A Brief Background for the Story
Dealing with a medical emergency can be a nightmarish experience. In India, the lack of emergency medical services makes it far worse. Bad traffic and no proper roads make it even worse. Delhi, a city of 22 million people, has 152 state-run ambulances. That’s one for every 144,736 people. The World Health Organization says there should be at least one ambulance per 100,000 people. A study by the Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 2012 found that 28% of the 70,768 emergency calls received between March 2009 and May 2010 in the city were refused because of the shortage of ambulances. Dial4242 was born to give a simple and cost effective solution to the above problems and make an ambulance easily accessible.
Current Emergency Scenario
- Unlike 911 in USA, India still lacks far behind on having one single number for all emergency purposes. There are different numbers for getting an ambulance, Fire brigade, Police etc. Also awareness of emergency number among the public is quite low.
- The ambulance sector in India is pretty unorganized and there is no uniform pricing too. This leads to a lot of hassle while booking an ambulance.
- Govt. driven ambulances services lack far behind in terms of technology and accessibility. Corruption and bureaucracy is another issue being faced by the Govt. machinery.
- Private ambulances are also located nearby the hospitals as they get maximum business from them. So when a user needs an ambulance at their residence it takes some amount of time.
Human behaviour while booking an ambulance
- In a country like India (be it cities or highways), manually explaining the location after calling a doctor or a hospital is incredibly difficult.
- This is one of the most complex and time-consuming tasks a human can do when their ability to think logically is compromised and they are potentially suffering a big personal mishap.
- Sometimes because of all these stress the patient’s relative might not be able to communicate the right address or forget something very important.
India a nation of 530 million smartphone users has an app for almost every service. There are apps for booking a cab, ordering pizza, and even dating. Services like booking a cab or ordering food on an app is handy, however it is never a question about life and death. In regards to an ambulance, there has never been an application helping people book it and track its location and timing. In fact failing to get an ambulance on time at the proper rates can be a big concern and is critical and crucial to the life of a person. This gap in the app business was the basis for an innovation.
How has Dial4242 innovated?
- Dial4242 is essentially “An Uber for Ambulances”. Just like you will book a cab, one can book the nearest ambulance, track ambulance in real time, get the pricing on the app, review the trip etc.
- The app has been tested in 2G, 3G and 4G environments and works seamlessly in low data connectivity areas as well, which is important since emergency doesn’t see the internet connectivity at the location.
- The app also works without any internet connectivity and will connect user to our 24x7 call centre to book an ambulance. So besides the App, user can also call us and book an ambulance.
- The concept for this innovation had emerged out of a general concern for a loved one, wherein the co-founder Mr. Jeetendra Lalwani’s father had fallen ill. The need for frequent ambulance services and the inadequate response coupled with differing prices and inability to arrange the service on time gave birth to this innovative idea. He along with Mr. Nilesh Mahambre who is also one of the co-founders of the service firm, approached many ambulances and hospitals before launching their app service to the public.
- As per Jeetendra Lalwani, Co-founder and Director at Dial4242, this novel concept of an ambulance aggregator came to him after having to go through all the pain of booking an ambulance for his father. He faced the problem of not just the delays associated with the arrival of the ambulance, but also the price negotiation was difficult as ambulance drivers try to exploit the helpless situation of the patient’s family.
- In Jeetendra’s words “I was often put in a spot during the time of my father’s illness. I personally felt the need to have simple, quick and seamless means to book an ambulance as I figured that we needed a go-to resource,”.
- This inspired Mr. Jeetendra to think of an easier solution for this problem and gave birth to this new idea. They simply believe in making people's lives easier and better.
- Dial4242 currently aggregates roughly around 350 general, ICU/Cardiac, Hearse, and paediatric ambulances and will be adding to the list going forward.
- Within a year of operations, Dial4242 has successfully completed 5000 trips. Significant reduction in the price levels of booking an ambulance have happened over the year.
- With the help of technology, Dial4242 has been strategically placing ambulances across various locations so that the user gets the ambulance immediately. This has helped to bring down our TAT to around 13-15 mins. We plan to bring it down to 10-12 mins going ahead.
- Besides the mobile app, Dial4242 has specially build a desktop technology for hospitals to keep a close eye on their ambulances and ensure hospitals are giving better service to their patients. This has helped them to build tie-ups with hospitals and medical entities, like diagnostic centres, to provide services and standardize their current booking process.
- Estimated Market Size: A total of Rs. 18,149 crore was spent on patient transportation services, like use of an ambulance. (http://bit.ly/Marketsizeambula...). Global Market Size – 63$ billion (http://bit.ly/2vE7ddF)
- Dial4242 will be present in 21 cities in the coming few months. With this anyone can access Dial4242 ambulance services across 21 cities.
- While Dial4242 has been working well for hospitals and patients, it has been also been working well for ambulance drivers as they get bookings in a much clearer fashion, for they also faced challenges such as having trouble with complicated addresses, unclear requirements and instructions. To make the relationship with ambulance owner more smooth and transparent, Dial4242 also plans to have an app for ambulance owners which will help them track their owned ambulances and the billing of all the trips done by their owned ambulances. Development has already started and this will be released by mid of April 2018. This will also help get more ambulance owners/drivers on board.
- One Single number/One App - Emergency can strike anywhere, anytime. In the words of Himanshu Sharma- Dial4242 COO and co-Founder, “With a service like us and with our presence in 21 cities, User can still access our service via our Helpline number or our app and book the nearest ambulance, track it, and no negotiations on ambulance rates have to be done by the user”. In a highly unorganized fragmented market, we think this will be a boon for Indian consumers
- Dial4242 is also in talks with IOT driven companies on how we can collaborate and make it more impactful for the end user. We plan on saving the time during the “golden hour”, by using IOT to pass on the vital reading like BP, ECG etc. to the doctors who can then be prepared to receive the patient in the hospital.
- With the technology & the aggregator business model, Dial4242 is also planning to take this across to other countries especially in South East Asia.
- As stated earlier, currently the pricing of ambulances in India is quite unregulated. With the aggregation business model, Dial4242 has been able to deliver a fair pricing to the user and also make significant profit.
- On a daily basis an ambulance does 5-7 trips per day. There are approximately more than a lakh private ambulances in India. Dial4242's revenue is on an average of Rs. 200 per trip. Secondly, they also see a huge growth happening in No. of ambulances over the next few years.
- Insurance B2B Model: Dial4242 is planning to change the way ambulance gets priced. They plan to tie up with insurance companies and (TPA) Third party administrators. This will help them provide ambulance to users at as low as Rs.10/month. Insurance companies/Corporates would like to tie up with a country who has a Pan India presence. They think this will change the way people access ambulance and more people will subscribe for such services.
- Tie- ups: Dial4242 has already tied up with allied players who provide services like nursing, wheelchair, old age products etc. They plan to build further on this and drive more business revenue.
Social and environmental benefit
- DIAL4242 have partnered with old age homes for their frequent medical trips. They organize free blood tests for the needy and have blood donation camps across various locations. DIAL4242 organizes regular health check-ups, education and livelihood for ambulance drivers and members who usually come from low strata of the society.
- DIAL4242’s specialized team will offer regular training and education to ambulance drivers and crews so that they can help the patients better in time of emergency. Technology will give power to end users and a better pricing structure for them.
- Also, currently private ambulance drivers don’t serve road accidents as it becomes a loss making case for them, but DIAL4242 plans to change that.
With tie-ups/access to insurance companies & TPA, Dial4242 has expanded itself across India. For them to get access across other nations will be an easy task. IOT collaboration will help them to serve customers even better and change the way emergency is available. Dial4242 promises to change the face of emergency not only in India but across the globe.
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Number of Employees:
11 to 50
DIAL4242 is built to deliver the best in emergency care to people across the nation through its ambulance aggregator services that is not only limited to emergencies, but can be used by a patient to schedule check-ups & appointments or simply to get home after being discharged from hospital or even transfer the deceased. The mobile app connects users to emergency facilities by providing on-demand ambulance booking at the location of their choice just like an Uber.