Meet the 8 women who are revolutionising healthcare in India
As founders of path-breaking healthcare startups and initiatives, these women are tapping unserved niches through innovation in the diagnostic and enterprise areas.
Complex lifestyles have put the spotlight on the need for advancements and developments in healthcare to make prevention, diagnosis and cure easier and accessible to all. With Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) becoming the new buzzwords, the healthcare industry in India is undergoing massive changes to improve productivity and efficiency.
At the heart of this healthcare revolution are a number of women making the change they wish to see. As founders of path-breaking healthcare startups and other initiatives, they are tapping unserved niches through innovation in the diagnostic and enterprise areas, providing efficient delivery solutions for all.
We list down the eight women revolutionising healthcare in India.
Sunita Maheshwari – Teleradiology Solutions
With technology at the forefront of most advancements in healthcare, Sunita Maheshwari realised early on that there was a need to disrupt the healthcare sector by using technology for diagnosis. The doctor-turned-entrepreneur is the Chief Dreamer at Teleradiology Solutions and RXDX multi-speciality acute care clinics in Bengaluru, apart from incubating other startups in the telehealth space, including Healtheminds, a telecounselling initiative. She also set up a software company that builds teleradiology software, to take diagnostic solutions to patients in rural areas who could not afford it.
Meena Ganesh - Portea Medical
Meena Ganesh in 2013 founded Portea Medical, a home-healthcare company that operates across 16 cities in India. The journey has been a roller-coaster ride since then. Portea brings to patients services at home, covering the full range of geriatric, chronic, post-operative care as well as allied healthcare services that are affordable and convenient to access. They are also in constant touch with their customers to see what they are looking for and discover new solutions.
Neerja Birla – Mpower
Neerja is the Founder and Chairperson of Mpower, an organisation that works towards tackling mental health issues among the youth. The aim of Mpower is to remove stigma, the primary roadblock to mental wellness.
The Movement works to improve awareness and understanding of mental health conditions through workshops at schools, colleges, and corporates.
The Centre offers diagnostics, treatment, and counselling for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
The Mpower Foundation aims at making mental healthcare services accessible to members of economically-backward families, so that the cost barrier is not a deterrent to quality medical care.
Anu Acharya – MapMyGenome
Anu Acharya started Mapmygenome in 2011 to ensure that people became aware of their genetic makeup and worked towards preventing diseases. When it comes to genetics, India does not have the same access as the West and the amount of data available on the Indian genome is limited. Thus Mapmygenome was founded both as a B2C and B2B company that offers molecular diagnostics kits that specialise in tuberculosis (work is being done on dengue). Genomepatri, a product from MapMyGenome, helps in analysing an individual’s predisposition to certain diseases, risks that could occur from diet and lifestyle factors, and drug responses. It covers about 100 conditions, traits, and drug correlations, and provides a report on your disease predisposition.
Swati Subodh – 1M1B
Swati’s desire to add more meaning to her work coincided with a similar introspection-laden phase in the life of her brother, Manav Subodh. 1M1B, or 1 Million for 1 Billion, was his brainchild. He envisaged empowering a million to impact a billion for economic prosperity. His prowess in entrepreneurial training coupled with her infallible experience in healthcare research – not to mention their compassion and faith in education and technology being able to bridge every conceivable gap in healthcare – formed the foundation for 1M1B. The organisation tries to fill the gap between those who have the solutions to a problem (grassroot entrepreneurs) and those who face the problem (civilians who lack the means to access sophisticated healthcare). They provide the former skill training and access to technologies, to help them launch their own microenterprises in problem areas for the latter. 1M1B also provides access to big technology and healthcare giants, to create sustainable entrepreneurship models.
Geetha Manjunatha and Nidhi Mathur - Niramai
With the alarming rise in breast cancer cases in India, the need for a number of preventive solutions for early detection and cure becomes paramount. One out of every two women diagnosed with breast cancer in India fails to make it. What’s more, only three percent go for regular breast health checkups in the absence of a non-invasive method of examination. Geetha Manjunatha and Nidhi Mathur founded Niramai, a ‘Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence’ solution for early detection of breast cancer that is safe, non-touch, radiation-free, and low-cost. The method of breast cancer screening can detect tumours five times smaller than what clinical examination can detect. Considering it is less expensive and does not require heavy equipment, this solution is ideal for smaller towns where affordable healthcare is still a rarity.
Aditi Hazra Ganju – Togetherforher
In a decade-long career in healthcare, Aditi Ganju realised how difficult it was for women to find good maternity care centres in their neighborhood. How could women find which centre worked best for them? Or which doctor was the most qualified to attend to their needs? Realising that an information gap existed in the maternal care industry, Aditi founded Togetherforher.com, a community that provides quality reviews and guidance, helping women make confident decisions about their choice of a maternity hospital. Aditi’s website also offers videos of medical care along with articles on pre and post-maternity care.
Seema Avasarala and Meena Kapoor - Oyehelp
Access to quality healthcare remains one of the biggest challenges in India, one that many healthcare and healthtech companies have been trying to crack. Most hospitals and clinics, be it public or private sector, have some home-grown or vendor-bought hospital management system for patients. A similar system is used for data management of healthcare professionals. What’s lacking is a front end that connects all systems seamlessly. It was looking at this that colleagues and friends Seema Avasarala and Meena Kapoor decide to start Oyehelp. This healthtech platform creates simple plug-and-play white-labelled digital identity for hospitals, enabling accessibility of healthcare with measurable outcomes. This allows hospitals to focus on healthcare while OyeHelp focuses on the technology.