These Entrepreneurs Help You Fight a Disease Even Before You Know It
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Erratic work timings, no time for exercise or a bad lifestyle, there are many reasons why we fall ill. With the changing work culture and increased time spent in offices, it’s become even more difficult for most to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This leads to untimely or unexpected health issues.
But what if you could keep a track of your health according to your lifestyle and family history and take preventive actions, without necessarily having to visit a doctor? While it seems like a difficult, the folks at healthi have made it a possibly easier task.
Founded by Krishna Ulagaratchagan and Rekuram Varadharaj (RV), the start-up helps its users to get a health check-up done at home and then automatically uploads the reports, subsequently following it up with an analysis of their health conditions. The growing digital preventive health startup, empowers its users to make smart choices about their health so that they can avoid chronic illnesses.
For Krishna, this is his fourth start-up, with a background of technology and healthcare. He also worked for emerging markets in an American healthcare company. His work made him travel for almost 200 days in a year, which also took a toll on his health. When he got a health check-up done, the reports didn’t make sense to him and neither did a quick consultation with the doctor. “I left the hospital no smarter than I came,” he said.
When Krishna spoke to his uncle over the phone, he was able to understand the reports better as his uncle also understood his family history. So, three things worked in giving him an analysis – time, technology and family history. “He painted a picture of where I was and where I was headed with my health. It was then that the idea struck me to have a health analytics start-up that will help people take preventive measures,” he said.
He set out to do a market research and understood that this was a problem faced by many. Thus, healthi was born. His co-founder RV too was facing similar problems and came on board.
How It Works
With a health check-up, it’s not always that the future risks are spoken about. They incorporated all the various problems that come with a health check-up and made it easier for their users. Initially they tried to build a software solution but realised it was cumbersome for their users. “More than 60 per cent of users would get health check-ups where they would eventually end up doing more tests than required. Through our platform, they buy a health check-up or avail the free one offered by their employer and get it done or have it done at their doorstep,” said Krishna.
After that, a link with the analysis of your results is sent to you. Once the patient gives additional information, the experts at the back end interpret the test results and help the patient understand what risks lie in their path. “We have a team of experts that specialises in population, health and biostatistics. The predictive analytic model tells you how healthy you are,” he said.
Market and Investor Acceptance
With their pilot project in 2014 and initial launch in Bengaluru, today they see users from across 180 cities in India. healthi has rapidly scaled up to work with 120+ corporates and insurance groups to roll out preventive health programs that are engaging, insightful and impactful for organizations, employees and their family members.
They were bootstrapped until recently when they raised US $3.1 million from investors led by Montane Ventures. “We wanted to work with investors in healthcare. Montane was also aligned on the opportunity of building a health analytic start-up or using tech to improve health of our customers – to understand their journey and create a map,” said Krishna.
While they have started receiving enquiries from across the border, they are taking cautious steps to step into other markets in Asia.