Healthcare is fast emerging as an important sector for entrepreneurs to develop cost-effective and efficient solutions. A lot of ventures are operating in this space, including Elixir Biomedical, started by three young, budding entrepreneurs.
Hospitals in India depend upon nurses to keep a check on the level of saline/blood given to the patients. Problems due to shortages of nurses and negligence in monitoring the level of saline/blood are on the rise. Immediate back flow of blood due to a vacuum created in empty saline/blood bottle is a major problem faced by many government hospitals and primary healthcare centers.
Kevin Shah, CEO of Elixir Biomedical, says only 5% hospitals in India have a device that helps them keep a track of saline/blood level in the bottle administered to patients, while on an average there are at least 25 cases of back flow occurring per day in government hospitals. Elixir Biomedical has developed a cost effective ‘Saline Level Indicator’ prototype to deal with this issue.
The team consists of four fresh college graduates, Kevin Shah who is the founder and CEO, Parth Repe and Karthik Hariharan who look after the sales and marketing, and Gururaj Masali who looks after the technical requirements of the product. These first generation entrepreneurs want to stick to their passion of making life easier and better for patients rather than take up cushy mainstream IT jobs. They have been mentored by the faculty of their college, DJ Sanghvi College of Engneering, Mumbai and collabrant incubators.
The team conducted an extensive market research in August 2013 to get an insight into the problem and how they could help solve it. The research included talking to 25 doctors and 35 nurses across six hospitals and few nursing homes in Mumbai. The collected data had details that helped them cross the bridge from assumption to reality.
When asked what entrepreneurship meant to them, they passionately responded that it meant, “Roti, kapda aur makaan.” Their passion and zeal for their venture was seen when Elixir Biomedical won the first prize in Meraki event conducted by FIIB.
They have applied for a product patent, and Kevin specifies that their USP is providing affordable medical devices and services in India and the Third World countries. He adds that their users are mainly hospitals, distributors and the end-user nurses.
There are other healthcare sector companies like Biosense, Forus Health which are in the same league but Kevin says that at present there is no device which is specifically designed for saline and blood monitoring.
Some key leanings from their journey until now has been the importance of understanding the markets well before developing a product for that market and never to lose sight of the end products demanded by the consumer.
At present, the government and industry both have shown great interest in these young entrepreneurs and the team hopes that this boost will continue to motivate them further.