Healthcare in Australia is a $150 billion industry that most analysts expect will continue to grow.

But for all of the rapid developments taking place in health, medical service providers still lag behind other major sectors in one key area: customer engagement and user experience.

That’s according to Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan, the CEO of Energesse — a medical tech firm which has developed a proprietary diagnostic tool aimed at improving the patient experience.

The result of a six-year development period, the company’s flagship product is its Patient Experience Maturity Evaluation (PXME) tool.

Ratnanesan says the PXME provides a new and improved way for hospitals and clinics to identify operational shortfalls, and then improve managerial efficiencies and workplace culture.

The product has been bought by two Australian hospitals, and Energesse is also building a regional footprint with a base in Malaysia.

For the next stage of its scale-up aspirations, Ratnanesan is looking to Australia’s private markets to raise $1 million of expansion capital.

A complementary package

Trained as a medical doctor, Ratnanesan also has an MBA and worked in a senior role at global pharmaceutical company Pfizer before launching a tech startup.

The inspiration to found Energesse came from his realisation that the medical industry lags in a particular area where tech excels — customer engagement.

“What I learnt from tech is companies really understand the user experience and user-centred design. And health — which is supposed to be the most humanistic industry — didn’t really have those skills.”

“I wanted to use technology and my medicinal experience to help enhance that care element”.

Energesse initially established its position in the local market as the Australian distributor of the MES Experience tool, which provides a real-time feedback solution for hospitals and GPs.

“PXME is a brand new product to complement our real-time feed back services. It’s more a diagnostic tool in terms of the hospital’s capabilities,” Ratnanesan explained.

For companies that can find a solution, fixing the problem of operating inefficiencies in hospitals will make for a lucrative business.

Ratnanesan said that within Australia’s $150 billion healthcare industry, more than $70 billion is spent at hospitals.

Problems range from long waiting times and lack of understanding about medications, to issues around food, safety and parking.

As a result, there’s plenty of competition in the marketplace for healthcare solutions. In fact, Ratnanesan said there’s no less than 350,000 apps in the health space. But he’s confident the PXME solution will stand out from the pack.

“We’ve got a track record in the space, and we’re a top three leading firm in patient experience improvement,” he told Stockhead.

The company has won some awards and was a finalist for best digital transformation project at Australian Healthcare Week last year.

The hunt for funding

Energesse wants to test the appetite of Australia’s private investor network towards health-tech startups, with plans to raise $1 million in an early-stage funding round.

The capital raise will run until mid-August, and Ratnanesan said he’s received early expressions of interest from several VC funds.

He added that prospective investors were interested by the PXME product’s in-built solution matrix, “which maps health apps to specific patient experience problems being experienced by the hospitals”.

Energesse is also part of the Apple Consultants Network, which comprises hundreds of companies that offer services based around Apple products.

Ratnanesan said the bulk of the capital raised will be allocated towards research and development, along with a domestic and international expansion strategy.

“We have a subsidiary in Malaysia which is successful already, and from there we’re looking to roll out into other countries,” he said.

“The company is aiming for 10x growth over the next few years, and potentially looking at acquisitions down the track.”