“Have you had any experience of obtaining a discharge summary from a hospital? Do you remember how long it took you to get discharged?”
Swaminathan Raman asks you these questions hypothetically. When you say it can take up to a couple of hours, he assures you hospitals that use the software his company has developed can discharge patients in a matter of minutes.
How it works
He goes on to demonstrate how the whole thing works, pulling together of bills from various departments in a hospital – pharmacy, laboratory, consultation – and the discharge summary from the doctors and putting it all in one place and handing over the discharge summary to the patient’s family. “It takes just about five minutes,” Swaminathan says, pointing to that as one of the USPs of the hospital management software, HealthySoft, developed by his company Newcastle Technologies Pvt Ltd.
A finance professional with more than two decades of corporate experience, when he learnt and honed his skills on information technology and systems, Swaminathan started Newcastle Technologies in 2006. The first product was an employee transportation management solution.
He was quite happy with the employee transportation management solution he had developed, but felt it was a low-end solution. He wanted to develop something that will find use not just in India, but can be sold abroad. That is when he came up with the idea of developing a hospital management solution. According to him, he spent two years in developing HealthySoft, which has nearly 30 modules. Hospitals can either buy all the modules or just those that meet their requirements.
The first hospital that implemented it was a 133-bed one in Salem, Tamil Nadu. Hospitals, says Swaminathan, need a solution that takes care of their requirements – fixing consultants’ appointments, taking care of patient requirements, allotting rooms and beds, sending out requests for tests. All this can be done from a computer terminal instead of each one being sent out separately.
“The idea,” says Swaminathan, “is to give a world-class ERP solution for hospitals, at an affordable price. One that is developed in India but can be deployed anywhere in the world.”
According to him, 20 hospitals in India are using HealthySoft. Newcastle has tied up with Quality Care Dialysis, a US-based company, to manage their dialysis facilities in hospitals in India.
Plans to enter South
Newcastle has given Quality Care Dialysis a tailor-made solution. QCD is available in hospitals in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha and plans to enter the South and countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Saudi Arabia. Wherever QCD sets up dialysis centres, Newcastle Technologies will provide its dialysis management solution.
How big is the market he is dealing with? Swaminathan says there are nearly 50,000 hospitals in the country, ranging from 10 beds to 1,000 beds; nearly 90 per cent of them will be 100 bed hospitals, of which those with 50 beds or less will account for 80 per cent.
Swaminathan is confident that the functionality of HealthySoft will see it tapping the huge market successfully.
(The article first appeared in The Hindu BusinessLine.)