Like many in my generation, I don’t pay too much attention to my eating or sleeping habits, and I don’t get health checkups conducted very often. Many of us try to keep fit but aren’t able to gauge the results of our efforts. Some latent risks go unnoticed and for those unfortunate individuals, sometimes it is too late to undo the damage. Which is why, when Dr. Subhasish Sircar invited me to experience the Health Vectors’ method of using predictive analysis to highlight my future health risks, I was quite curious about the entire process. I imagined that the test procedures and questionnaire would be time-consuming and tedious, but I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency with which the entire process was completed.
It was with some trepidation that I went to the Health Vectors office for my personalized health analysis. Health Vectors’ IT lead Jowin Sam Zachariah helped me create an online account, which I used to answer a questionnaire that captured some key parameters related to my personal health, family medical history and lifestyle (including food habits and fitness).
As soon as I completed the form, two medical representatives whisked me off to another room for a few clinical tests. They measured and recorded my physical parameters, including my height and weight, waist, hip, BP, and SpO2 etc. I also underwent comprehensive blood, and urine tests. Everything was completed within 30 minutes.
Clearly, I needn’t have allocated an entire day for the procedure. A few days later, I received a detailed and easy-to-read 26-page personalized report that highlighted and quantified my possible health risks and provided steps to help me mitigate those risks.
Despite considering myself to be healthy now, there were potential health risks in my future given my clinical data and my personal health data. Health Vectors brought these to my attention at an early stage in my life (when I do not even show any symptoms whatsoever) while I can still make changes that will allow me to live a long and healthy life.
Then and now
Health Vectors Pvt. Ltd. is a startup company in the area of analytics and technology based personal health analysis for the corporate and retail sectors. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru. The venture is powered by a team of nine full-time members and supporting staff. Subhasish started Health Vectors when two of his close friends passed away at a young age because their physicians failed to understand the severity of their chronic disease risks and provide them with simple quantifiable steps to mitigate those risks. Subhasish states that unlike various infectious diseases (such as small pox or polio where symptoms can be more easily identified and treated or even prevented via vaccines) many chronic diseases require risk predictions and immediate diet and lifestyle changes. Predicting and preventing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension or diabetes, requires a methodical approach of understanding a person’s family history, lifestyle habits, diet, and current health. The reasons are quite obvious, unlike infectious diseases, chronic diseases, once detectable (through clinical data or through symptoms) cannot be reversed. You have to live with them for the rest of your life.
Subhasish believes the future of eradicating chronic diseases lies in predicting the disease even earlier and preventing it. He clearly mentions that the whole world today needs a seismic paradigm shift when it comes to chronic diseases. We all have to move away from a culture of detect and contain to a predict and prevent culture.
Health Vectors uses clinical parameters and personal health data to generate an individual’s “health story.” In fact, the patent pending algorithm created by Health Vectors takes into account the implications of various critical combinations of those parameters, evidence-based science and cognitive computing while generating the solutions. For example, the analytics engine will look at a combination of high BMI, with high BP, low good cholesterol, low uric acid, family history of diabetes, and a smoking habit; and then render a suggested medical plan for the individual. As a process, the data for the individual is loaded to the analytics engine, the analytics engine processes the data and provides a solution for physicians, and nutritionists, etc.
As soon as they agree with the prompted solution, a detailed report is automatically generated by the system and delivered to the individual. If the medical professionals don’t agree to the system generated solution, then they have an opportunity to correct the solution and include the reasons for the change. Based on the feedback, the algorithm becomes more intelligent and records the feedback for future reference.
Health Vector’s Analytics Lead Jagsir Singh states that Health Vectors is motivated to help healthcare providers focus more on patient interactions by providing them with error-free instantaneous analysis and recommendation prompts. Thereafter, once the validation is obtained from the medical professionals, the personalized report is produced immediately and delivered to the subject on their encrypted dashboard. Since Health Vectors collects very granular data they also provide corporate / Group Health Reports for organizations so that organizations can get deeper insights into their group’s health and create health and wellness programs that are designed specific to the location and demographics of the population.
Since its inception, Health Vectors has brought a number of corporate clients on-board, including well-known organizations such as Flipkart, Aditya Birla Group, Idea Cellular, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, Tech Mahindra, Indus Law, Teoco, and Surewaves, etc. They have also partnered with large hospitals such as Columbia Asia and Fortis where the hospitals conduct the health checks on individuals and Health Vectors provides the analytics layer and provides detailed analysis of their health, including the diet plans and recommendations. The team has analyzed data for over 2,000 subjects since the startup was founded.
The team is working on a mobile application (due to go live in a few months). This application will become the individual’s mobile personal health compendium that provides health guidance at all times. The app will not only provide individuals constant reminders on their targets on critical parameters, but also provide direction on their food and exercise targets.
The app will also record an individual’s key health metrics on-the-go (sleeping patterns, diets) and also provides feedback on target accomplishments. It will prompt the user on various food choices at different times of the day, based on their personal health data and based on their ethnicity and preferences. An individual’s personalized dashboard will include relevant recommendations for hospitals and wellness programs curated using distance and quality of service as parameters. The consumers will also be able to add reviews on the doctor and/or service providers. In addition, the dashboard will allow individuals to set up appointments and give permission to the service providers to access their relevant health data.
Health Vectors is looking to raise US $4-5 million to help scale their operations and is working on penetrating the international market.