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ProSehat: Finding a Cure of Indonesia’s Slow Pharmacy

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While finding some off-the-shelf headache medicine is SO easy, finding a more uncommon kind of medicine by prescription can cause a headache on its own.

For some reason pharmacies in Indonesia are terribly under-stocked. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, then they can’t check if partner pharmacies have that stock and pre-ordering would be ridiculously long and unpredictable. There’s no online system reliable enough to estimate the distribution. For patients who need very specific drugs (maybe regularly), this is a life or death issue.

Gregorius Bimantoro, a qualified medical doctor, CEO and co-founder of ProSehat, sees this as a chance to help and startup a business. Dr Bimo, as he as casually known, is also a Founder Institute recent graduate.

ProSehat is a local startup with the mission to solve the problem above. It’s basically an online marketplace for pharmaceutical needs. Patients may request their medicine online by including a photo of a doctor’s prescription. The request is matched up with a pharmacy that can provide the right drug. It is then delivered to the patient. Delivery costs are free for now, though ProSehat is thinking about monetizing this segment in the future.

ProSehat was the grand prize winner of the Seedstars Jakarta on September 2015. Seedstars Jakarta was a part of Seedstars World, the global seed stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast growing startup scenes, now present in 52 countries.

The prize for the regional winners includes a flight and an all inclusive week in Switzerland in March 2016, where each regional winner will pitch their idea with all the other winners from around the world, to compete for the US$500,000 equity prize.

We certainly wish Gregorius all the best of luck next year. The future looks bright for ProSehat.

However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. To see the bigger picture we need to look back to how ProSehat was built.

Gregorious and his friends actually started from the medical Q&A site Tanyadok. “A Quora for doctors,” Gregorious calls it. The site was provided by lecturers and graduates, since at the time Gregorius and his friends hadn’t earned their degrees yet. Please mind that Tanyadok is NOT a substitution for a doctor’s consulting session, – that issue is more complex and involves legal issues.

“Tanyadok gets almost one million visitors a month. It’s still growing, there’s still a team creating content,” says Gregorius. But Tanyadok was never meant to be profit oriented business either. Gregorius sees it as a charity project.

So for a more profitable endeavor he founded Atoma, a health-marketing agency which specializes in creating digital content and applications around health issues. But the agency business model was hard to scale. After a year, the company was struggling from project to project.

According to Gregorius’ own analysis, what he needed was a more sustainable business, and he needed mentors on doing startups.

After consulting many people he and his team decided to join Telkom’s Indigo incubator to look for new ideas on e-health. After a semester, they were still mired down.

Then Gregorius joined the Founder Institute’s program in March 2015. He had to re-think all his ideas from square one and it was a tough curriculum. From a class of 40, only seven graduated, including Gregorius.

After testing out many ideas he finally came up with ProSehat. By July thankfully the startup was up and running. One of ProSehat’s larger goals is to promote e-prescriptions, with a system that’s more reliable for patients but also safe from fraudulent prescriptions, – as currently confirming the validity of a photographed prescription is a bottleneck in his new startup.

The road is still long for Gregorius and Indonesia’s pharmacy, but hey, at least he gets to go to Switzerland along the way.

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On October 16, 2015
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