Mumbai: India’s second largest mobile phone services firm by customers, Reliance Communications Ltd, is in advanced talks with Bangalore-based Healthcare Magic Pvt. Ltd to start a tele-medicine and mobile health consultancy business.
“RCom will enter into a strategic alliance with the Bangalore company, and the tie-up will entail developing infrastructure and network as well as revenue sharing,” said a person close to the development.
This person, who didn’t want to be identified due to confidentiality clauses, said the discussions are at the final stage and RCom’s mobile health care consultancy service is likely to be launched by December. He could not provide details on the value of the deal.
Healthcare Magic, an online medical consultancy, will initially allocate 30 doctors from its panel of advisers to RCom’s tele-health care business, and may increase the number to at least 100 based on market response, the same person said.
A spokesman for Anil Ambani’s RCom declined to comment on the development.
A Healthcare Magic executive in Bangalore, when contacted, said the company is in talks with several potential partners to expand its business in different segments, but declined to give details.
Patients will be able to subscribe to and access the tele-consultancy service through an exclusive number registered on RCom’s platform. The attending doctor will diagnose the patient’s condition in real time and advise on treatment.
Online health care consultancies are already popular in the US and Europe and serve as the first channel of medical help for patients, often followed by physical diagnosis in the case of critical diseases.
Mumbai-based health care expert Julie S. Carlson said such medical services are growing in popularity in India among patients who are unable to see a doctors immediately in person.