This healthcare startup provides digital therapeutics to patients with chronic disease
India is on the cusp of a change in disease patterns.
At present, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or chronic diseases — which accounted for a mere 30 percent of the total disease burden in 1990 — now account for over 55 percent.
For Abhishek Shah and Prayat Shah, this situation was not uncommon. They had seen their parents deal with chronic conditions for years, which gave them the impetus to start up in the healthcare sector.
Abhishek Shah says, “Doctors, in general, can spend only about 15 minutes per session advising a patient. Patients are expected to take care of themselves for the rest of the time between appointments. This is when most of the damage happens.”
This is where digital healthcare solution,, steps in to drive multiple patient touchpoints via real-time channels for patients to make informed choices and build better habits, leading to a better quality of life.
Abhishek Shah, Co-Founder and CEO
Digital therapeutics (DTx) startup Wellthy Therapeutics was established in 2015 by Abhishek (CEO) and Prayat (VP - Strategy and Partnerships), and Aradh Pillai (VP - Design and Engineering).
Operating across Asia and now expanding in Europe, Wellthy Therapeutics focuses on how better patient outcomes can be translated into better economic outcomes for all stakeholders by lowering the rate of hospitalisation, fewer ER visits, and more productivity.
What it solves?
The startup aims to evolve from the traditional method of episodic care — patient interactions only during physician visits or hospital stays — to continual care.
This can be achieved by enabling condition-specific, clinically-validated digital infrastructure, which, in turn, allows doctors to do more for the patient.
The startup uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human-led health coaching to enable individuals to prevent, manage, and reverse their chronic health conditions through real-time feedback.
Headquartered in Mumbai with an arm in Bengaluru, Wellthy Therapeutics, since its inception, has conducted over 13 studies to validate its outcomes.
It has enrolled more than 7,000 participants, collected over a million behavioural data points, and entered into multiple strategic partnerships with over seven healthcare enterprises to transform the preventive care landscape in emerging markets.
Abhishek says, “Our digital proprietary platform, Wellthy CARE™, prevents, manages, and treats complex clinical conditions by working closely with pharmaceutical companies, medical devices, life insurers, health insurers, and healthcare systems to achieve real-world clinical and business outcomes across multiple therapeutic areas.”
The startup’s individual digital therapeutic solutions portfolio covers Type-II diabetes, cardiology, respiratory, and select rare diseases. It showcases the real-world evidence from these conditions in over 20 clinical publications.
runs a B2BB2C model where the startup works with life science and med-tech companies to develop DTx solutions either standalone or in combination with a drug or software-as-medical-device (SaMD).
The model operates on the license, royalties, and milestone payment on the digital therapeutics development model.
With operations in India and Singapore, these solutions are available in four regional languages, helping about 25,000-plus patients in over 600 cities worldwide.
Started with a lean team of five members, over the years, the team has multiplied 20X, with a current headcount of over 100 employees.
In 2019, Wellthy Therapeutics was recognised by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a global thought leader in diabetes care.
Market size and traction
As per Brandessence Market Research, the digital therapeutics market is valued at $1.99 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $14.54 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 22 percent over the forecast period.
This growth will be driven by the technological advancement in the medical sector and the increasing demand for digital healthcare facilities, the report said.
“As commercialisation of digital therapeutics starts taking shape, DTx will become an integral piece of all healthcare systems in the future, while episodic care will phase out,” Abhishek says.
In 2020, the startup became a part of Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA).
Wellthy Therapeutics competes with the likes of Click Therapeutics, Pear Therapeutics, Zyla Health, Alex Therapeutics, Sidekickhealth, SmartPatient.EU, BrightInsight, Welldoc, Voluntis, and Livongo Health.
YS Design Team
Funding and plans
“Taking our cues and learnings from 2020, Wellthy Therapeutics is building its path for 2021. Besides diabetes, heart failure, etc., Wellthy Therapeutics is also expanding further into women’s health and select rare diseases,” Abhishek says.
According to Abhishek, post-COVID-19, healthcare is digitising at an enormous pace, and DTx interventions are going to be significant drivers of this growth phase.
While regulatory and reimbursement policies are still evolving, government and global regulatory bodies are working towards setting standards for clinical trials and the efficacy of DTx solutions.
At present, Wellthy Therapeutics is focusing on making a flexible platform and building deeper capabilities on interoperability, scaling DTx solutions across geographies and languages, and reducing its go-to-market time for its partners.
“We have been and will continue to invest in global compliances to minimise regulatory hurdles for our life science/biopharma partners in Europe, and will add more therapies to our portfolio,” Abhishek says.
Wellthy Therapeutics has received $8,500,000 from various investors, including Cipla, Family Office of Manipal Hospitals + Manipal Cigna founder, Saama Capital, Beenext Ventures, GrowX Ventures, and Bayer Pharma AG.
In April 2020, the startup raised a pre-Series A round of $4 million led by Saama Capital. As part of the deal, Suresh Shanmugham, Managing Partner at Saama Capital, joined Wellthy Therapeutics’ Board.