Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Nidhi Jain, Founder & CEO, KareXpert, to
know more about advancements in digital health and how SaaS-based solutions are leading
Your views on the recent initiatives by PM Modi around electronic health records?
Recent initiatives like the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission are an effort by the government to
scale the use of digitization in the healthcare space. Launched on September 27, 2021, it
aims to create a national health ecosystem wherein patients and stakeholders in the
healthcare industry can securely upload and access health records with proper consent
management in place. There will be a unique healthcare ID for every individual, so that
accessibility of records across multiple facilities can be done easily.
The key component of the health mission is a unique health ID (created with the help of an
Aadhaar Card and a registered mobile number), using which citizens can access their health
accounts and give consent to share them with others digitally. We are proud that we are
going to be part of this journey where the whole nation is looking for digital healthcare
How is EHR interoperability going to encourage EMR adoption in India?
In my view, we have come a long way in the debate about EMR/EHR adoption. I think
everybody in the healthcare ecosystem has understood the importance of EMR/EHR for
better quality care and reducing human errors.
In fact, I would like to answer it differently: how to ease the EMR adoption process for
hospitals and doctors, as few healthcare providers have already burned their fingers in the
past, mainly for two reasons: either the system is too costly or the system is too complex to
understand and use by doctors and nurses.
KareXpert solves both the problems by providing tailor-made, SaaS-based EMR/EHR
solutions per speciality and per doctor, and its filling is faster than paper filing, if the master
data of the EMR is filled correctly. As it’s SaaS based, there is not too much of an upfront
cost to try and adopt the software. Also, this is integrated as part of the CPOE to other
departments, so information travels in real time and there is no gap in communication for the
quality care of the patient.
How do you see technology transforming the healthcare industry in India?
For many years, the healthcare industry in India has remained stagnant due to a lack of
funds and fewer requirements for digitization.Such challenges have often invited criticism
from around the globe, as India ranks 145 on the healthcare access and quality index,
leaving its BRICS counterparts far ahead in the race. But things have changed quite a bit,
post-technology adoption. It has completely transformed the way doctors and patients
interact with one another. For example, social distancing and COVID-induced lockdowns
have cut off physical interaction between people. Thanks to technology, patients were able to
communicate with doctors through video calls, availing themselves of necessary treatment.
Advancements in technology have allowed SAAS-based companies like KareXpert to churn
out AI-driven and patient-centric solutions for hospitals to streamline their operations.
Moreover, the introduction of EMR/EHR has helped maintain digital records, avoiding
stocking piles of paperwork that can be misplaced or lead to medical errors. All this will usher
in an era of modern-age healthcare that stands on the pillars of quality patient care and
superior operational efficiency.
How is cloud-based SaaS becoming the future of healthcare? Was it challenging to
convince the hospitals to accept the change?
Considering the current state of healthcare, numerous providers are eagerly looking
for healthcare IT solutions that meet the new requirements and provide the necessary
support while providers can primarily focus on quality and integrated patient care, leading to
better operational efficiency. That said, traditional healthcare providers still encounter multiple
challenges while developing mobile-ready, cloud-native, and AI/ML-ready applications. That’s
where SaaS-based providers save the day by building an open ecosystem that leads to
constant innovation with end-to-end managed services that no other on-premise or in-house
solution can deliver.
Let me explain the above with an analogy. If you wished to consume on-demand video
content today, would you go to a store and buy a DVD or subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime,
or other streaming services? The answer is quite obvious, isn’t it? Every new technology has
its day and scope of application, and if we fail to change, we will soon become extinct (which
history has taught us multiple times). From an infrastructural perspective, the cloud is a oneway street. The sooner we change it, the better the outcomes will be. We have all witnessed
rapid cloud technology adoption in the last two years, and I’m confident this is the only way
forward for healthcare providers. That said, in our view, if hospitals plan to change their
hardware, they should also revamp their software simultaneously, as all healthcare software
solutions are not cloud-native and can’t scale quickly with the growing demands.
Companies always expect some resistance when they roll out new technologies or categoryfirst solutions. At KareXpert, the primary challenge is the apprehension of hospitals about the
journey to the cloud. Firstly, it is challenging to sideline the myth that migrating to the cloud is
complicated and involves multiple steps. Secondly, most hospitals are worried about cyber
security, especially from the PII/SII perspective. That said, the landfall of the pandemic
provided a solid push towards the increased use of cloud computing platforms. Though the
cloud is the only solution to support the growing needs of today’s fast-changing world, the
roll-out of 5G will add extra motivation for hospitals to stop the use of traditional legacy
systems. In terms of cyber security, KareXpert has collaborated with PwC to conduct regular
security audits. In addition, we are the first healthcare company in India to be certified by the
AWS foundational architecture review.
How is KareXpert streamlining the clutter in hospitals?
While developing our innovative solutions, we identified the pain points of Indian and global
healthcare providers, which revolved around application support concerns, data security,
constant change requests, mobile readiness, disjointed experience because of multiple
pointed solutions, and inadequate IT teams at the hospital, as a hospital is designed to treat
patients, not build or manage software. I think what to build is kind of known to many, but how
is very important. How to make it agile and how to make it future-proof is also important. We
have used web-scale technologies to build the digital healthcare stack using microservices
and a kubernetes architecture.
We use a platform-based approach with KareXpert’s cloud-native, mobile-first, and integrated
SaaS solution to address these challenges. It is a no-coding platform providing 50+ preintegrated modules, enabling healthcare providers to cater to their IT requirements on a
single platform. This leads to a higher level of coordination among various departments
(radiology, diagnostics, pharmacy, etc.) in a hospital/healthcare facility, resulting in consistent
and continuous care delivery. We further continue to collaborate with AI, ML, and IoT
solutions providers to strengthen the digitalization of hospitals’ operations.
We also offer a pre-integrated data lake, where hospitals and healthcare institutes can hoard
clinical and patient data in a consolidated manner. We have even teamed up with PwC to
perform security audits, ensuring the security and privacy of the data. Owing to our
tremendous efforts, Google has termed our 50+ modules “G Suite for Hospitals”—a title that
makes us proud and happy. We will continue to carry on KareXpert’s mission of digital
healthcare transformation, creating an open digital healthcare ecosystem. We recently won
the Nasscom award in the “hospital automation” category, which also adds another feather to
Funding from Reliance Jio
In 2018, we raised funding of INR 30 crore from Jio Platforms Limited, which empowered us
to develop 50+ healthcare modules to serve the global market’s needs. Such SaaS-based
B2B applications are mobile-first, cloud-native, and AI-ready, constructed on no-coding and
in-house platforms that guarantee 4X development time.
Future expansion plans Do you plan to raise funds to expand your business?
To fulfil KareXpert’s novel vision of creating a connected healthcare ecosystem worldwide,
we intend to onboard 100,000 global hospitals within the next 5 years. Yes, at the right time,
we will be raising Series B funds to expand in India as well as the global market.