Time is precious. Yes. But perhaps its value up’s quite a bit when it comes to life and health. Also why there seems to be a lot of focus on healthcare related technology and solutions. A part of this system is the Ambulance.
For those of us who haven’t exactly used these services, our understanding comes from movies where you call an ambulance, the vehicle comes, and sadly you’re stuck in traffic. While the traffic part if true and perhaps beyond the scope of existing solutions, no one tells you about the pain of actually getting an ambulance. Turns out you’ll be negotiating pricing on the phone while requesting for an ambulance and after it gets to you, it may not be well equipped for your needs.
Of course you may still have to negotiate with the driver of the ambulance. All this and more is what made the founding team at StanPlus start their venture. StanPlus is an aggregator of ambulance services, founded by Prabhdeep Singh, the CEO, Antoine Poirson, the COO, and Jose Leon, the CTO. The three of them met during their time at the INSEAD; which is also where the idea was born.
The solution is simple: offer a platform for all ambulance providers with standardised rates; making it easy for users to call for an ambulance. As an user you only need to make one phone call stating you requirement and address; StanPlus then finds the closest and most suitable ambulance according to your specifications and sends out a dispatch request. No negotiations, no haggling, You know what you’re paying and you pay exactly that. The core idea is simple enough, the biggest challenge though is awareness and market penetration. Ambulance services are quite scattered and chaotic, so awareness generation is not limited to end customers only.
Launched in the second half of 2016, StanPlus is an aggregator of ambulance services. Not surprisingly, 2016 saw the launch a few more similar services. All this points toward the need of the hour. The folks at StanPlus aren’t too worried about competition. If anything they’re excited about other players in the same field and equate this to the validation of the solutions requirement.
History has shown us that more players in any vertical always improves it; in terms of delivering better solutions, keeping price points in check and offering better customer service.
So how does an ambulance aggregator help in reducing the time taken for an ambulance to reach the patient? The logic is simple, if you have enough vehicles on your network and can track them using GPS technology, you will be able to find and dispatch an ambulance that is closest to the request location.
The same logic works the other way too, once the patient has been picked up, the ambulance can take them to the nearest hospital for care, unless specified otherwise. This is the awareness generation the StanPlus team is aggressively working on.
Since their launch, StanPlus has raised an angel round of funding primarily from friends and family. They are now looking at closing another seed round sometime this quarter or early next quarter. The focus this year for the company is to improve operational flow and to expand in different cities in India. In addition to being an aggregator, StanPlus is also working to expand services in different areas, like basic training in CPR for the drivers.
While the technology is not groundbreaking, the system is similar to ridesharing and cab booking technologies, the bigger challenge that the company faces is market penetration and streamlining of the operations chain. Prabhdeep and the team appear to be geared up to face this head on and are here to stay.