Thai startup HD is making the headlines for applying the sharing economy model in Southeast Asia’s healthcare sector. The startup offers a platform that helps three parties meet: surgeons with private practice, patients looking to have their surgeries done more cheaply, and vacant surgery rooms at hospitals. This model, which could sound counterintuitive to people accustomed to the healthcare sector in the West, is tailored to Southeast Asia’s medical system, which is designed on specific patient-hospital dynamics.
The startup was born after the founders noticed that surgeons in Thailand were advertising on Facebook to attract private customers. Dual practice is common for doctors in the region: they often work at private hospitals as a way to integrate their work at low-paying but highly regarded public hospitals.
Southeast Asia’s public hospitals suffer from very long waiting lines, as patients tend to go to the hospital as soon as they are sick, a problem that was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
HD’s services are currently available in Thailand and Indonesia. The company claims to have served over 250,000 patients through its platform, which boasts a network made up of over 1,500 healthcare providers. Some of the procedures that are currently available on the Thailand website include annual health checks, vaccinations, dental work, acne treatment, and several plastic surgeries.
The startup recently closed a USD 6 million funding round from Partech Partners, M Venture Partners, AC Ventures, iSeed, and Orvel Ventures. It’s also part of a recent batch accepted into Google for Startups Accelerator’s Southeast Asia program.
(Sources: TechCrunch+; Bangkok Post)