In a bid to go contactless, the healthcare and wellness ecosystem is leveraging technology in countless ways. The pandemic has ensured that healthcare has climbed up a level when it comes to caring for oneself.
Not only are patients with chronic and critical diseases looking to tech platforms, but healthy citizens are also adopting apps and services to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
With healthtech and wellness catching the eye of investors as well as the governments, funds aren’t a problem either. For example, the Government of India has announced a plan to launch an incentive scheme to help 75 startups in sectors such as telemedicine, digital health, and AI, reported ET. The scheme is to be launched by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
Technology is advancing at a break-neck speed in healthcare and medical areas. For example, an academic research team from Singapore’s National University Health System (NUHS) is looking into digitally assisting neurosurgeons with enhanced and augmented 3D view of a patient’s brain with mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens 2.
Not only are patients with chronic and critical diseases looking to tech platforms, but healthy citizens are also adopting apps and services to sustain a healthy lifestyle
While such successes sounded far-fetched to a lay person in pre-pandemic times, today, in a post-pandemic era, technology has reached far more people than we expect.
Here is what the healthtech ecosystem is brewing up.
Chronic Patient Self-Management
With a meagre 3.71 lakh specialist doctors out of 12.5 lakh allopathy doctors, Indian cities can use a tech platform to help patients manage and treat their conditions with minimal medical intervention.
With the need for chronic care reversal or management for patients in need of continuous engagement and monitoring, digital solutions that can be delivered at home are becoming popular.
A digital therapeutics company, Breathe Well-being, is helping people prevent, manage, and reverse Type 2 diabetes. Its flagship Online Diabetes Reversal Program boasts of impressive outcomes with 95%+ patients showing HbA1c level reduction of more than 10% and 90%+ patients with completely stopped or reduced medications.
The startup, which recently raised US$5.5 million in Series A led by Accel, has successfully published a clinical study with ADA (American Diabetes Association) on more than 180 patients.
Today, in a post-pandemic era, technology has reached far more people than we expect
Confident in its abilities, the startup offers ‘no outcome, no pay,’ wherein diabetic patients get a refund unless they see a significant reduction in the HbA1c levels.
In the long-term, the startup wants to extend its digital therapeutic offerings to chronic conditions like, hypertension, PCOS, gut disorders, etc.
Customised Healthcare Discovery
Tech is also aiding in healthcare discovery. DCode Care, which recently raised a seed round co-led by Inflection Point Ventures and PointOne Capital, helps critical illness patients discover the right treatment and healthcare providers based on their condition and budget. Currently servicing cancer patients, the startup uses proprietary technology to bring transparency in medical treatments.
Ankur Mittal, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Half the battle is won when you have found the right doctor and the right treatment at the right budget for serious diseases. We believe that DCode Care’s platform has been thoughtfully designed to empower patients with the right information and guidance. The business model has a positive social cause with strong business metrics underneath.”
Half the battle is won when you have found the right doctor and the right treatment at the right budget for serious diseases
The Bengaluru based startup empowers patients with a Proprietary Hospital Rating System that analyses the availability of over 200 clinical resources needed to treat cancer as per international guidelines. These ratings help patients identify the best equipped hospitals to treat their type and stage of cancer.
Its Doctor Recommendation Engine allows patients to identify the right oncologist based on their clinical and financial condition. Their patient engagement app ‘Canswer’ guides each patient on the various aspects of their treatment as they progress with the prescribed treatment. The startup has built an ecosystem of clinical partners, including cancer diagnostic labs, day-care chemotherapy clinics, and hospitals.
Ayurveda & Smartphones
Ayurveda as well as its allied industries like yoga, is on the cusp of high growth and change. According to Market Watch data, the global Ayurvedic market size is expected to cross US$ 14,000 million by 2027, from US$ 6431.3 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 12% during 2021-2027. According to a PWC report, about 77% of Indian households have used at least one Ayurvedic product every year.
It’s no wonder that startups in this arena are beginning to prosper then. AyuRythm, an Ayurvedic wellness platform, which recently received undisclosed funds from SucSEED Indovation, saw an activation rate increase by 60% during the second wave of the pandemic. Their install base reached around 100,000.
Ayurveda as well as its allied industries like yoga, is on the cusp of high growth and change
The startup is a hyper-personalised digital companion for holistic wellness, with a blend of modern technologies with ancient science of health assessment and care. Leveraging a simple 30 second pulse analysis (nadi pariksha) by placing fingers on smartphone cameras, AyuRythm aims to redefine holistic wellness via personalized recommendations based on an individual’s mind, body, and metabolic imbalance.
Changing the Cultural View of Wellness with Tech
While such companies are appealing to India’s ancient sciences, others are changing the cultural view of fitness. For example, Hyderabad-based OneFitPlus has launched a multiplayer fitness gaming version within their Fitwarz app, which combines the fun of multiplayer video gaming with the intensity of serious workout.
The connected game can be played on a treadmill and spin bike from RPM Fitness and Fitkit. The platform motivates users to exercise by offering a competitive real-time multiplayer experience and engages them through its gamified approach.
Customers can run and cycle with thousands of other riders or invite their friends and join group rides and races.
Doubtless, healthcare and wellness are taking to tech like never before. With the help of various technologies, healthcare and medicine are reaching out to many more people. On the other hand, the wellness sector is riding the tech wave to connect to more people.
Read more: Tech Vs. COVID-19: Know your antivirals