Perhaps in no other discipline a professional's competence hinges so much on whether they are up to speed with the latest developments.
That, in one sentence, is the idea Bangalore-based Omnicuris is betting on. A platform offering medical education courses and content, it helps doctors keep abreast of the latest advancements in medicine.
The startup was founded by Savitha Kuttan and Priyank Jain in November 2016. Prior to this, Kuttan was vice president at pharma company Mylan while Jain had previously founded EnCashea, a scrap-recycling startup later acquired by Hasiru Dala.
Omnicuris primarily offers video content on various medical specialties, such as cardiology, endocrinology and gynaecology. Like Coursera, its videos feature lectures by experts, quizzes, assignments, assessments, and webinars, among other things. Certifications are provided in partnership with hospitals and medical associations.
Omnicuris has partnered hospitals, such as Fortis and Tata Memorial Hospital, medical associations, medical colleges, and experts to create content and reach out to doctors. In addition, it is tying up with government bodies to take these courses to medical practitioners in Tier II and III cities.
“In India, medical expertise lies in pockets—primarily in metro cities, among a handful of doctors,” said Kuttan.
The company has signed memorandums of understanding with various government bodies, to enable doctors to earn credit points under the Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme. CME is a mandatory requirement stipulated by medical bodies to ensure doctors maintain competence and learn about new developments in their field.
Doctors can access the platform by signing up with their registration number. Currently, most of the content is free, except a few paid courses.
“The idea is to offer a single platform where physicians across the country can come together, learn and create a uniform standard of care. Omnicuris acts as an enabler...” Jain said.
Omnicuris' key revenue source is pharma companies and device manufactures who sponsor the videos and courses. The startup offers them a multichannel digital marketing platform, which can come in handy for pharma firms as they gradually realise the importance of projecting their medicines as consumer brands.
Besides, the firm offers, in partnership with medical associations, paid courses on special subjects. The associations market the courses among their members and share revenues with the company.
It also gets advertising revenues from hospital chains and diagnostic firms, who pay to feature their physicians on the videos.
Going forward, the startup plans to introduce non-intrusive promotional content and advertisements.
Currently, as much as 70% of the content is generated in-house and the rest curated from other sources. To scale faster, the company plans to increase the percentage of curated content.
Besides, it plans to venture into patient-centric content in the future. “As a next step, we will have some parts of the content targeting patients. Hospitals and clinics want to run these at waiting rooms, which can educate patients on various medical conditions while also acting as a direct market channel for pharma companies,” Jain said.
Medical content for patients is a sizeable market in India, and Omnicuris looks well-positioned to gain from its doctor networks and association partnerships that guarantee a ready market.
Omnicuris Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which runs Omnicuris, has raised $155,000 (Rs 1 crore) in seed funding from a Hyderabad-based angel investor, Kuttan told VCCircle without divulging the identity of the investor. The Bangalore-based company will use the capital to expand its content offerings and boost marketing efforts.
Currently in its eight month of operation, the company claims to have access to about 2 million patients already. It says it has on-boarded physicians in a number of cities, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Cochin, and hopes to reach out to more remote cities via partnerships with government bodies.
The startup has so far created about 300 hours of video content featuring over 100 top experts and more than 250 mid-level experts, covering a range of medical specialties.
Kuttan said the company was operationally profitable and it would look to raise fresh funding when its patient-centric content rolls out, which is likely in six months to a year.