Startups fight COVID-19: How healthtech startup Meddo is helping tackle the hospital bed crisis

Healthtech startup Meddo launches free COVID-19 care centres in Gurugram to help patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The aim is to provide care at the onset of the disease to avoid the need for hospitalisation, oxygen concentrators, and ICUs.
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Every day, the raging second wave of COVID-19 is putting immense pressure on India’s overburdened healthcare segment. From the lack of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and medical professionals, the grim situation has instilled fear among everyone in the country.

As help from countries across the globe pours in to help India get through the crisis, Indian startups are doing their best to help control the deadly situation. 

Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and CEO of Meddo

Gurugram-based healthtech startup Meddo launched its COVID-19 L1 care facilities, in partnership with Treebo Hotels, in the first week of May to help patients get access to medical facilities in the initial stage of the infection. The aim is to help patients in the initial stage to avoid further deterioration, which leads to the need for ICUs and hospital care.

The government has classified different health centres under L1, L2 and L3 levels, with L1 catering to non-critical patients, while L2 and L3 will deal with more complicated and critical COVID-19 cases.

“We have set up L1 facilities equipped with doctors, nurses, and oxygen concentrators to make sure that the need for hospitalisation comes down. We are providing care to patients with mild to moderate symptoms in the early phase, thereby reducing the chances of the infection worsening,”  says Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and CEO of Meddo.

Saurabh adds that the startup is currently going live with three care facilities in Gururgram; two more are expected to be launched within the next week.

“The major challenge that we are facing right now is getting access to concentrators. While other medical needs for the patients are already available at care facilities, we are looking for leads to purchase or import concentrators,” he says.

Meddo was launched in 2018 by Saurabh, Former Foodpanda CEO, and Dr Naveen Nishchal, Co-founder of Cygnus Hospitals, with an aim to organise the ambulatory services sector in India

The startup aims to transform the way healthcare is provided in our country, starting with out-patient care.  In January, the startup raised $3 million in an extended pre-Series A round led by Picus Capital and SRI Capital.

Reducing the burden on hospitals 

The CEO says the startup has received approval for setting up 100-150 beds across the three care centres from Gurugram authorities. The first centre, which has already been launched, has 25 rooms and can handle up to 40-50 patients. Treebo hotel rooms are being equipped with medical facilities to ensure delivery of covid care.

“Meddo’s existing partner doctors will visiting the facilities and take care of the patients. Apart from this, we have already rolled out job offers to about 25 nurses. Among them, eight of the nurses have been deployed at the first centre,” Saurabh says.

[Image Credit: Meddo]

He explains that patients whose oxygen levels have slipped below 88 might need heavy medication, ICU care, or constant monitoring. Those with levels circling around 90 can seek help from the L1 care facilities to prevent their situation from deteriorating further.

Saurabh reveals that the aim of the initiative is to support hospital infrastructure “as much as possible”. To ensure this, the care facilities will be available for free to patients right now; the operations will be funded by Meddo Foundation.

Apart from this, the healthtech startup has also announced its partnership with District Administration Gurugram for their official COVID-19 relief WhatsApp chatbot. With this, Meddo will enable users to connect with over 200 doctors across Delhi-NCR for teleconsultations.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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