipment. We can provide them with an ROI sheet with every purchase and let them plan their financials,” says Chethan.
Health Innovations: “In today’s healthcare market, we come across various innovative products that are in dire need of a launch pad and find the right buyers. We at MedPick showcase the most awarding and innovative startups on our Health Innovations platform, by launching one Innovation per day, every day, for a complete year, i.e., 365 innovations for 365 days. The innovations launched here are focused on solving the current problems in healthcare. We help these startups build awareness and generate new leads and at the same time provide them with opportunities to connect with healthcare professionals across the globe,” says Chethan.
MedPick providing a Safe and Contactless delivery to hospitals in the current scenario
Chethan explains how MedPick is striving to provide safe and contactless delivery to hospitals in the current scenario. “Multiple COVID-19 Testing kits are being supplied to healthcare facilities with non-contact deliveries and discounted business prices. For hospitals in Bangalore, the kits are being delivered on a same-day basis. We have also introduced a COVID-19 Home Care Kit, a complete package for hospitals, home health centers, etc. that consists of all the essential COVID-19 Supplies for treatment of mild COVID-19 cases at home, that will further help reduce the overcrowding in Hospitals and minimize the chances of community transmission. In April, MedPick had initiated a Charity Campaign called RAKSHA, to donate Free COVID-19 Supplies to frontline workers across the nation. Some of the recipients of RAKSHA were the Hrudaya Multispeciality Hospital, CHAI organization, and Andhra Hospitals,” he says.
The journey of being a co-founder
Chethan says that probably entrepreneurship is engraved in him and that is what pushed him to look for a startup and solve problems. “Joining and working with MedPick has been a dream come true. Though it is not a 9-5 job, I like solving problems, interacting with customers, leading the team, carrying the vision forward, and growing with the stakeholders. Since we are a customer-centric company we have many things to learn and improvise but the best part is that we enjoy doing it. Currently, we focus on the journey rather than the outcome and so is the senior leadership. I am constantly being groomed as a leader both by my customers and my team members. On MedPick, I strongly believe in building a character in the team which will be inherited by all the young talents joining the company. So far in MedPick, we have had to pivot from a B2C company to B2B and overcome quite a few challenges, survive the pandemic, and still hope for the growth phase,” he says.
Ways to observe 'calm under pressure' while embracing New Normal
Chethan suggests that we aren’t in control of the things happening around us. “The year 2020 has been full of bad surprises, with the challenges and the uncertainty it has thrown at us. We need to plan for a new “normal.” Especially in the Startup Ecosystem, this situation is a first of its kind and won't be the last one; startups have to find new solutions for operating in the new normal, starting with Work from home, day to day operations, customer acquisition to managing finances. As a Co-Founder of MedPick, it is important for me to continue the journey and plan the next steps carefully. Being Innovative and able to Pivot, Being proactive to customer outreach, adapt to the dynamic environment, managing the finances effectively are some of the few things I would suggest that startups adopt for being Calm under pressure,” he says.
To build a vision, constantly improvise and work with a team
Chethan shares his thoughts, “My advice to youngsters and those wannabe entrepreneurs is quite simple. Any and every problem in the world has been solved by an entrepreneur. Whether it is Elon Musk or Ratan Tata, they have never feared off from their vision in tough times. To build a vision, constantly improvise, work with a team, achieve your goals, and keep raising the bar to higher standards,” he says.
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)