BENGALURU: JioHealthHub, the health and fitness app of Reliance Jio, has partnered with Coimbatore-based iCliniq to expand its presence in the medical consultation app space through a string of tie-ups.
The partnership with iCliniq will help Jio users consult doctors across 60 specialities. The offering, called #icliniq50hrs, will enable users to have a chat with doctors immediately. The partnership will soon look to enable video chats as well. This tie-up is one of the many that JioHealthHub offers. It has also joined hands with home healthcare platform Portea, among others.
“Jio is disrupting the Indian healthcare market ecosystem. It has huge capabilities and is looking closely at the platform business,” said Dhruv Suyamprakasam, CEO, iCliniq.
A detailed query sent to Reliance Jio remained unanswered till the time of going to press. While iCliniq will enable chat capabilities, Portea will bring in the home healthcare angle to JioHealthClub.
Industry sources say that JioHealth-Hub is looking to deepen its ‘360 degree’ healthcare platform by adding more providers across various areas of fitness and healthcare. This aggressive push into healthcare might be an interesting juncture in India’s online healthcare ecosystem as it can pose both a potential threat and opportunity to startups across various sectors because of Jio’s cash reserves and experience.
“The challenges a lot of technology companies face are: How do I get distribution and scale without spending a lot of money? The other is trust,” said Vaibhav Agarwal, partner at Lightspeed India.
“Jio coming in is interesting because it has distribution (reach) and can help any startup get to massive scale in a very cheap way,” said Agarwal. “Jio could take an android sort of an approach and allow different vendors to compete… an open garden kind of a strategy or over time, it might say that it would have one preferred vendor.”
Jio is also looking to aggressively cover ground in various other sectors such as content and education. The firm recently picked up a majority stake in online education platform Embibe, and is also pumping in close to $180 million over the next few years.