Klinify, a digital health startup based in Singapore, has raised $604,000 in seed funding led by Jungle Ventures, to help doctors in South East Asia manage thousands of patient records using a simple application that can be set up in few minutes.
Managing patient records can be a serious headache for doctors anywhere, and it’s not because there is any lack of enough software applications that can help automate their work flows. As many doctors are increasingly realizing, the challenge is that several of these existing applications require them to become ‘data clerks’, which basically means collecting and feeding patient information into spreadsheets.
“Most solutions turn doctors into data entry clerks. They fail to understand that most of the information are generated outside clinics through reports and images and that paper will be around for a long time,” Krishanthan Surendran (Krish), the startup’s co-founder said in an interview.
The doctors can use Klinify’s tablet application to write prescriptions, make diagrams and even refer back to earlier diagnosis, just the way they would write on paper — except that there’s no paper involved. The users can also access patient records in the cloud from anywhere.
“I would say our closest competition is Evernote . There are thousands of EMR software out there, but doctors rarely use them to manage patient records. They are used as CRMs/ inventory management or accounting tools mostly; patient records are still paper based around this region,” said Krish.
With Klinify, the founders are attempting to address two of the most important needs of nearly $3 billion electronic medical record market in Asia — ease of use and portability across different platforms.
For now, Klinify is targeting around 5,000 doctors with their private clinics in Singapore, but it has plans to expand in other markets of Indonesia, India and even Japan going forward.
Currently, a general physician stores about 40,000 records on an average and a specialist around 15,000 patient records in Singapore, according to Klinify.
Though still in beta, Klinify has started getting encouraging reviews from senior doctors.
“Existing EMR solutions address practice inventory and accounts management, but Klinify is the first to provide a smooth solution in managing patients’ medical records without changing the workflow process,” said Dr. C Sivathasan, a cardiac surgeon based in Singapore and an early user of Klinify.
Klinify charges doctors on per-patient-per-visit basis, starting at anywhere between S$0.20 to S$6.
Klinify started as Doctree.Asia, but its founders — Krish and Nishanth Sudharsanam — pivoted it into a new product six months later after realizing it’s not working out. But the learnings helped the founders flesh out Klinify.
This is how the founders explained their idea at JFDI.Asia demo day last year:
“We eventually found out that they (doctors) hated a change in workflow process, and that went as far as their thought process when it came to consulting a patient,” added Krish.
While Singapore has its own National Electronic Healthcare Record system, it’s more focused on large hospitals, leaving a huge opportunity for startups such as Klinify to tap into. Klinify founders have received around $40,000 in grants and seed from Spring Singapore and JFDI so far.
Hugh Mason, co-founder of JFDI.Asia told me that he is seeing more startups join next cohorts aiming to solve healthcare problems in South East Asia.
“A growing middle class wants access to healthcare across our region, and just as most Indians bypassed landline phones and went straight to mobile, maybe there is an opportunity to build different kinds of healthcare provision in Asia that bypass the kind of legacy healthcare systems that dominate the West.”