Caredose is a medicine management venture that uses proprietary technology and packaging to ensure and track medicine adherence in patients, while building big data for healthcare entities and public health programmes.
At a Glance
Founders: Gauri Angrish, Kinshuk Kocher, Shrivatsa Somany
Year it was founded: 2016
Where it is based: New Delhi
Problem it solves: Medicine adherence among patients, and data and analytics for health centres
Funding raised: Undisclosed amount by Gems Partners
With a belief that science and healthcare have the power to impact and alleviate multiple lives, Gauri Angrish, 28, studied biotechnology, with a focus on cardiac stem cells from the University of Nottingham.
As the lab life didn’t agree with her, Gauri chose to experience the business side of healthcare by working in the pharmaceutical and medical product vertical at McKinsey & Company.
It was then, while interacting with big pharma companies, she realised that medicine non-adherence was a huge unsolved problem and that the existing solutions were not combatting it in a holistic way. Finally, in 2013, she quit her job and decided to take a stab at mitigating the issue.
Gauri says, “As I lacked business know-how and experience, I started my entrepreneurial journey by starting and running a retail pharmacy. With this exposure and guidance/mentorship from my father and after creating a little foothold in the industry, I started the research and development of the Caredose system.”
She set up Caredose in 2016 as a medicine management venture that uses proprietary technology and packaging to ensure and track medicine adherence in patients, while building big data for healthcare entities and public health programmes. In other words, it enables healthcare entities and public health programmes to manage, track and optimise patient care.
Gauri’s second and more important eureka moment was when she realised that non-adherence—that is, when patients misunderstand, forget or ignore their medication—is not just a problem for the patients, but it actually impacts every stakeholder in the healthcare spectrum - hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, public health programmes, health insurance companies, doctors etc.
“This resulted in our comprehensive technology ecosystem and B2B2C business model.
It is achieved by partnering up with the stakeholders and equipping them with proprietary technology and inventive packaging to help ensure and track complete medicine adherence in their patients, in real time,” explains Gauri.
Talking about her initial challenges and how she overcame it, Gauri says, “Helping people manage their medicine is something that has zero room for error. We quickly realised that and, therefore, the need for complete automation at the backend i.e., we needed machines and systems in place for automated multi-dose dispensing.”
The initial thoughts were to buy existing machines from developed countries, but the startup soon found that those are only equipped to manage open pills.
“Since dispensing open pills in India (and in various other geographies) is against regulations, we realised we had to reinvent the wheel. We started the development of DoseDroid - an automated multi-dose dispensing robot that is equipped to manage both open and foiled medication,” says Gauri. The robot is also equipped to manage orders and patient records.
Building the core team
In early 2017, Gauri was selected by the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Centre for their Milestone Maker Program.
She says, “One of my biggest learnings from the programme was the importance of building a strong core team. Hence, my search for co-founders began.”
Soon, Gauri found a co-founder in ex-colleague from McKinsey - Kinshuk Kocher, 29, and Shrivatsa Somany, 28, who was introduced to her by the NASDAQ entrepreneurial team as an advisor for technology.
Kinshuk has an Economics degree from Hans Raj College, and MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Oxford. At Caredose, he is the COO.
Shrivatsa completed his MSc in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University. After gaining strong professional experience at IBM in the early years, he realised that a corporate software developer life is not for him, and decided to come back and focus on the budding Indian startup scene. At Caredose, he takes take of the technology as the CTO.
The Caredose team is nine-people-strong and also works with certain people on contract.
Caredose has two-way revenue model: subscription basis for patients (multi-dose packaging, adherence tracking, alerts and refills), and DoseDroid for healthcare entities and customisable data analytics, insights and reports.
It also creates dashboards for healthcare entities with process details and data insights for individual and aggregate patients.
It initially launched a beta test of the consumer dispenser with 50 chronic patients across 11 ailments. “Our main aim was to collect feedback and modify our product till we reached a version that was a complete consumers delight. The sixth reiteration in the ninth month of the beta test was the final one, which we have now received two patents for,” says Gauri.
The firm is currently in the process of rolling out smart dispensers. Gauri says, “After multiple conversations with established people from the industry, we conceptualised, prototyped and protected our smart dispenser. This is scheduled to launch in 3Q18. We’ve also developed our pipeline of partners till 2019. This includes hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacies, clinics and doctors. Although our initial target market is India, we are simultaneously building our pipeline for other geographies.”
A PR Newswire report predicts the global medical device packaging market to grow with a CAGR between 5.8 and 6.3 percent from 2017 to 2023.
According to a study, medication nonadherence costs costs the healthcare system $289 billion each year and has a damaging effect on patient health. A report by the Mayo Clinic found "approximately 50 percent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed."
However, there are quite a few mobile applications like PatientPartner, Medisafe, Dosecast, Medhelper Pill Reminder, My Pill Box that are helping patients in medicine adherence.
Talking about its differentiator, Gauri says, “We understand that non-adherence is not a linear problem, so our solution is comprehensive and solves the problem from all angles.
Our system is developed as a modular system that allows healthcare entities to customise the offering. It mines and analyses data from purchase of pharmaceuticals to consumption, providing entities insights to make data-driven decisions.”
Initially bootstrapped, in January 2018, it has raised an undisclosed round from GEMS Partners.
With Smart Caredose and DoseDroid launches underway, Caredose plans to expand outside Delhi-NCR. It had recently partnered with Maxhealthcare in Delhi-NCR.
“The idea will be to launch the services in all major cities in India and rural outreach through public health programmes. In addition to this trajectory, we will also be looking at an international geographical expansion with our current modular technology, and expanding the applications of our technologies to hospital management, pharmacy automation, patient education and others,” says Gauri.