[Note: This article is part of The Junction Series. We will be covering the HealthTech sector in detail at The Junction 2017 in Jaipur. Learn more about The Junction here!]

The Indian healthcare market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 16% to $280 Bn at a CAGR of 22.9% by 2020, according to FICCI-KPMG.

The Indian healthcare market, like its global counterparts, is plagued by regulatory burden. The rules are confusing and the system is not at all transparent.

That’s where the role of an entrepreneur comes in. To disrupt the plagued system with technology and innovation – to save lives.

Changing lifestyle, growing disposable income, and higher Internet penetration has turned consumer focus to prevention rather than seeking a cure. To meet the demand, entrepreneurs are coming up with user-friendly, comprehensive, and fully-integrated platforms in the evolving space of health and wellness. Startups like Practo, 1mg, etc. have changed the consumption pattern of users in the field of healthcare.

A major component of the healthcare sector is hardware. Health monitoring gadgets and devices provide real-time information to the user. Here is a list of five startups working in hardware healthtech space.

GOQii

Founded in February 2014 by former Indiagames CEO Vishal Gondal, GOQii is a digital health and fitness subscription service that combines one-on-one mobile personal coaching and fitness tracking technology to help the user shift to a healthier lifestyle and reach fitness goals. The company’s app can integrate with 35 major fitness bands including Jawbone, Fitbit, Garmin, Moov, Misfit, and Sony. Users have to decide on a goal and choose a coach to guide them on the application.

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GOQii is headquartered in California with offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen. Till date, it has raised a total funding of $13.4 Mn.

GOQii connects users’ activity tracker or smartwatch to a professional health and fitness coach of the user’s choice via the GOQii app (available on iOS and Android).

The device tracks steps, distance, active time. It also has an auto sleep detection feature. The smartwatch also acts as a Caller ID, provides SMS & Whatsapp alerts, alarms, and coach notifications. The tracker includes Bluetooth Low Energy, Remote Hi5 and a Vibra Humm Alarm. The tracker is sweat-proof and water-resistant.

The product was built by Vishal Gondal, the founder of IndiaGames Ltd, a global computer games developer and publisher in India. He served as its CEO from 1999 until The Walt Disney Company acquired it in 2011 for $100 Mn. Following the acquisition of IndiaGames, Gondal served as Managing Director of Digital Division of UTV Software Communications Limited (known as Disney UTV) until June of 2013.

Zeolr/RespirON

respironDelhi-based Zeolr is an IoT-based startup founded in 2013, by Roshit Gopinath and Ajay Kumar Saini. The startup is currently working on its first product, codenamed “RespirON”, which is an asthma & COPD management system. The pilot programme launch of RespirON is scheduled for December 2016.

There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms can be controlled with effective asthma treatment and management. RespirON is an asthma inhaler which provides smart features like puff counter, panic button etc. It prompts and reminds a patient to manage their asthma on a daily basis. The application is installed on Windows Phones and connected to the device. The device and smartphone are connected through Bluetooth with each other.

The startup had raised undisclosed funding from IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) in August 2016.

Cooey

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-2-26-44-pmBengaluru-based Cooey, is an end-to-end health monitoring IoT platform that intends to collect (device), store, analyse, and provide insights of vital signs for patients. It connects users with health services and provides personalised services according to their state of health.

Cooey was founded in 2015 by Manu Madhusudanan, an engineering graduate who had earlier worked with Yahoo and Microsoft. It raised $470k (INR 3 Cr) from Subhash Goyal, President, Digital Circuits last year.

The startup is building 3rd Platform for chronic patient health management. 3rd Platform is about engaging patients to a health management system and providing targeted services to them. It provides a three-fold benefit to the users-

  • Cooey 3rd Platform offers smart devices like Bluetooth-enabled BP monitor and Weighing Scale that auto logs the medical data and shares remotely with the doctor. It also has the capability to read data from any self-care devices.
  • The mobile usage data, profile data, health vitals, medicines, and lab reports collected are analysed to provide relevant health tips to improve health management. Partners can use either use the customisable mobile application or Mobile SDK to build their own application. Cooey’s smart autobot Maya helps in voice-based data logging and chats.
  • The pivotal data is also used to create a dynamic profile of the patient according to the current health condition. Furthermore, its custom smart engine uses analysis and a scoring algorithm to derive service recommendations to the patients (recurring medicines, lab support, coaching).

Wrig Nanosystems

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-2-44-53-pmDelhi-based Wrig Nanosystems is a medical device company founded in November 2009. Its flagship product – the TrueHb Hemometer System is intended to be used for the quantitative measurement of haemoglobin, in fresh capillary whole blood samples taken from the forearm, upper arm, hand, thigh, calf, or fingers.

The TrueHb Hemoglobin Monitoring System is intended for use outside the body (in vitro diagnostic use) by healthcare professionals and individuals. The TrueHb Hemometer, can be used to help eradicate anaemia in the country. The company website claims that the portable device has 99% accuracy.

The TrueHb Hemometer System is based on the principle of reflectance photometry. A drop of blood is applied to the strip. It disperses within the hydrophilic mesh. The haemoglobin is extracted from the RBC and, with the help of reagents present in the strip, is converted into a complex compound. The optical reflectance is measured, which is inversely proportional to the concentration of haemoglobin in the blood sample. This corresponds to the total haemoglobin present in the blood.

Ambar Srivastava is the founder and Managing Director at Wrig Nanosystems Pvt. He is responsible for various responsibilities at Wrig, including product development, strategic & financial planning, and managing day-to-day operations.

Before founding Wrig, Ambar has had diverse experience across various industries. He worked extensively in bioelectronics in different assignments and project in different research labs in India and overseas. He is a dual degree (bachelors & masters) graduate in Biochemical Engineering & Biotechnology with a focus on electrochemical immuno-sensing platforms (electrochemical biosensors), from IIT Delhi.

Forus Health

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Forus Health is a healthtech startup founded in 2010, aiming to eradicate avoidable blindness. Over the years it has designed and developed affordable technology solutions to increase access and affordability of eye care.

There are 40 Mn blind people in the world, out of these 15 Mn are in India. The high incidence of blindness in India is due to a combination of several issues, but mostly due to limited access to eye care facilities, the high cost of treatment/surgery and lack of awareness. The objective of Forus Health is to use technology to increase access, bring down the cost of diagnosis and raise awareness (the three As).

Its first product ‘3nethra classic’ is a pre-screening ophthalmology device. It is a portable non-mydriatic fundus camera used for capturing digital images of the posterior (retina) and anterior (cornea) segments of the eye. The device is used for identifying common eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, ARMD, cataract etc. It is also integrated to a cloud-based telemedicine platform which enables remote diagnosis. As per the company website, it has reached over 1,100 installations across 25 countries makes it one of the most versatile screening platforms.

Founded by K.Chandrasekhar and Shyam Vasudev, the startup has raised $13.4 Mn funding till date. It is backed by marquee investors such as Accel Partners, IDG Ventures, and Asian Health Fund.

P.S. We will be covering the HealthTech sector in detail during our first ever flagship conference, “The Junction” being held in Jaipur in January 2017. Stay tuned for more! 

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