China is undergoing a tremendous transformation over the past two decades, not only economically but also socially and technically. The huge demographic changes are exerting increasing pressures on China’s existing healthcare system that is still under strain.
It seems that more and more people started to recognize the potentials of mHealth as a way to reduce costs of healthcare operations and improve healthcare quality. Investors are voting with massive capital injections in companies related to the sector. The list of such companies to receive funding this year is growing, and includes Chunyu (US$50M in Round C), DXY (US$70M from Tencent), as well as iHealth which just received US$25m from Xiaomi.
As one of the startups focused on mHealth industry, The CareVoice (Kangyu in Chinese) is a Shanghai-based review-based social platform dedicated to healthcare sector, enabling patients to share reviews on hospital services, as well as to connect with other patients and professionals.
The company is focused on a special link of the healthcare industry chain because patients’ experience matters and it is difficult to regain trust from patients once bad impressions were formed, according to Sebastian Gaudin, founder and CEO of the company. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, according to a report released by the startup.
The platform aims to help patients to make better decisions in finding best-rated hospitals, physicians and treatments that suit their specific healthcare needs. Users can record their medical experiences and post reviews on hospitals, physicians and drugs. The patients will be able to share reviews anonymously with a network mark only visible by their trusted community to prevent privacy issues.
On the other hand, the platform works with healthcare professionals, helping them to improve patients experiences. It also expects to develop a strong B2B partnership network. For instance, it has started cooperation with renowned hospitals in Shanghai and several insurance companies.
With main focus in China, The CareVoice has released a Shanghai-based iPhone app December last year. The business started to take off since March this year, recording close to 15,000 reviews from over 7,000 registered users as of present. The users who consulting and using the app is twice as much of this number, added Sebastien. The users are mostly female between 25 to 40 years old, a very health-conscious group. The company has released a mobile web version for beta usage on any mobile devices in June.
Since the platform is now mainly based on a star rating system on various criteria, like service, environment, facilities, the team is planning to engage the users to provide more information, either about themselves or add some narrative comments. Sebastien said they are refining the product to facilitate this goal and help users to be more discriminant about what is good and how to use these information.
Like other passionate entrepreneurs, The CareVoice team aims at something big. Its development path is to construct a perfect engineering system and to test as well as to improve the business model gradually. While there are healthcare needs all over the world, the company hopes to expand globally by localizing the product in regions where they can have a team for customer support and partnership, said Ricky Ng-Adam, CTO of the company. In addition to Chinese market, The CareVoice is also launched in New Delhi.
Sebastien Gaudin has worked in world-leading pharmaceutical firm Sanofi for more than 10 years with 4 years in China. He spotted the potential of mHealth industry and incorporated The CareVoice in Hong Kong in July 2013. Ricky Ng-Adam, a former Google employee, is on board as CTO of the company. Like other peers in this emerging sector, The CareVoice has received new funding from existing investors recently.