Most small and mid-segment budget hospitals and even some large hospital chains suffered low-occupancy rates even after a sharp drop in Covid-19 cases, though there was a slow uptick in the admission of non-covid patients of late, nowhere near the pre-pandemic times.
Finding that private hospitals were on varying level playing fields when it comes to two large cost factors—healthcare human resources and medical consumables—StratMed has brought in manufacturers of medical equipment, consumables and drugs, and hospitals on to a single platform of aggregation.
Using artificial intelligence technology for data analysis and predictions pertaining to demand and supplies, the startup offers to improve margins of private hospitals by aggregating demand and negotiating preferred prices with the manufacturers. It also offers services to hospitals to improve efficiencies through optimising consumption and improved supply chain process.
“By working closely with the manufacturers of medical consumables and hospitals, we help hospitals get better rate contracts by aggregating the demand and also help improve supply chains. We also help manufacturers prune down their cost of sales, thereby improving their margins as well,” says Dr Sameer Khan, founder and chief executive of StratMed, which currently has 65 hospitals in 30 Indian cities with over 9,500 beds on its platform with a purchase value of over Rs 650 crore.
The group purchasing startup that earns on an average of 2-4% of the purchase value of hospitals as its revenue, is eying to close the current fiscal with around 18,000 hospital beds spread across cities including Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Gurgaon with around Rs 1,300 crore of purchase value.
“We don’t charge hospitals for our services upfront but earn our revenues on the savings we demonstrate as success-based fee through cost negotiations without compromising on clinical outcomes, supply chain management and optimisation of medical consumables on a real-time basis using technology,” said Dr Khan.
Having recently raised Rs 1.8 crore of funds by diluting around 3.5% equity, the startup is in talks with private equity funds to raise around $4-5 million towards building technology and hiring people.
StratMed claims to be working on the lines of group purchasing organisations in the US market where around 70% of the US healthcare purchases take place through GPOs wherein some top GPOs record over $1 billion of purchase values. The Indian hospital consumables purchase market is currently estimated at around $15 billion.