[Tech30] This healthtech startup from Bharat saves lives with its lightweight and affordable ECG device
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of human mortality across the globe, and in many cases, the chances of fatalities increase multifold due to lack of access to healthcare facilities. In India, studides reveal that heart disease accounts for around 28 per cent of all deaths.
Sunfox Technologies, a Dehradun-based healthtech startup, is aiming to change how people affected with cardiovascular diseases can get an early warning through their portable electrocardiogram device (ECG) device.
It was founded by Rajat Jain and Arpit Jain in August 2016, after they experienced a personal tragedy. “I lost my friend due to a sudden heart attack. I hail from a rural background and have seen a lot of deaths due to unavailability of medical equipment for various reasons,” says Rajat.
This led Sunfox Technologies to work extensively on developing a healthcare solution which would be suitable for the Indian conditions in terms of portability and durability, while also being cost-effective.
“Our addressable domain is to prevent life-threatening stages of diseases in patients living in the remotest locations through early monitoring by cost-effective and simple devices,” says Arpit.
The core founding member team of Sunfox Technologies
Sunfox Technologies also saw gaps in the market. It found that the available cardiac monitoring point of care (PoC) devices for last-mile users are costly, complex, inefficient, inadequate, inconvenient, and non-portable.
“We are solving this global health challenge by providing the accessible, simple, and affordable product innovation,” says Rajat.
Through R&D, Sunfox Technologies created its flagship product – Spandan. This is a lightweight and portable device which can be carried in one’s pocket.
“A cardiac patient can do cardiac screening by using Spandan while sitting at home, and can know about any cardiac abnormalities instantly without the assistance of a doctor,” says Rajat.
Spandan has multiple functionalities such as self-monitoring, smartphone connectivity, detection of 12 heart dysfunctions, and it is also available in multiple languages.
The user will have to download the app and place electrodes on the chest to get readings, after which the diagnosis is stored on the mobile phone. This can be used to show it to the doctor or in the case of emergency, the medical professional can consult remotely. Spandan’s platform is based on artificial intelligence.
Rajat says Spandan can be used to reduce preventable deaths – by providing early warnings as well as remote doctor consultations.
The startup brings together the hardware and software elements through the smartphone. The founders of this startup say this device can be used as a PoC device and does not require the presence of a trained professional.
Rajat says, “Spandan emerged from our efforts as a frugal and lean hardware technology company with an aim to make high-end devices available to the common man.”
The entire technology of Spandan has been built in-house, with minimal dependence on external vendors.
The founders say Spandan has reached a modular stage which allows for easy replication and adding newer features onto the device.
Sunfox Technologies has deployed Spandan at various healthcare institutes, besides focusing on individual consumers. It generates revenue through the one-time sale of the device and recurring income from its subscription services. The Spandan device is available at around Rs 8,000 on online marketplaces.
Rajat believes Spandan is ideally suited for the small and medium business segment, given the price point at which the product is sold.
The startup, which primarily targets India as its key market, is now looking to expand into the Middle East and Southeast Asia. There are others in the market who provide similar kind of devices like AliveCor, SanketLife Pro Plus among others.
“I am building this venture so that I can contribute my bit to save millions of lives from preventable heart attacks. We are trying to make the impact on the global health with the lean and frugal innovation approach,” says Rajat.