Niraj, a Regional Manager at a financial firm, has been facing acute lower back pain. He has been planning to visit the doctor and possibly even meet the dietician as he seems to have been putting on weight. The health and wellness programme offered by his company is mostly at hospitals and diagnostic centres, which didn’t make sense to Niraj.
Imagine, if he could just walk up to a ‘health station’ in the office, which would not only help him get a complete health check but also calculate his BMI, body fat, weight, and help him talk to health experts for his back? This is what HOD.life aims to do.
HOD.life, started in 2015, based out of Mumbai, is a connected health station that not only provides a comprehensive preventive health check, but also gives personalised recommendations for health and wellness products and experts on call for coaching and consultations. The station is in turn connected to a mobile app, giving you easy access and management.
It was the same problem Ankit Khambati saw most corporate employees face. While managing a corporate health and wellness programme for over 1,00,000 employees for a large MNC, Ankit saw that they mainly offered services from diagnostic centres and hospitals and weren’t exactly wellness programmes.
Apart from this, these programmes were staggered and had low participation and retention. Ankit realised that a ‘wellness solution' was an unmet need. He realised that it had to be IoT enabled, available through multiple touch points in a person’s life and driving engagement through data-driven intelligence and most importantly, building aspirational goals for well-being. This is what led to the creation of HOD.life.
Each health check at the station offers close to 20 tests like weight, BMI and body fat, vitals like temperature and pulse, oxygen saturation, lung function, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and ECG among others.
One of the crucial aspects of the station is ‘The Chair.’ Ankit says, “Product designer Abhijeet Kumar's design was a game-changing moment. His napkin sketch of ‘The Chair’ was brought to life and created the HOD.life station.” He adds that the sketch to prototype session took 10 months.
With the introduction to wirelessly connected globally certified devices, they intend to reduce human error and offer reliable measurements. The purpose of these devices is to help carry out initial screening for health risk assessments and prevention of disease. “In spite of their accuracy, measurements should not be construed as diagnosis without the consultation of a qualified physician,” says 36-year old Ankit.
Each user gets a personal health score known as the MEW (Motivation Engagement Well-being) score. This score keeps ticking up as users return to the station to either set goals, track their health, or connect with experts.
HOD.life pilots have been deployed at six corporate offices of Schneider Electric, JBM Group, and EXLService.com. The team, Ankit claims, is clocking close to three users per hour per health station deployment. “Each station is being loaded with thousands of health data points. We are now on our way to re-engage users for targeted interventions for weight, fitness, mental health and managed care for chronic diseases,” adds Ankit.
Each HOD.life station has a HOD.life Pilot, who guides you through the process of setting up your account and work along with the payments and other processes. Ankit says the process is as simple setting up a Facebook account.
“The easiest way to start is if your employer is offering vouchers that you can redeem at the HOD.life station. If your employer is not offering these vouchers, or if your voucher credit is over, approach the station Pilot for help on how to load your HOD wallet,” he says.
The timing of a session may vary based on how much the user wants to engage with the platform. A basic session may take about 15–20 minutes. If someone wishes to speak to an expert on-call, or buy a recommended product, it may take longer depending on the consultation topic and concerns raised by the user.
The core team comprises a Technology Head Kuldeep Mohan Ponnada, Designers Abhijeet and Bhavisha Bafna, Strategy and BD Head Kabir Agarwal. By the end of this year, the team plans to roll out the station in over 200 corporate offices, retail – B2B2C stations with over 2,00,000 users. They are aiming to reach a revenue of 100 crores. Their revenue model is tied up with corporates, retail in app marketplaces and work with healthcare centres for the big data analytics.
The past few months has seen a rise of healthcare startups and devices that use IoT and are connected. Some of the players in the field are Cardea, who make ECG monitoring wearables, LeChal’s shoes with navigational capabilities, GPS tracker manufacturers like Gecko, and GOQii, SenseGiz, GetActive, who make fitness wearables; the list is simply endless.
According to the Machina Research data cited at the TiE panel, the global market for IoT in 2020 will be worth $373 billion in revenue, with $194 billion from hardware and $179 billion from software. India will account for $10–12 billion of this total revenue.
Expected to touch $79 billion in 2012, the healthcare sector is now expected to reach $160 billion by 2017, and $280 billion by 2020. Today, it is considered one of the largest sectors in India, in terms of both revenue and employment.