Founder Spotlight: Gabriel Lopez of MedHyve, The Most Efficient Way To Get Your Medical Product Needs
By Ysa Lauta
The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a large demand for medical supplies and equipment. The demand was extremely overwhelming that even hospitals have difficulty in procuring medical supplies like PPEs (personal protective equipment) which are essential to frontliners.
Fortunately for ASEAN countries, there is a digital platform called MedHyve. MedHyve is a platform for any healthcare institution to find the right companies for their medical product needs wherever and whenever. It aims to create an accessible and interconnected market space for the ASEAN medical community which is very important in today’s global crisis.
TechShake talked to MedHyve’s CTO and Co-Founder, Gabriel Lopez to get his take on working in healthtech especially in this pandemic:
What has your journey been like before MedHyve?
Before I became the Co-Founder and CTO of MedHyve, I did a bit of work for Microsoft for quite some time but it didn’t work out for me there. I was also doing freelance projects like web and mobile development just for fun back then, and that’s when our CEO, Nigel Lirio, approached me. He knew that I was capable of developing mobile apps and successfully deploying them. And that’s how we started, I was the one who dealt with the tech aspect and Nigel handled the business aspect.
Photo of Medhyve team.
How did you go about starting MedHyve?
MedHyve was actually the idea of one of our Co-Founders, Elle Quan. Elle and Nigel were in a Singaporean event called Healthcare Asia and they started talking about the potential to establish a marketplace in the Philippines to help import medical products to the country. Nigel was really inspired by this idea. When he got back to the Philippines, we bumped into each other and he pitched the idea to me. I was really interested about it, so we started to brainstorm. That’s when we realized that before importing medical supplies, we wanted first to build a marketplace that is purely local. This is to understand the medical supply market in the country and to really gain a level of traction.
The conception of the idea was more or less two years ago. After that, we spent around a year and a half on interviewing Nigel’s vast network of healthcare professionals since his family owns two hospitals. At that point, we already gained a really good base of initial users and we also understood the market and its needs and problems. During that time, we have already changed our idea countless times. By early 2019, we already had MedHyve’s landing page, then we started to build our eCommerce platform. We got a lot of feedback, so it was crazy for our development team since we kept on evolving and expanding. Come October 2019, we publicly launched MedHyve. And because of the pandemic, we’re rapidly growing. That’s why it was important for us to pivot so we could really help the people during this crisis.
What are the challenges MedHyve encountered and how did you overcome them?
I think our biggest challenge right now is really the change in the overall process of the field. From the very beginning of MedHyve, we did not want to just make our process more efficient, but we wanted to completely change everything by making it ten times easier, faster, and more efficient than other methods. So of course if you want massive change, then the biggest challenge was to look for people who were interested. After we talked with healthcare professionals and suppliers to show them what we had to offer, they eventually gave it a try. From then on, they kept using our platform because it was so much more efficient. By making the website more accessible and marketing it heavily to medical institutions, it would be a lot easier for us to get them to try it out for the first time.
What are the milestones of MedHyve that you are proud of?
One of the things that we are proud of is that we are able to help all of these people, especially charitable organizations, to get cheaper medical supplies that they can distribute to several frontliners. We are really happy about that as a team because we were able to help these people save so much money while helping hundreds in need. Different companies are currently talking to us because they really need a new way of distributing medical supplies because of the “new normal”. We are proud that because of our extensive user testing back then, we know that our product is not only resilient but also it’s the only possible way now to reach suppliers. This innovation in the healthcare industry really helped a lot of people.
Brands and distributors of Medhyve.
What is MedHyve’s competitive advantage?
Our advantage is that we completely understand the healthcare market. Our team members have many years of experience as well as a vast network in the healthcare industry both locally and internationally. Besides that, we also have our advisers who have brought to the table their expertise in the healthcare market. I can say that our great understanding of our users’ problems is our biggest advantage because we can really give them the platform that they need.
What do you think is the impact of MedHyve in the healthcare industry?
During this pandemic, we have been able to distribute thousands of medical supplies to hundreds of hospitals in the Philippines. Even corporations like BPOs and retail stores need medical supplies so they can operate daily. A lot of people were able to try MedHyve and I am happy to say that we were able to deliver a great service to our numerous clients. I am also glad to say that we were able to provide a reliable and safe way to procure medical supplies.
Do you have a logistics plan or do you have your own system of delivering supplies?
When it comes to delivering goods, we have different logistics partners. They help us deliver right now throughout Luzon. Eventually, we will expand so we can reach and help out in Visayas and Mindanao. Our main goal is to support the entire Philippines, so we will be improving and expanding our logistics aspect soon.
During this time of uncertainties, can you tell me how MedHyve has adapted to the new normal?
At first, it was pretty difficult because we didn’t know how to gain demand. We were thinking that since we can’t meet the clients on the ground anymore, we won’t be able to offer them our platform. But thanks to our marketing strategy, people started to approach us. Our demand has grown a lot and our user base has increased around thirty times since the pandemic started. With that, our revenue has increased over fifteen times. As of now, what we are trying to do is to increase our ability to serve many people because we did not expect this much demand at all. We are also trying to find ways to use that demand into purchasing power. Since we already have many users, what we have been doing these past few months is aggregating demand and compiling orders to get more purchasing power. In that way, we are doing something no market has ever done before. We are able to get the supplies at a cheaper price because we were able to combine the demand of these different users.
What can we expect from MedHyve in the near future? How do you see MedHyve in the next five years?
What we want to do now is to help during these trying times even more. On our end we will make our systems vaster and safer, so in that way our users are assured that their purchases are secured. We really want to ensure that the anxiety of healthcare professionals when they purchase supplies are removed. Another thing is we want to help with the distribution of other products like for example when a vaccine for COVID-19 comes out. We want to bring it to as many healthcare facilities as we can. We want to make it possible for everyone to buy products that are now difficult to purchase because of the pandemic.
Five years from now, our biggest mission is for people to choose MedHyve as their go-to platform when purchasing medical products. We want to make procurement through our platform so efficient, secure, and affordable that buying through us would be the smartest way to procure medical supplies. We also want to expand our operations throughout the country, and eventually in Asia.
Are you looking for a secure way to get medical supplies for your company? Go to MedHyve to get started.