According to Indonesia’s communications minister, “Indonesia is likely to have more than five startups worth at least $1 billion each by 2019, with healthcare and education the most promising sectors to spawn new unicorns in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy”. Historically, Indonesia’s healthcare system has been challenged by economic issues, substandard quality, and poor access due to its large geographic area. Today, healthcare startups are applying novel strategies to remedy these issues.
Let’s take a moment to explore Indonesia’s healthcare startup scene and see how innovative entrepreneurs are revolutionizing the industry. Here we look at five healthcare startups that may well be the next ones to fulfil the minister’s prediction.
Halodoc, an online consultation system launched in 2016, connects users to fully licensed and experienced doctors, pharmacies and medical laboratory services. Halodoc’s platform now has over 22,000 doctors including general practitioners and specialists and works with 1,200 pharmacies in 25 cities throughout Indonesia. Founded by Jonathan Sudharta who is also the chief executive officer, Halodoc was established with the goal of making access to healthcare easier. Users can select their preferred doctor, consultation time (based on price points), purchase medicine from a nearby pharmacy and get them delivered by Go-Jek’s drivers. The interaction with the medical professional can be done via chat, video, or voice call on Halodoc’s platform. Insured users can claim their medical bills with the insurance providers who partner with Halodoc.
According to Felicia Kawilarang, vice president of marketing, Halodoc’s prescriptions orders have increased by 500% in the past year and its mobile app has had 1.5 million downloads.
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Launched in 2014, Alodokter is a digital news portal exploring health and well-being issues. In 2016, it expanded its services to include a mobile app that allows users to have virtual medical consultations with a general practitioner. The telemedicine app merges artificial intelligence and doctor-patient interaction. Alodokter, created by Nathanael Faibis, boasts 11 million monthly visitors and delivers high-quality health information to roughly 100,000 Indonesians monthly. Alodokter has announced plans to expand into the Southeast Asian market.
TeleCTG is a maternal health telemedicine app that enables pregnant women anywhere in Indonesia to access an affordable CTG (cardiotocographs) scans. Founders Anda Sapardan and Abraham Auzan created a portable, cost-effective device that uses an application and software that integrates with smartphones. This low-cost technology idea allows midwives and nurses in remote areas to connect with city-based obstetricians, expediting assessment and diagnosis in pregnant women. Backed by Fenox Ventures, the objective is to provide affordable live data capture and prompt diagnosis. TeleCTG aims to provide early detection and issue warnings of risk factors with the goal of preventing maternal and infant death. The startups’ long-term vision is to create community-based healthcare.
Doctor Gregorius Bimantoro founded one of the top digital health communication startups, Atoma Medical which has been operating the online health website, TanyaDok.com since 2006.
The site offers health information content from doctors and provides users access to medical practitioners through online consultation and a healthcare network. Over 200,000 active members and 90,000 monthly site visitors can interact with over 200 contributing physicians including general physicians and super specialists. Dentists and a range of experts, such as senior consultants also provide feedback to consumers. The portal estimates giving tens of thousands of consultations, either via email or social media, with doctors reporting around 20 to 50 consultations per day. A paid-premium membership enables doctors to have access to the user’s medical records for a more personalized and in-depth consultation. A doctor’s consultation is restricted to giving medical advice on the patient’s complaints. TanyaDok is working on partnering with Network Health Services (ranging from hospitals and specialist clinics to clinical laboratories, etc.) to provide users with continued service, and a with the goal to offer ‘home care’ services to paid-premium members.
TanyaDok not only helps consumers by facilitating free online consultations, but they also assist non-government organizations (NGOs) with running digital campaigns and community outreach programmes. TanyaDok intends in the future to be “the sole hub connecting all the dots in the healthcare industry”. The objective is to empower the Indonesian healthcare system by “connecting the consumers, doctors and other health care providers with home-care services, pharmacies, wellness and fitness services, wellness and health products, medical devices, healthy food, and health insurance.”
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Pharmacies have also taken advantage of the development of online applications. Online apothecaries like K24Klik in Jakarta, is the first online pharmacy in Indonesia that is “truly open 24 hours, nonstop”, according to its director Gideon Hartono. Founded in 2016, consultations, orders, and delivery can be done 24 hours via the K24Klik app downloaded directly via the Android or IOS store application. Medications ordered on K24KLIK’s website are authentic and shipped from a broad network of pharmacies. Prices listed on the K24Klick website are fixed and orders can be filled immediately. The app also enables electronic payment in addition to the usual cash-on-delivery option.
Gaining access to healthcare has been difficult for Indonesians due to the infrastructure barriers and poor quality of their healthcare system. Mobile app developers are using current technology to connect customers with suppliers and providers in the medical field. This technology also allows for skilled and expert providers to meet the needs of the population and supply health information to the public. These innovative solutions are allowing Indonesians to take charge of their health. Startups are changing the landscape of the Indonesian health industry which will hopefully lead to long-term sustainable advances in the healthcare sector.