Next big thing? Taxi app moves into healthcare

Indonesian startup Go-Jek acquires Indian healthcare delivery service.

In a move that could affect governments across Asia, a major taxi app is planning to move into the healthcare sector. Indonesian taxi app Go-Jek is has bought an Indian startup that delivers health services to homes. The move could disrupt Indonesian healthcare services, in the same way that transport providers have been shaken. It could allow Indonesians to get help from doctors or medicines on their smartphones directly to their door. “We believe this acquisition will advance our mission to become the largest on-demand application of choice for all Indonesians,” said Nadiem Makarim, Founder and CEO of Go-Jek Indonesia. The acquired Indian startup Pianta offers home visits for physiotherapy, nursing and lab sample collections. Go-Jek has a fleet of 200,000 motorbike taxis in Indonesia. It started as a taxi app, but has grown into a delivery company, covering food, grocery, couriers, house cleaning and massages to users. The company also runs its own e-payments system. It has also invested in Indonesian medicine delivery startup HaloDoc. "Go-Jek is moving to launch an on-demand health care product which might have on demand delivery and logistics' issues, which is where Pianta’s forte is," Sidu Ponnappa, Managing Director, Go-Jek Engineering India told the Economic Times. The government of Makassar city in Indonesia already runs a programme to deliver healthcare to people’s homes. Each citizen in the city has a smart card which can hold data on their vital indicators and 155 types of diseases. “If you are sick and you call the crisis centre, a doctor will come to your home to do a preliminary diagnosis. They can do an ECG, for example, and send the data to a specialist doctor. Maybe in 10 minutes, they will get a diagnosis through an iPad and copy the data to your smart card,” Danny Pomanto, the city’s Mayor has said.