We all have been on the receiving end of some kind of medical need. Be it a routine visit to the doctor or something more grave like the illness of a family member. Bad experiences and the difficulties we have faced are stories that almost all of us can go on for a while!
After the episode is over, we all have wished for some sort of reform when it comes to healthcare. India being the home to numerous medical innovations, that the world now uses so efficiently, still grapples with a system that can be termed archaic. This Independence day we bring to you the top 5 healthcare startups that are making strides in changing the face of healthcare in not only India, but globally as well. Here are the contenders (in alphabetical order):
As the founder Ram Prabhu says, ‘India has a billion un-connected patient population and currently there is no means to bridge the gap in the patient-doctor ratio. The solution should be common and still have differentiation to cater to health needs. I feel the solution for our healthcare should cater to 4 As - Applicable, Available, Accessible and Affordable.’ And that is exactly what Ehealthaccess does. Cashing in on the technological high that India is on right now, Ehealthaccess gives its customers a way to interact with doctors no matter where they are situated. Having been able to commercialize the telemedicine practice, they are one step ahead of their competition. When asked about the hurdle they might face considering telemedicine would effectively do away with the face to face interaction of doctors and patients, he says, ‘Data plays a crucial role in the accurate diagnosis of patients. How technology can compliment the doctor in taking informed decision will change health care for ever. Because of advancements in this sphere, the patients are likely to gain more out of this new concept. Apart from providing instant access to more than 500 specialist doctors, they also have unique plans for families and pregnant women.
Want to connect with a doctor in the comfort of your home? Try out Ehealthaccess.
Ever wonder how you can track the calories you are eating and how much weight you are loosing, without going crazy with a pen and paper? Well, Healthifyme is where you should go. The co-founder Tushar Vashisht says, ‘What we do is provide people with the right set of tools that they can use to distinguish good from bad easily and motivate them to think of better options.’ Made for people who are fit or want to get there, it is a very handy online tool. Another tool born of the founder’s experience, he says, ‘I experienced a tremendous weight gain once I moved back to India for the Unique ID project. However, I realized that it was not just my story, but that young urban India is predisposed towards gaining weight thanks to the carbs/fat rich food available plenty and cheap while there is little time and availability for workout options, most of which remain expensive. I also realized living at Rs 100 a day (an experiment tried out by us) that it was difficult to track calories, nutrition in India due to non availability of digital food data sets. While the current lifestyle dynamics may take time to change, what we can do is provide people with the right set of tools that they can use to distinguish good from bad easily and motivate them to think of better options. Thus began the HealthifyMe app which helps people track their nutrition, fitness and weight, provides them wonderful insights about their lifestyle and suggestions to improve it. It also connects them with live experts that can guide them better towards their health and fitness objectives. Amongst our achievements is that we have built the world’s first Indian foods database, which has tens of thousands of foods available in nearly 13 regional languages which users can track easily. We also have a powerful advice recommendation engine that gives feedback and guides users constantly and ability to connect with top doctors and nutritionists.
Try out Healthifyme and take a step towards a fitter you!
(Read: How to lose weight easily)
‘Global eHospital’ or ‘Virtual hospital’ – does the concept sound too good to be true? Well, not if you ask Dr Debraj Shome and Dr Arbinder Singal, the founders of MediAngels. The platform houses over 300 of the best experts from across the globe, who have been verified by a special global panel. MediAngels is unique because it not only provides virtual consultation but also caters to other patient needs with products like virtual health records, access to pathology labs and more. Imagine consulting the best cardiologist in the country over a video chat, providing the samples for the test required from your home and all this information is stored virtually and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. The fact that both the founders are doctors themselves does lend a lot of credibility to the venture. What remains to be seen is how MediAngels can help bridge the doctor-patient ratio in rural areas.
Interested in a second opinion? Check out MediAngels.
This is a unique initiative that cashes in on the facebook age, where everything is public and every one knows everyone. The ‘commander-in-chief’, as he calls himself – Karthik Naralasetty says that Socialblood is an initiative to, ‘Make a difference without waiting for anybody else to take the step.’ On syncing with the services (Socialblood and Facebook), the user adds information like the city they live in, geo-fence for notification of blood donation requests (basically how far are you willing to travel to donate like 5 km, 10 km or the entire city) and blood type. It then pulls up a list of connections that are already using the service. he interface is fairly simple to use, the filters on the top bar help to narrow down on blood request and donors available for a particular blood type. The map pulls up that information and helps users who need the information.
So don’t forget to check out Socialblood and become part of the change.
A relatively new startup that aims to ‘bring speed and transparency in health care service delivery’ and is so far one of its kind. A young company, run by Amit Bhagat and Amarendra Kumar, it is built out of personal experiences faced by the founders.
Surgerica is a platform where a patient or his/her family can connect with doctors, choose a hospital, get a doctor’s opinion, compare prices and the diagnosis of two physicians –helping him/her make an informed decision about their healthcare choices. According to the founder, Amit Bhagat, ‘When a person is in need of any medical attention, he/she starts looking for information about the best doctors in that specialty, the best hospital near his/her residence, probable cost of the procedure, second opinions and finally talks to a friend or people who have had the same treatment at the hospital they choose for a review. The whole process can be tedious and frustrating for many, but all this is simplified once he/she has all the information in one place and can make an informed healthcare decision. Today, there is no place where you can find all this information, in one place. Lack of information makes the service delivery very opaque and slow. We think that these problems can be eliminated by a robust system with transparency in all its steps.’
This is a revolutionary new concept that promises a patient a one stop shop for all their medical needs. Want to find more about a surgery? Or how much it will cost? Check out Surgerica.
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