This article is part of Inc42’s Startup Watchlist, an annual series in which we list the top startups to watch out for in 2019 from industries such as agritech, AI, logistics, healthtech, and more. Explore all the stories from the ‘Startup Watchlist’ series here.
With a 1.3 Bn population, healthcare in India is expected to be a $372 Bn industry by 2022 and opens a largely untapped opportunity for the healthtech startups globally. The low allopathy doctor to patient ratio (1: 1596), access to smartphonesthe and internet are further fuelling the growth of Indian healthtech startups.
According to Inc42 DataLabs estimate, there are at present more than 4,800 active healthtech startups in India. From doctor consultation to lab diagnosis, and from preventive healthcare to tech-equipped medical devices to healthcare services, healthtech startups have touch-based several critical segments such as diabetes, heart attack, and even cancer.
In 2018, there was an overall increase of 45.06% in the total investment made in healthtech startups. The number of investment deals witnessed a 40.51% decline from 116 in 2017 to 69 deals in 2018. In all, the healthtech startups raised $504 Mn, as per Inc42 DataLabs’ funding report 2018.
Abhinav Shashank, cofounder and CEO of healthtech startup Innovaccer, shared with Inc42 recently, “We know there’s only one way to defeat the challenge of complicated healthcare, and that’s by aggregating, analysing, and activating the data around us.”
Data is certainly the key here, and either directly or indirectly, healthtech startups are using this data to bring forward the required technology to bridge the existing gaps in the sector.
Inc42 has curated a list of some of the top healthtech startups in India that are making their mark in the lives of the people from all segments, including urban and rural markets. Here it goes!
Healthtech Startups To Look Out For In 2019
In its vision to make health and fitness easy, Cure.fit intelligently integrates physical fitness (Cult.fit), mental fitness (Mind.fit), healthy food (Eat.fit) and recently launched a primary care (Care.fit) vertical, which includes doctor consultation, health checkup and managed care plans on a single platform.
While Cult.fit focuses on improving individual’s physique strength and fitness; Eat.fit focuses on suggesting healthy and nutritive food diet; and Mind.fit for mental wellbeing. The startup’s physical fitness vertical, Cult.Fit, has over 40 fitness centres primarily based on functional workouts and group exercises. The business is full stack and offers both digital (DIY content on App) and offline fulfilment.
The company raised a $120 Mn round in July 2018 to strengthen its technology platform by offering AI- driven health planning, create its own fitness devices, and also to explore opportunities to expand its services to newer markets, such as Southwest Asia, by mid-2019.
The startup has so far made five acquisitions which include mental healthcare platform Seraniti, Mumbai and NCR-based fitness centre chain Fitness First India Pvt. Ltd, Bengaluru-based yoga studio a1000yoga, online food delivery startup Kristys Kitchen and Bengaluru-based fitness centre chain The Tribe Fitness Club. Also, it’s a soonicorn, according to Inc42’s The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report 2018.
DocsApp investors believe that DocsApp has dramatically altered the patient and doctor experience in more ways than one — the platform on-boards only specialist doctors who are then connected with patients in under 30 minutes. The platform goes a step further in understanding the patient’s condition and, accordingly, connecting with the right doctor.
The app offers tech-enabled multi-language service across India with expertise in more than 18 areas such as paediatrics, gynaecology, psychology, cardiology, neurology, oncology, dermatology, sexology, psychiatry, general medicine and weight management, among other domains.
As claimed by the company, in 2018, it reached 5 Mn installs on Google play store and recorded a 150% year on year growth in revenue. Also, it claims to have a 65% user base from rural parts of the country. It is currently offering more than 100K consultations every month. Going ahead, DocsApp is looking to launch its interface in other regional languages. It also plans to make provisions which will enable the users to take unlimited specialist doctor consultations for his/her family as well as to introduce video doctor consultations.
The objective of Forus Health is to use technology to increase access, bring down the cost of diagnosis (affordability) and raise awareness (the three As) for eradicating the preventable blindness, which is a global healthcare challenge.
Forus Health’s first product, 3nethra Classic, uses compact and portable non-mydriatic fundus camera for capturing digital images of the posterior (retina) and anterior (cornea) for identifying common eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, ARMD, cataract, etc. The images are then integrated into a cloud-based telemedicine platform which enables remote diagnosis.
The startup claims that its solution is available across 26 countries and so far 3nethra has been installed in 2,200 places.
Healthplix’s cofounder and CEO Sandeep Gudibanda believes that the current crop of health problems can be better managed by providing digital tools to assist doctors at the time of performing treatments. HealthPlix’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software for hospitals and clinics integrated with AI-driven Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system to assist doctors while performing treatment on various diseases.
The software also allows doctors to give prescriptions in more than 18 languages which significantly helps in attaining better patient compliance to treatment.
As of July 2018, the company claimed that its HealthPlix EMR technology was used to treat more than 1.2 Mn unique patients in 150 cities across 20 states. Around 60% of their users are based in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns in India.
Built on its integration and interoperability platform, Innovaccer helps providers with artificial intelligence applications for care management, physician burnout reduction, and patient engagement.
Some of their clients include Hartford Healthcare, University of California, Mercy ACO Iowa, UniNet Healthcare Network of Nebraska, Inmediata Health Integrated Solutions of Puerto Rico, StratiFi Health Network.
As of January 2019, the company claims that customers have improved outcomes and created more than $400 Mn in cost savings so far.
myUpchar provides health-related content in 13 different Indian vernacular languages and also helps the patient connect with the doctor. It is currently working to strengthen its voice, video, and virtual reality interfaces and is also working on the development of newer interfaces.
As of January 2019, the startup claims to have served over one crore users. Of which, 50% of its users preferred Hindi content. myUpchar platform has serves 35 Mn pages of health-related content. More than 60% of its users are women between the age group of 21 and 34 who seek health-and wellness-related information.
Post raising $40 Mn funding round in July 2018, Mitra Biotech has been busy in commercial expansion. Last heard the company was working on insurance coverage of CANscript for broad cancer indications for multiple classes of drugs in advanced settings.
It’s CANscript is a unique diagnostic platform that delivers treatment response predictions. The platform utilises a clinical data-trained algorithm to deliver a response prediction per treatment tested with a high correlation to clinical outcome.
Founded in 2010, Mitra’s head office is based in Greater Boston, US, and maintains a significant research and laboratory presence in Bengaluru.
NIRAMAI (Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence) has developed an innovative early breast cancer detection technology that is radiation free and non-invasive. The solution uses thermal imaging + cloud-hosted analytics and is portable, accurate, privacy-aware and the technology can be used to perform treatment for women of all ages.
The SaaS-driven solution uses big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning for reliable, early and accurate breast cancer screening. Also, the existing technique for breast cancer detection – mammography is only suitable for women above 40 years of age.
They have obtained six patents from the US and clinical trials reports, which have been published in various scientific publications. Niramai was among the four startups selected for Google Launchpad Global Accelerator program in 2018.
Niramai breast health solution is now available in 19 hospitals and diagnostic centres across nine Indian cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Mysore, Hyderabad, Dehradun, Chennai and Delhi. As of February 2019, over 5K women have undergone Niramai breast cancer screening test, the company claims. This year, Niramai is looking at extending their innovative application in areas other than breast cancer.
PlasmaGen bridges the gap that exists between the availability of plasma products and the requisite of its therapies in Asia. As claimed by the company, Asia seems to hold about 60% of the world’s population, but in terms of global plasma fractionation capacity, it merely accounts for about 20%.
It sells a wide range of these plasma protein products including Albumin, IVIG, Factor VIII, Anti-D Immunoglobulin and Rabies Immunoglobulin to private hospitals and governments in both India and other SAARC nations.
As of August 2017, when it announced its last fundraise of $25 Mn, the company had a presence across a network of more than 200 hospitals and 5K clinicians and was looking to touch a turnover of $100 Mn-$200 Mn by 2022. It also works closely with the government on various plasma policies and haemovigilance, which can be extended and leveraged for the growth of this industry in the entire SAARC region.
SigTuple is a medical technology startup working in the space of disease diagnosis, offering a cloud-based, machine learning and AI-driven solution. The startup has built AI100 — a smart device which can enable digitisation of different biological samples like blood, urine and semen — to help doctors to obtain an accurate diagnosis result even in the rural areas. As of June 2018, three AI100 devices have been deployed commercially.
Another core product offered by the startup is Manthana, an AI-powered continuous learning platform. It allows SigTuple to ingest visual medical data from different devices and to train, validate, and execute AI and ML-powered models to classify various objects of interest, detect diseases, and compute the metrics for reporting.
SigTuple’s solutions help labs and hospitals scale by implementing a hub-and-spoke model, which is a way to deliver products in the most cost-effective and timely means possible.
While these are the Indian healthtech startups to watch out for in 2019, stay tuned for the next edition of Inc42’s Startup Watchlist, in which we will be featuring Indian Edtech startups that will make it big in 2019. Click here for more stories!
[The startups mentioned above have been selected on the basis of editorial discretion and our interactions with the startups and other industry veterans.]