When he first based Physician Anyplace, healthcare was a very new area for him.
The 41-year-old has a background in engineering, however began out within the finance business with Normal Chartered doing personal fairness. He then spent near a decade in Temasek Holdings, the place he helped conceptualise and set up Singapore-based LNG firm Pavilion Vitality.
In 2016, Wai Mun was on a service outreach venture when he seen a big hole in healthcare entry for older seniors who couldn’t depart their houses resulting from immobility.
This expertise planted the seed for Physician Anyplace, a telehealth startup that aimed to supply fundamental healthcare providers to these in want, no matter their location.
What started as a non-profit aspect venture in 2017 finally developed right into a viable enterprise that aimed to unravel the numerous ache factors that hinder entry to high quality, inexpensive healthcare.
The corporate initially targeted on offering telehealth providers, permitting sufferers to seek the advice of with medical doctors by way of video calls or chats. Because the enterprise grew, Physician Anyplace has expanded its providers to incorporate medicine supply, well being screening and residential nursing providers, simply to call a number of.
Through the years, Physician Anyplace has grown from its humble beginnings to develop into a regional healthcare supplier with presence throughout six Southeast Asian nations, together with Thailand and Vietnam.
Holistic healthcare from on-line to offline
Physician Anyplace gives a spread of providers that cater to numerous healthcare wants. Its main focus is on telehealth and first care providers, together with digital consultations, in addition to bodily clinics and pharmacies.
Nevertheless, the corporate has expanded its choices to different complementary verticals.
For instance, customers can do well being screenings and vaccinations at house or within the workplace, entry main care choices by way of the corporate’s telehealth service and community of bodily GP clinics, in addition to obtain second opinions and post-surgery consultations with medical specialist medical doctors by way of telehealth. Even post-surgery restoration might be monitored at house, away from hospitals.
Customers also can entry different ancillary healthcare verticals similar to psychological wellness and chiropractic providers, alongside its on-line DA Market for dietary supplements and well being merchandise, offering customers with a one-stop store for his or her healthcare wants.
Physician Anyplace continues to innovate and has launched new providers similar to their month-to-month contraception subscription service and wellness concierge for abroad medical remedy in Bangkok.
We purpose to ship a holistic healthcare providing enabled by know-how, the place our customers would have entry to decentralised healthcare throughout their care continuum (ie. main, secondary, tertiary, step down care, and wellness).
In a way, we might be one of many largest hospitals with no hospital constructing in Southeast Asia, providing personalised, borderless and inclusive healthcare to our customers.
– Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Physician Anyplace
Nevertheless, the early days of Physician Anyplace have been full of challenges. The corporate was began by a small crew of 4, which required everybody to put on a number of hats and work lengthy hours to get the enterprise off the bottom.
One of many main hurdles was constructing belief with customers. Telehealth was nonetheless new on the time, and folks have been hesitant to entrust their healthcare must a digital supplier.
Wai Mun and his crew additionally confronted questions concerning the legitimacy of their medical doctors’ licenses, the popularity of their medical certificates (MCs), and whether or not they may ship well timed medicine to folks’s doorsteps.
Happily, by word-of-mouth and good experiences with the service, extra folks started to belief Physician Anyplace. The corporate additionally adopted an omnichannel method, which helped to construct its model by launching bodily clinics a yr after its inception.
“Whereas telehealth supplied a way for faster, extra accessible means for consultations, we noticed the necessity to additionally present in-clinic providers to ship a extra built-in providing for sufferers. This meant offering extra choices for sufferers based mostly on their wants and preferences. Establishing a bodily presence additionally helped construct better visibility and belief, the place folks may see and develop to know the model,” defined Wai Mun.
In addition to gaining shopper belief, some of the vital hurdles it confronted was navigating the shift in tradition and enterprise wants that got here with development.
Nevertheless, as Wai Mun places it, “we’re solely pretty much as good because the folks we have now,” and he made certain that there was room for experimentation, autonomy, and belief within the expert crew members to make sure that the corporate grew alongside its workers.
COVID-19 accelerated the demand for telehealth providers
Even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, Physician Anyplace had already gained traction, as sufferers and medical doctors have been keen to experiment with the platform and the inhabitants was already well-versed with digital providers.
Nevertheless, COVID-19 definitely helped to speed up the demand for telehealth providers, particularly when people have been confined to their houses.
COVID-19 was an sudden second in time that helped drive better want for telehealth and digital-enabled providers, but in addition one which highlighted the significance of being agile and adaptable to a affected person’s wants.
– Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Physician Anyplace
Regardless of the challenges introduced on by the pandemic, Physician Anyplace was capable of make vital strides in innovation and repair supply.
One notable venture was the web supervised teleART service, the place customers may get a confirmed ART consequence from the consolation of their houses as an alternative of heading all the way down to overcrowded quick-test facilities. This service was executed in collaboration with the Ministry of Well being (MOH), through which Physician Anyplace managed to conceptualise and launch it inside a month.
Along with the teleART service, Physician Anyplace’s medical groups supplied medical take care of hundreds of international employees at their dormitories, administered greater than 200,000 PCR and ART swab exams throughout the group, and in addition aided MOH’s Residence Restoration Programme for COVID-19 constructive sufferers, which included over 20,000 grownup and youngster sufferers.
For these efforts, Physician Anyplace was recognised by the Ministry of Manpower’s ACE Group. A number of workers members obtained The Public Service Medal (COVID-19), and Physician Anyplace was additionally awarded the President’s Certificates of Commendation (COVID-19).
Funding and acquisitions to gas development
To kickstart Physician Anyplace, Wai Mun shared that he invested round S$150,000 in seed funding.
In December 2022, Physician Anyplace raised US$38.8 million, bringing its whole funding to nearly US$140 million. In accordance with Wai Mun, these funds are used to gas the corporate’s long-term development ambitions, which embody constructing a regional healthcare ecosystem for patrons and sufferers.
As Wai Mun defined earlier, Physician Anyplace goals to supply holistic healthcare providers that span from main to secondary care, wellness, and prevention. This technique aligns with the fast-rising healthcare challenges within the area, together with getting old populations and the rise in power illnesses.
To allow the corporate’s long-term development, Physician Anyplace has additionally been buying firms that supply synergistic alternatives.
Its most up-to-date acquisition was Asian Healthcare Specialists, a Singapore-based medical group that gives specialist care in areas similar to orthopaedics, ophthalmology, rehabilitation, amongst others. This acquisition allows Physician Anyplace to broaden its secondary/specialist care providing, which is a vital part of its development technique.
Our precedence for now could be on deepening our enterprise and healthcare choices throughout the nations we function in throughout Southeast Asia, and we stay targeted on attaining profitability within the close to time period.
– Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Physician Anyplace
This focus has been mirrored in Physician Anyplace’s latest rating because the third fastest-growing firm in Singapore by Straits Occasions and Statista. In accordance with Wai Mun, the corporate’s development might be attributed to its user-centricity and give attention to delivering high-quality healthcare.
Sufferers have all the time been their primary precedence, and this has helped show to customers that they’re “not only a tech firm, but in addition a healthcare firm,” stated Wai Mun.
The corporate’s success is clear in its milestones and achievements. It has skilled 3 times year-on-year development prior to now yr, and has over 600 workers in the present day. It additionally has round 2.5 million customers served by its 3,000 normal practitioners and specialists throughout the area.
Physician Anyplace has additionally been recognised as considered one of LinkedIn’s Prime Startups in Singapore in 2021 and 2022 and final yr, it was included within the Monetary Occasions x Statista Excessive-Development Asia-Pacific firms.
Telehealth is right here to remain
Lately, the healthcare business in Singapore has seen a big shift in the direction of telehealth. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic acts as a catalyst for this transformation, and Physician Anyplace has been on the forefront of this pattern.
In accordance with Wai Mun, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telehealth in Singapore by at the very least 5 years. This has led to tens of hundreds of customers beginning their journey with Physician Anyplace by way of the corporate’s digital ART resolution.
He added that greater than half of those customers have returned to make use of Physician Anyplace for different providers, highlighting the rising acceptance and recognition of telehealth amongst customers.
With customers embracing and realising the advantages of digital well being applied sciences, people are taking better motion and possession of their well being, signalling a shift in the direction of preventive, proactive, and self-managed healthcare.
Wai Mun believes that telemedicine will proceed to evolve to maintain up with customers’ wants and calls for, offering a better vary of holistic providers and choices to assist sufferers throughout each stage of well being.
As Physician Anyplace continues to broaden its providers and choices, one factor is obvious — the corporate is main the cost in revolutionising the healthcare panorama in Southeast Asia.
With its user-centric, borderless, and inclusive method to healthcare, Physician Anyplace is properly on its strategy to attaining its final aim of offering personalised, accessible, and inexpensive healthcare to hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout the area.
Featured Picture Credit score: Physician Anyplace