These 5 medtech startups are providing premium healthcare facilities at one click
Reports suggest that the Indian healthcare market is one of the country’s fastest-growing sectors. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s healthcare industry is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022.
Between April 2000 and June 2019, the country’s hospital and diagnostic centres attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth $6.34 billion, according to data by DIPP.
It said, “India has also become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities.”
To tap into this opportunity, many healthcare startups are catering to the online healthcare market, working on diagnostic solutions and preventive healthcare.
Here are five medtech startups helping with medicine delivery, finding solutions for pregnancy-related deaths in India, and more.
One of the pains of moving to a new city is finding new doctors who can address your issues, is pocket-friendly, and accessible.
To smoothen the process of finding doctors in any city, entrepreneurs Shashank ND and Abhinav Lal startedin 2008.
Shashank ND, Founder and CEO, Practo
The Bengaluru-based medtech startup connects patients with doctors, lets them book appointments, and even get prescribed medicines delivered to their doorstep.
Operational in five countries, the startup arranges an average of 50 million appointments annually. Moving forward, it hopes to add 10 more countries to its portfolio.
In June 2018, it raised Rs 120 crore in funding from Trifecta Capital and other internal investors. The startup is backed by Tencent, Sequoia, Matrix Partners, Sofina, and Yuri Milner among others.
Practo also launched a health-focussed credit card in partnership with RBL Bank and Mastercard, where users can earn one Practo HealthCash for every Rs 100 they spend using the card. The points earned can be spent to avail services on the platform.
The online healthcare market comes with its own set of challenges – a tricky regulatory environment, inefficient supply chains, difficulties in prescription management, and a lack of proper understanding of end-users.
To address this, Dilip C Byra founded MetroMedi in 2018. The startup is an online pharmacy and e-health store that fulfils healthcare needs like medicines, health foods, health check-ups, medical equipment, and other health products.
Patients can share their prescriptions with the Hyderabad-based startup’s trained healthcare assistants through WhatsApp, call, or email, who will deliver the medication to them on a recurring cycle. To date, it claims to have fulfilled over 100,000 orders with a 99 percent prescription fill rate.
In October 2019, it raised $1.5 million in a seed round from HNI TK GP Rao, Founder of the TMT Group.
The startup is also in advanced talks with a few funds to raise its Series A funding.
Bhubaneswar-based Prantae Solutions addresses a very serious issue plaguing the nation – maternal mortality rate.
Founder Sumona Karjee Mishra is addressing a rare pregnancy disorder called preeclampsia, which affects about 10 million pregnant women worldwide, and is linked to 30 percent of MMR.
Founder Sumona Karjee Mishra with her daughter Shravya
The startup’s first product EyeRa is an early detection platform for preeclampsia. It has three other offerings – ProFolU, a smartphone-based self-health monitoring device for kidney health; Salubrious, a solution for hidden hunger; and Embargo, a detection platform for antibiotics in food products.
From 2016 to 2018, the startup has raised about Rs 1.89 crore, most of which was from the government of Odisha.
It has also been recognised with awards like the TiE- BIRAC WinER 2019, Pride of Odisha 2018, and Edex 40 under 40 entrepreneurs by TNIE in 2018.
Bengaluru-basedis also focussing on pregnancy healthcare. Its product Keyar is a non-invasive cardiotocography (CTG) device that can monitor the heart rate of a baby in the mother’s womb and track uterine contractions of a pregnant woman.
The product is portable, non-invasive, and easy to use – the mother wears the device, and the data is transmitted to a mobile application. The IoT-enabled device runs on ordinary batteries and can be easily used in remote areas where traditional, bulky equipment is either unavailable or unaffordable.
An artist's impression of Keyar
Before starting Janitri in 2016, Founder Arun Agarwal took part in the Social Innovation Immersion Programme (SIIP) Fellowship, which was organised by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in 2015.
Kolkata-based Ezerx, which stands for ‘Easy for prescription’, aims to make the adoption of a preventive healthcare approach in India more appealing and accessible by providing easy and affordable diagnostic solutions.
To that effect, the startup is building affordable, non-invasive solutions for early diagnosis of chronic diseases. Its first product, AJO (anaemia, jaundice, and oxygen saturation), is a non-invasive, IoT-enabled device that tests for anaemia, liver, and lung-related medical problems without any blood work and for less than one rupee.
EzeRx's non-invasive, contactless device for testing for anaemia, lung and liver-related health problems
The user-friendly device does not require any medical knowledge to use. Once the test is completed, the result is sent via an email or text message within 1.5 seconds.
The device cleared clinical trials at NRS Medical College, Kolkata, with high accuracy.
Founded in 2018, the startup has been incubated at KIIT-TBI and has also received the Department of Biotechnology’s BIRAC Biotechnology Ignition Grant. It has also received funding from Villgro's INVENT and Indian Oil Corporation.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)