Healthcare Innovations for the month of September — December
Dr. Avantika Batish is working as Director Strategy and Healthcare at International Health Emergency Learning and Preparedness. Also, guest faculty for MBA HR and MBA Healthcare Management at various B-Schools and is a soft skills trainer.
Indian Healthcare Innovations
BabyChakra Launches “MOMLINE”
Naiyya Saggi, CEO & Co-founder
BabyChakra, India’s most trusted parenting platform will also be launching “MomLine” on their Android app as well as on other points of community engagement. The “MomLine” will ensure that mothers who want to donate breast milk can directly connect with mothers in desperate need of breast milk for their little ones. This is a first-of-its-type initiative globally. The team at BabyChakra is passionate about healthier, happier moms and babies.
Founder: Nilesh Vyas
What if the doctor you choose to see is able to view all your medical history and past treatments? What if your lab orders and prescriptions are available at your fingertips and you can compare costs before taking them? What if every test and x-ray you take, magically appear on your Doctor’s mobile? What if you don’t have to retake a test just because you went to another Doctor?
Mars Plus has come up with the mission of providing an integrated platform for end-to-end healthcare management connecting patients, doctors, hospitals and ancillary healthcare networks such as the labs, pharmacy etc. It has a cloud-based, mobile-first approach to make healthcare accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device. The company plans to have a pan-India presence by 2017.
Founder: K.P Singh
With the changing lifestyle, medicines have become one of the necessities of every individual. But costly medicines have made many people devoid of proper healthcare. Understanding the vast gap in selling price and cost price of medicines due to a large margin of retailers and wholesalers, Arogya was started in association with the Red Cross Society in Indore. The company with 13 branches currently in Indore sells medicines at a discount of 20% to 75% on MRP.
HemoCue, in Association with Embassy of Sweden Launches World’s First Real-time Anaemia Monitoring System
Early and accurate diagnosis can play a key role in improving treatment outcomes in anaemia. Employing detection methods that are fast, accurate and reliable promises to be a significant step forward in meeting the challenge anaemia poses. Keeping this in mind HemoCue, the global leader in point-of-care diagnostics recently launched HemoCue HealthTrender Anemia, the new-age anaemia screening and monitoring system in New Delhi. HemoCue HealthTrender Anemia is an innovative device that when integrated with community health programs, especially in rural areas can help address the issues of delayed and incorrect diagnosis. The real time data that it helps generate and analyze can be instrumental for decision makers to create policies around anaemia management. Numbers reveal that the physical and cognitive losses due to iron deficiency have a significant effect on the Gross Domestic Product — in some developing countries up to as much as four percent.
The Government of India is relentlessly involved in carrying out programs to fight anaemia. Many of the programs are executed by village clinics, healthcare centers and NGOs in rural areas under harsh conditions with limited access to electricity, pure water combined with a poor infrastructure. Under these conditions it becomes virtually impossible to collect data, review, act or evaluate the programs in a timely and effective way; something that has been requested for a long time but never adequately solved.
HemoCue HealthTrender Anemia is a cloud-based solution that can help overcome these challenges as it offers immediate insight using real-time data captured from the HemoCue Hb201+ analyzer in the field.
‘SAVE MOM’, a Maternity Healthcare Start-up!
Founders: Senthil Kumar and Divya Krishnan
The venture has developed a wearable digital health echo system for pregnant women. The endeavour has recently received funding of rupees 30 lacs from Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Group Chairman, Inditrade Capital and Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO — The BeerCafe. Save Mom is a B2B start-up that offers smart wearable for pregnant woman. Boasting aesthetic bead-like design, the wearable device monitors sleep cycles, heartbeat, basal metabolic rate, and glucose rate. It also has a reminder for taking medicine, and calculates the body’s requirement of iron. The smart wearable operates on a cloud-enabled monitoring system and has 10 months of battery life.
Cytecare Opens its First Chain of Facilities in India for Organ-site Cancer Care
Dr. Ferzaan Engineer, Co-founder & Chairman of Cytecare and Suresh Ramu, Co-founder & CEO of Cytecare
Cancer treatment is evolving every day and newer techniques and treatment protocols are being developed to increase the probability of positive outcomes. Medical research has revealed that no two cancer patients are identical and hence each person needs a customized treatment protocol. This revelation led to the emergence of Cytecare.
Cytecare Hospitals has now forayed into providing dedicated cancer care with its first organ site focused 150-bed facility in Bengaluru. The six storied facility in Yelankha enroute to Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport is the flagship facility of the healthcare major’s 4- 5 similar hubs which are planned across India. Their effort is to ensure continuity of care. The facility would expand across 4–5 major hospitals in the country via a hub-and-spoke model with sub-centres to strengthen the network for easy access to patients. Their primary attention is on the Indian patients and of course, international cases will also be attended to. Leading oncologists and medical professionals from the best centres in the country and globally have partnered in this mission. They will provide the much-needed advances not just in treatment but diagnostics and drugs. The hospital utilizes Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), a next-generation breast imaging digital technology. It is also the first hospital in Karnataka to have the Elekta Versa HD. Globally, the advanced linear accelerator is used in the delivery of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and radiosurgery (SRS). The high precision Versa HD provides the industry’s largest IGRT cone-beam CT field-of-view and designed with patient safety in mind. The objective is to drive medical excellence, global best practices to deliver superior clinical outcomes.
Diagnostic Start-up Healthians.com Raises US$ 3 million from Investors
Deepak Sahni, Founder, Anuj Mittal, Co-founder and Teruhide Sato, Founder and Managing Partner, BEENEXT
healthians.com, a diagnostic and wellness start-up has raised $3 million (around INR 20 crore) in Series A Round of funding led by BEENEXT along with Digital Garage, BEENOS and others. The company had raised its seed round last year in July from YouWecan ventures.
healthians.com runs on a technology-led asset-light model. The operational model involves working in close partnership with lab owners to significantly increase lab capacity utilisation, upgrade to high-quality infrastructure and implement a proprietary 52-point technology-led quality management system in order to ensure high-quality results. Their focus is on cost, quality and customer experience.
The platform has conducted over a million diagnostic tests and has served over 150,000 customers in the Delhi/NCR region. The company has its own team of over 200-plus phlebotomists in Delhi/NCR alone, making it the largest home collection service in the country. The future plans of the company include creating the largest umbrella brand in the country by adding over 200 labs and 3,000-plus phlebotomists to its existing network across 30 cities over the next 12–18 months. The business aims to grow swiftly to achieve a 5,00,000 monthly sample load by the end of 2017. The company aims to become India’s largest diagnostic brand by 2019.
Modasta Raises US$ 1.5 million from Mauritius-based HNIs
Founders: Bikram Barman, Pankaj Pandey and Geethanjali
Digital healthcare content start-up Modasta Technologies Pvt. Ltd founded in 2015 has raised $1.5 million from a group of Mauritius-based high net worth individuals (HNIs) in angel funding. These HNIs are senior technology and medical professionals.
The fund will be allocated for business growth, upgrading technology, talent acquisition and marketing outreach activities. Modasta offers multi-lingual health content curated by Indian doctors. As the first of its kind initiative in India, Modasta will service the length and breadth of the country with pertinent content on a plethora of subjects from lifestyle diseases, mental health, women’s health, men’s health, sexual health and paediatrics amongst others. The platform provides content in English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil, in the form of articles, videos and audios contributed by doctors along with online group discussions in health forums. It plans to offer content in more languages and introduce online doctor consultation services called “telehealth”.
P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC Launches First-of-its-Kind Wheelchair-friendly Transportation Service for Patients with Limited Mobility
Gautam Khanna, CEO
India is home to a large number of patients with limited mobility who often find it difficult to travel alone. Travelling is difficult for the specially-abled, senior citizens and patients undergoing orthopedic, and musculoskeletal surgical procedures, OPD procedures like dialysis, chemotherapy and stroke treatment. With an aim to provide a safe and hassle free transportation service for these patients, P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC will provide this innovative first-of-its-kind service across the city of Mumbai.
Hinduja hospital has become the first hospital in India to launch a special wheelchair-friendly patient transportation service for those with limited mobility. This service is enabled by specially designed vehicles provided by Ezy Mov to help patients travel independently for treatment.
The vehicle is equipped with the latest advanced hydraulic wheelchair lift. It also consists of safety features like a fire extinguisher, medical kit, a ratchet restraint system for holding the wheelchair in place, along with provisions for an extra seatbelt for the wheelchair occupant, seating for the attendant and electric points for charging.
Neeraj Dotel, CEO
The company has created its own device and an internet-based solution that allows it to conduct the test remotely, taking audiometry to people in smaller towns and villages where this facility is largely lacking. The company currently has seven such clinics in Gujarat and Maharashtra, in towns like Nadiad, Anand and Dhule and have about 100 patients coming in at each centre every month. Outreach programmes whenever done around these towns gets a footfall of up to 200 in a day.
Jagdeep Gambhir, CEO
The company was set up in 2014 where a team of doctors in Udaipur is connected to smaller centres across the state of Rajasthan. Karma provides access to primary healthcare providers, and in some cases, specialists like paediatricians or gynaecologists, and has consulted 38,000 patients so far. To ensure that people go to them — and not the local quack — Karma’s services are priced marginally below theirs. Technology is an enabler, but the physical connect is equally important as observed by the team. They find that the centres that do the best are the ones that have really good nurses. It helps that the doctors are in the same state and are familiar with the local dialects, which helps put the patients at ease. In extreme cases, the patients can still travel to the doctor in person if need be.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, CEO
Another company that has big plans for this space is Olito, set up earlier this year in Pune by a group of former techies. The first steps are done by establishing an actual clinic in Pune, signing on 100 doctors, and creating a mobile app. The patients who come to their clinic here can use the app to contact the doctors for their follow-ups, the next step will be expanding to Ghaziabad and Lucknow. From these cities, the company will tap into pharmacists or paramedics in smaller towns around them, who can connect patients in their villages to the doctors in Pune through the app. These would be people the locals already trust and would make it easier for Olito to connect with them.
Vivek Madappa, Co-founder
Mobident is one of the growing number of start-ups based in Bangalore that are reversing the way traditional healthcare works. It works on the model wherein the dentist visits the patient’s house instead of the patients coming to a clinic.
Lack of time (to go visit a doctor), awareness and accessibility are the main reasons cited for the success of this model with the aim to catch the problem early and true belief that “Prevention is better than cure”.
The company’s “portable dental clinic in a suitcase” comes with a portable chair too. Since majority of the population requires only basic protection and not serious treatment, this arrangement is enough for a home visit.
Milind Naik, Co-Founder
Non-communicable diseases screening start-up Chikitsak and cervical cancer screening start-up Aindra have partnered with non-governmental organisations to take their kits across to the rural masses. In the process, they also create micro-entrepreneurs, who were previously unemployed or were getting low salaries.
Chikitsak uses a camera bag-like kit which consists of nine devices including an android tab, a printer and a simple coloured health chart to screen patients. The whole screening costs just INR 50 and measures around 17 basic health parameters including ECG, anaemia, blood pressure and BMI.
The start-up also helps its NGO health workers earn INR 11,000–12,500 a month. The rural masses do not have proper awareness. This model is an income generation option for rural women who are part of self-help groups. They earn a lot of respect and also help in detecting problems early.
Indian Healthcare sector sees 88 funding deals worth $397 million in 2016
Start-ups and investors alike see a huge opportunity in the demand and supply gap that exists in the Indian healthcare sector both as social cause and a business case. Therefore the investments are inevitable in healthcare. According to News Corp VCC Edge Healthcare Sector Funding insights, Indian healthcare sector has registered 88 funding deals amounting to $ 397.41 million so far this year out of which healthcare start-ups cornered 73 deals amounting to $ 113.45 million. This includes 54 angel/seed deals worth $ 11.19 million, 23 venture capital funding deals worth $ 155.83 million and 11 private equity deals amounting to $ 230.39 million. Since 2012, the sector has witnessed 558 funding deals to the tune of $ 5,657 million. Start-ups in the healthcare space have received funding worth $ 735 million from 336 deals since 2012.
So far this year, start-ups with consumer- centric digital modes of service delivery have raked in $ 77.3 million. Biotechnology segment attracted the top private equity and venture capital deals so far in 2016 with Quadria Capital’s investment of $ 70.27 million in Concord Biotech Ltd. Other top private equity deals during the year were in the healthcare facilities and services space such as that of ADV Opportunities Fund I LP investing $ 45 million in Dr Agarwal’s Health Care and TPG Growth Equity III LP investing $ 33 million in Cancer Treatment Services International Inc.
It has been noted that while start-ups with consumer-centric business models and digital modes of service delivery such as facilitating doctor appointments, efficient information management system and online pharmacies have been attracting investor interest, trends suggest that there will be money backing for the start-ups focusing on corporate tie-ups, medtech, virtual diagnostics & preventive care.
Healthcare Innovations Abroad
RingMD: Using Data to Provide Affordable Healthcare to More People in Asia
RingMD is a health tech start-up trying to drive patient care transformation in Asia with a simple idea to match doctors and patients around the world regardless of location. Users sign up to the platform in order to facilitate consultations via video link. Conditions which do not require a physical examination can then be remotely diagnosed and treated.
Patients can also wear a device on their wrist which transmits their pulse, blood pressure and other vital signs to their doctor in real time. Doctors can use this data to help patients make more informed decisions about their health.
The site earns a fee from doctors who wish to charge for their services. Data collected — held confidentially — provides insights on attitudes towards healthcare and the illnesses that may be ailing large populations. The effort of RingMD is to convince partners in the healthcare industry — governments, hospitals and other players such as insurance and pharmaceutical companies to adopt more data-driven thinking in the delivery of healthcare.
Median Technologies Collaborated with Microsoft to Develop New Cancer Detection, Diagnosis & Monitoring Methods
Fredrik Brag, Chief Executive Officer at Median Technologies
Precision Medicine is about to revolutionize how diagnostic and biological data is used to pinpoint and deliver care that is preventive, targeted and effective. Extracting biomarkers of disease from medical images is at the core of the Precision Medicine effort. Big Data computing and analytics will allow efficient processing and analysis of imaging biomarkers which is essential for early detection of cancer and monitoring of new targeted cancer treatments.
Median Technologies (ALMDT) is a leading medical imaging solutions and service provider for image interpretation and management in oncology. Median Technologies and Microsoft announced a joint global initiative in the rapidly growing Precision Medicine market to develop new cancer detection, diagnosis and monitoring methods using Big Data analytics.
As part of the initiative, Median Technologies will install its groundbreaking imaging biomarker phenotyping system (IBIOPSY) on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. On Azure, IBIOPSY will provide capabilities for processing and analyzing medical images, extracting biomarkers of disease in real time for cancer diagnosis and treatment purposes. The collaboration will allow delivering these solutions into routine clinical practice on a global scale on the Azure cloud computing platform. Microsoft Innovation teams have collaborated on the IBIOPSY project to bring innovative technologies at the service of cancer research. By taking advantage of the powerful Microsoft Azure cloud platform, IBIOPSY will provide faster imaging and health data analysis and will accelerate the discovery and delivery of new biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
Synaptive Medical and General Atlantic Announce Strategic Partnership
Cameron Piron, President of Synaptive Medical
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm with over 35 years of experience investing in 250 growth companies and deep expertise in the healthcare and technology sectors, has made a strategic investment in Synaptive Medical, a leading medical device and technology company.
The healthcare industry is shifting toward an integrated delivery model that treats the whole patient from the diagnosis to surgery and beyond. Efficient medical imaging, combined with timely and effective care, is a critical driver of that change. Synaptive is developing novel imaging solutions that will help improve clinical outcomes for patients in partnership with the people and institutions that care for them. Synaptive, a Toronto based company develops integrated technologies to solve challenges both in and beyond the operating room through deep collaboration with surgeons and hospitals. The company’s BrightMatter™ suite of products provide advanced visual and information tools that allow surgeons to focus on patient outcomes within a global healthcare industry. The company’s surgical technology — which combines informatics, imaging, surgical planning, navigation and advanced optics — has been installed at top-ranked health care facilities across the United States, including recent installations at Emory University Hospital, the Gates Vascular Institute, Grady Health, Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and Mount Sinai. Synaptive also pursues unique collaborations with its customers, such as its recent initiative with Henry Ford Health System to empower ONConnect, a virtual tumor board that aims to offer patients greater transparency in determining their brain tumour treatment options.
CitiusTech Sets Up Healthcare Innovation Fund With SINE
Healthcare technology company CitiusTech has launched a Healthcare Innovation Fund in collaboration with SINE — IITs Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship fund to invest in innovative ventures in healthcare and healthtech. The fund was set up in 2015 wherein Citius wanted to do more than just put up some money as part of the mandatory CSR under the government policy. To start with, this is a five year commitment with an increasing annual contribution which could be extended at the end of the initial five year period. The final decision on what start-ups are selected rests with SINE, while CitiusTech executives would step in as mentors as and when needed. This fund also envisages the idea of enterprise start-ups to students on campus, who typically are more exposed to consumer facing businesses and don’t often have perspective on entrepreneurship opportunities in the healthtech space or on the enterprise side, and this is a way to boost healthcare innovation on campus. So far the fund has invested in four companies which are CareNx, a remote monitoring tool to detect high-risk pregnancies earlier, Transpact, which makes a therapeutic product for children with cerebral palsy, Medprime Technologies, a medical devices start-up and InceptorTechnologies, a low-cost digital Braille reader.
Insulin Cells Under Skin Could Save Diabetics From Jabs
Scientists have created artificial beta cells from human kidney cells that act as sugar sensors and insulin producers. The therapy involves a capsule of genetically engineered cells implanted under the skin that automatically releases insulin as required. Researchers at ETZ Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) have used a cell line based on human kidney cells, HEK cells which have been enhanced with a voltage-dependent calcium channel and a gene for the production of insulin and GLP-1, a hormone involved in the regulation of the blood sugar level. When the blood sugar level exceeds a certain threshold, the potassium channels close. This flips the voltage distribution at the membrane, causing the calcium channels to open. As calcium flows in it triggers the HEK cells built-in signalling cascade, leading to the production and secretion of insulin or GLP-1. Diabetic mice when implanted with these artificial cells were found to have normal blood sugar levels for several weeks. In developing the artificial cells, experts had the help of a computer model which allows predictions to be made of cell behaviour, which can be experimentally verified.
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