Mumbai-based Fitterfly is providing 360-degree guidance to help people control diabetes
Lifestyle diseases like diabetes are a growing concern in India. According to International Diabetes Federation, in 2020, India was home to over 77 million diabetes patients.
Entrepreneur and surgeon Dr Arbinder Singal explains that people with diabetes need handholding and care after they are diagnosed with the disease. Along with medicines and treatment, they need help with staying fit, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and work on controlling or reversing it.
Dr. Arbinder Singal, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitterfly [Image Credit: LinkedIn]
Dr Arbinder, Shailesh Gupta, and Jayesh Sawant launched digital therapeutics startupin 2016 to help people understand the reason behind their increasing or decreasing diabetes, pressure levels and take measures accordingly.
The Mumbai startup claims to offer 360-degree guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, and other factors, which affect health outcomes.
Talking to YourStory, Dr Arbinder explains that his entrepreneurial journey began in 2010 when he was not able to perform surgeries for a few months due to a hand injury.
At that time, he began learning more about the Internet, digital business, and how healthcare can be advanced using digital technologies.
Identifying a gap in access to specialist doctors, the team first launched a telemedicine startup MediAngels, which later got acquired by 1mg. In 2016, they launched Fitterfly to cater to the wellness of children.
“The business change came in 2019 when I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I realised that while many players came up with diabetes monitoring and tracking solution, not many were helping the users understand what is causing increasing levels of sugar, or what kind of nutrition and exercise can help maintain the levels,” Dr Arbinder says.
Following this, the startup remodelled to offer personalised digital therapeutics programmes to manage several health conditions, including diabetes, PCOS/PCOD, obesity, pregnancy, and child wellness.
Managing lifestyle diseases
The co-founder says Fitterfly complements the doctor's medical therapy. Its subscription-based programmes also offer personalised guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress, weight, and sleep management.
Its core product Diabefly is a three-month-long programme that uses Ambulatory Glucose Monitoring technology to monitor the fluctuating glucose levels, and correlates it with food habits, exercise, and gives a detailed analysis on how to control the disease.
“At the beginning of the programme, users wear a small glucose monitoring device, which takes readings every 15 minutes for 14 days. The sticker-like device with a micro-needle goes inside the skin, and people are completely free to do daily activities with it. The device tracks over 1,300 blood sugar levels, and the data is available to users via the mobile app,” Dr Arbinder says.
The data collected is used to analyse how a person’s food habits, sleep patterns, or exercise habits are affecting their glucose levels.
As a part of this programme, users are assigned three coaches —nutritionist, psychologist, and physiotherapist — to assist them in controlling their diabetes.
In fact, Fitterfly is also focussing on helping diabetes patients who are recovering from COVID-19 to manage their glucose, stress, and pressure levels.
Besides this, the Mumbai startup also introduced several three-month-long programmes, including PregStar to manage pregnancy, HealPCOS to help manage PCOS/PCOD, Reset23 to help people struggling with weight loss, and GoodStart to ensure child wellness.
Illustration: YS Design
Business and more
The startup operates on a subscription-based model for patients. In fact, Fitterfly also works in partnership with almost 200 doctors who prescribe the programmes to their patients. It also works with pharma partners and corporate insurance companies.
The co-founder explained that the prices of the programmes might differ depending on the needs of the patients. However, the price ranges somewhere between Rs 1,000-4,000 per month.
At present, Dr Arbinder reveals that the startup has over 10,000 users across its programme. Last month, Fitterfly raised $3.1 million (Rs 22.3 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Fireside Ventures.
Speaking about future plans, he adds that the startup is looking to expand its digital therapeutics portfolio and develop smart health tracking tools.
According to Allied Market Research, the global digital therapeutics market is expected to reach $13.80 billion by 2027. The report also reveals that India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.1 percent, registering the highest growth in the Asia-Pacific digital therapeutics market.
Dr Arbinder says Fitterfly competes with other notable players in the market, including, Twin Health, and , among others.