Goqii ventures into heath care services, digital payments

The fitness technology startup Goqii Inc. on Thursday said it has expanded its online platform to include preventive healthcare services. The bouquet of new services comes with a new wearable device, which will have an integrated touch-less payment feature.

With the roll out of its upgraded platform along with the new fitness band, Goqii aims to connect users not only to fitness coaches, but also to doctors and pathogenic laboratories. User will also get a health locker, where they can store their medical information, and share it with doctors and coaches as and when required.

To provide heath risk assessment analysis for its users, the Menlo Park, California based company has tied up with Max Healthcare, while the company has partnered with Thyrocare for diagnosis services.

In its new avatar, Goqii will let users book lab tests from its platform, fetch test results and share it with doctors available on the platform, who can then analyze the information and brink forth any risk that users might be facing. The health locker acts as a repository for the user's medical diagnostic history making it readily available to all- coaches, users, doctors on or off the platform, with the requisite consent of the user. The users will be able to take a comprehensive health risk assessment giving them detailed insights into their overall health situation.

"The idea is to keep users healthy. When we first launched, people thought it was a stupid idea. But we have come this far since then, and people on Goqii have shown significant heath improvement, Vishal Gondal, chief executive and founder, Goqii, told Business Standard.

"Our aim is to create an integrated healthcare ecosystem for the users. Right now most of the people have medical data in different places, kept separately," explained Gondal. "With this new platform, along with heath assessment and diagnosis service, we are providing a health locker for our users, where they can store all their medical data in one place and share it with doctors."

Established in 2014, Goqii disrupted the wearable space by integrating human coaches to its platform. The coaches worked with the user's data to provide customized advice on a regular basis, keeping the user motivated and on track to success through goal reinforcement.

Goqii, which raised $13.4 million in a Series 'A' funding in November 2015, the second largest market share by volume at 18.1 per cent in the Fitness Bands segment in India, according to the recent IDC data.

On the digital payment front, the company said it is collaborating with Axis Bank to facilitate near-field communication (NFC) based payment option from the new fitness band. The service will be rolled out later this months, said Gondal. NFC is a technology that enables two electronic devices to establish communication by bringing them within about 4 cm of each other.

Along with the NFC payment, the new fitness band supports third party app integration, that is, users will be able to get call, text, email and WhatsApp notifications on their Goqii band along with the alarm and inactivity alerts.

"With this (the new offerings), we are looking at expanding our market, trying to get new users on our platform with the new services and the upgraded fitness band, that is much sleeker, has extended battery life and can be used to make payments digitally," said Gondal. "We are eyeing the number one spot in the (wearable) market by the end of this year."

While at present, the company is focusing on India market, but Gondal said he is looking to expand the service to China and US by mid of next year.

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