Friday, May 24, 2024

Exclusive: Pakistan’s Healthwire closes $700,000 investment for its digital healthcare platform

Healthtech Healthwire, based in Lahore, has closed a pre-Series A $700,000 investment round from Pakistan-focused VC 47 Ventures. The round was closed a couple of months ago, but today it was revealed.

Originally, the start-up began as a doctor booking site in 2015, but Hamza Iqbal, its founder and CEO, soon realised that it was not ready for use by hospitals and doctors in Pakistan. He then pivoted quickly to market it as a cloud-based hospital and practise management software.

“A significant number of physicians in Pakistan operate on a revenue-share basis with hospitals. They are not their nurses, but they have their own way of handling patient appointments and paperwork for each of them. There are very few hospitals with centralized booking systems and the programme a doctor decides to use has almost no say. Many still use pen and paper to book their appointments,” explained Hamza.

Taking the software route allowed Healthwire, a model they were much more comfortable with at the time, to sell directly to doctors for a monthly subscription fee. The hospital management approach has also been sold to hospitals and clinics who choose to use integrated systems. The start-up has now expanded to have 3,500 doctors and 75 hospitals using its software across 52 Pakistani cities. Every one of them is a paying subscriber, paying a monthly charge to Healthwire to use its apps.

Healthwire has returned to its roots after winning a large number of hospitals and doctors using its apps, and launched the doctor booking website, allowing patients to schedule doctor appointments. The platform is still working-in-progress, like telehealth, with several features planned to be rolled out in the next few weeks, Hamza told. On every good appointment, the doctors using the booking platform pay a cut to Healthwire.

“We intend to provide services to patients throughout their health care journey by allowing them to meet doctors, view and store their health records, and order medicines and laboratory tests directly from our platform,” Hamza said that they will use a large part of the newly raised funds to exploit the strength they have accumulated on the B2B side and expand the customer side of the company.

“So far, Healthwire has performed flawlessly to acquire the largest supply-side share in the health care service provider space,” said Khurram Zafar, Country Manager for 47 Venture Investments. “We look forward to the business increasingly expanding and increasing the patient side market share with the influx of new capital and supplying the masses with 360-degree healthcare solutions,” he added.

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