This startup promises to care for your ageing parents just like you would, complete with doctor visits and shopping trips
Noida-based IVH Senior Care provides home healthcare service and social assistance to the elderly with a care manager attached to each person.
Senior care is important for an elderly person as well as their immediate family. But with busy lifestyles people are unable to care for their ageing parents in the way they want to.
A study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says that societal modernisation has broken down families into nuclear families, and many people have migrated to different cities/countries in search of better opportunities. This leaves parents alone and away from their children, which has led to a rise in the number of depression cases among the elderly.
To help the elderly both physically and emotionally, Manreet Kahlon and Swadeep Srivastav started IVH Senior Care in 2016 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. From basic medical needs to home healthcare service and providing social assistance with a care manager attached to each patient, this healthcare startup is catering to a growing number of senior citizens living alone in India.
Initially, IVH had services in Delhi NCR, Chandigarh, Ambala, Bengaluru and Pune on a test module. It is now present in more than 25 cities in India through a hub-and-spoke model. It is catering to around 1,200+ patients, out of which 415 are on a subscription model.
“We are a young company dedicated to serving the old. To match the rate at which India is ageing, we are expanding our services at a fast rate, but ensuring quality solutions as well,” says Swadeep.
Swadeep and Manreet are on a mission to make sure they serve the elderly population through their innovative solutions. The company was started with an initial investment of Rs 3.5 crore, and is now looking for a seed funding of $8 million.
Manreet says the idea for their company came about when she saw the family system of the defence personnel. When officers and soldiers go on duty to their post located far away, the entire community supports their families back home.
“In 2008, I started thinking about implementing a similar system for civilians, as my mother needed somebody to take care of her while my sister and I were staying away,” she says.
While Manreet was running her experimenting module on family support system by training faujis as care managers, she got in touch with Swadeep who was then running a tertiary care programme called IVH Care under India Virtual Hospital. With similar interests and objectives, they both agreed to work together and launched IVH Senior Care.
Before launching the healthcare startup, Swadeep, who hails from Gorakhpur, was running his own venture called Via Media Communication, a hospital communication company.
Bringing the defence model on board
Manreet says the defence forces have a unique family support system, which works at a community level.
“I became acquainted with the family care system in the Navy where some sailors are stationed at the base to help the families of those at sea. Our care managers become a part of the family, they take the elderly to the hospitals for monthly check-ups, drive them to temple, or accompany them on shopping trips,” she says.
Manreet wanted to bring the same model on board. In order to have a strong repository of health practitioners to ensure high quality and credible solutions, the founders decided on bringing former defence personnel on board.
“With former defence personnel as our care managers, we are seeing sincerity, leadership, reliability and result-oriented action at our care centres,” says Manreet.
Bringing healthcare to the doorstep
As getting the elderly to the healthcare centre was difficult, IVH Senior Care decided to get into the home healthcare assistance space. It deploys care managers, nurses, and doctors and provides required logistics to its customers.
Swadeep says, “We are living in the age of home delivery. Then why should we leave healthcare out? Besides, India’s healthcare burden is too large and heavy for our current infrastructure.”
IVH helps the elderly by giving them medical support as well as assistance and concierge support as well. The care managers will also assist the customer when they go on holidays, and is present whenever they are needed. It also covers services such as nursing, physiotherapy, emergency support and post-hospitalisation care for recovery.
More than just healthcare
One of the first cases to be addressed at IVH was that of a septuagenarian with hearing issues. The patient, who had to undergo a surgery, was accompanied by the care manager throughout the process.
Swadeep notes that there is a rise in demand for concierge services, where apart from the medical/home healthcare services, the elderly are taken on movie and religious trips.
The elderly, especially those with busy children, are often lonely and depressed. Nayyar (name changed), one of IVH's customers, used to visit his two sons abroad once a year for three months and spent the rest of the year in Delhi alone. He confessed to his care manager that although he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, he felt lonely having no one to talk to. Whereas in Delhi, thanks to his care manager, he could maintain a strong social circle. He would meet his friends daily, participate in community activities and interact with all his close relatives frequently.
IVH charges Rs 800 for a monthly subscription, Rs 3,000 for three months, and Rs 5,400 for a six-month subscription. For those availing the subscription, one visit will be free every month, after which every visit will attract a certain charge.
On an average, the care manager visits a client four to five times a month for different purposes. For its B2B business, IVH Senior Care offers care continuum plans for hospitals who refer their patients.
IVH Senior Care has presently tied up with 100+ NABH hospitals like Metro hospital, PSRI hospital, Sir Ganga Ram hospital, Indraprastha Apollo, Rockland, Columbia Asia, Fortis, Max group of hospitals, and a few more across the country. It has also tied up with more than 500+ specialist consultants.
Swadeep says as the elderly population is expected to grow in India from the present 104 million to 324 million by 2050, IVH Senior Care expects to see a positive growth as its customers are mostly senior citizens.