Praava Health, one of the pioneer virtual healthcare providers of the country is getting more and more popular since its establishment in 2018. The company combining telemedicine with physical clinics, it has witnessed a tripling growth this year.
Founder Sylvana Quader Sinha said, “We grew three times annually since the launch…We think there is a huge opportunity and the global pandemic highlighted the needs of more investment in healthcare.”
At present, Pravaa Health treats 150,000 patients with a flagship centre in Banani and a network of 40 smaller clinics throughout the city. It also plans to open 10 more healthcare centers in Dhaka, before expanding into Chittagong.
In 2020, it also processed 75,000 Covid-19 tests in-house. Now, this virtual healthcare comprises about 40 per cent of Praava’s services including telemedicine and an online pharmacy.
On 8th March (Monday), the organization announced that it has raised a seed funding amount of $10.6 million, with an aim to enhance its activities in the capital and beyond Chattogram.
Its payment module is somewhere between Bangladesh’s public healthcare system and more expensive private hospitals, while most of Praava’s patients currently pay per visit.
It has also introduced membership plans with a flat rate for unlimited access to services.
Meanwhile, it includes online consultations, and also allows it to reach patients throughout the country, especially in the rural areas, following the “brick-and-click” model – the business term means a company integrates in both offline and online processes.
With its new funding, Praava will focus on building a “super app” for patients, to consolidate all of its digital services into one mobile app.
However, Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a severe shortage of healthcare workers for its 170 million people.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are about three physicians and one nurse for every 10,000 people, and most work in urban hospitals, even though 70 per cent of Bangladesh’s population is in rural areas.
This means people have to travel long distances for consultations that may last less than a minute.
“No amount of money allows you to access world-class health service. That’s why I moved to Bangladesh to introduce world class patient experience…I realised there is a need for quality healthcare in Bangladesh,” Praava founder said.