Cloudphysician: A Collaboration between Man and Machine to Save Lives
Set in 2019, the case traces the journey of Cloudphysician, a four-year old healthcare start-up offering comprehensive remote monitoring and advisory solutions to intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals in India. The primary beneficiaries of the start-up's services were hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 cities and towns across India, particularly smaller hospitals, which did not have emergency care in their ICUs, which resulted in high mortality rates. Cloudphysician team built a solution that significantly increased the capacity and capabilities of doctors in charge of ICUs at these hospitals. Cloudphysician developed a sophisticated technology using a combination of new age technologies such as computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and analytics. More than a dozen paying hospitals were reaping the benefits of Cloudphysician as its customers. Having demonstrated the proof of concept, its founders hoped to rapidly scale up the number of hospitals adopting its solution. The case tells the story of the start-up and its founders, starting from the origin of the idea. The founders were facing several dilemmas about scaling the business, expanding the scope and scale of technology-enabled solutions, potential scaling issues, an uncertain regulatory landscape, and probable competitors. This case could be used in courses on strategy, entrepreneurship or technology disruption in the healthcare industry in both MBA and executive education programs. While the case has relevance in both developed and developing world contexts, what is unique about it is that the business concept of the firm arose out of a resource-constrained environment characteristic of emerging markets. The Teaching Note provides a framework for the instructor to navigate the case discussion in an effective manner in a typical 90-minute session.