Evaluation of business models and marketing strategies for a Tele-Health solution

Overview: Market for Tele-Health solutions in India

Limited healthcare access across rural and semi-urban India is causing significant loss w.r.t. disability adjusting life years amounting to economic loses worth $200 trillion. Despite 70% of the population being spread across rural India, urban parts account for 60% of the workforce. Tele-health initiatives, though not highly commercially viable in India yet are likely to bridge health access related need-gaps. Such initiatives would be viable if the basic cost of equipment and infrastructure are maintained below INR2.5Lakh per year.

  • Sub-$100 mobile phones being used for SMS based surveillance and patient monitoring
  • Electronic writing pads and digital camera interfaces as well as real-time human translators are being used to address literacy and language barriers
  • Satellite connectivity is being used to link tier III towns and villages to specialists
  • VPN and HTTPS protocols are being engaged for data security


Our Client: A US based tele-health solutions provider with offerings in integrated health practice, practice management software etc.

Challenge Statement: A nationwide commercial launch of a tele-health solution was being planned. Our client wanted to understand the key customer segments; their respective value propositions to position this solution as well as feasible business models

Research Design: In addition to understanding the existing need-gaps and motivators, the research was intended at creating a detailed business model indicating feasibility of commercial viability for tele-health offerings. Consequently, a phased-approach was undertaken to first assess the need-gaps as well as broad requirements / benefits sought from a tele-health solution. This was done across a few key customer segments including primary care facilities, NGOs as well as large employers and providers. Prior to the second phase, a detailed concept card was created for the various tele-health offerings by the client. In a double-blinded study, the product offerings, corresponding value propositions as well as tiered pricing by customer segments were evaluated.

Research Methodology: Secondary research consisted of in-depth understanding of the current need-gaps across various customer segments in the country. To understand the potential customer types while benchmarking them against developed economies, baseline segmentation of hospitals /NGOs / government agencies etc. was conducted.   Key stakeholders including hospital CEOs, head of healthcare NGOs, officials in various state health ministries; as well as business unit heads of key corporate houses were interviewed. In addition, ethnographic observations were conducted at regional health NGOs to plot their overall workflow and need-gaps for solutioning.

Research Outcome: Key need-gaps of each customer segment was identified. The need for Opex based health access to remote locations; documentation of health impact grants; and reducing healthcare expenses while having seamless access to employee medical records were identified as key value drivers for NGOs and corporate respectively. Price range testing using price sensitivity meter was conducted. The product was positioned with separate brand names, and targeted marketing communication strategy for 6 different customer segments was generated.


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