7 Healthtech Startups Helping To Fight Against COVID-19
On World Health Day, we look at healthtech startups which rose to the occasion of the country's struggle against the pandemic
Needless to say, the ongoing pandemic has exposed the wide gaps underlying the healthcare sector over decades. Higher case loads, low availability of beds, lack of ventilators and rising number of death cases related to COVID-19 could only make one think that though humans have advanced in leaps and bounds, the healthcare sector continues to remain fragmented.
However, during this onerous period, healthcare startups have come forward and lent an arm to the already stressed healthcare sector. From digitizing patient records, to connecting doctors with patients over the Internet, to building medical devices that can help to detect or treat COVID-19, healthtech startups have come a long way.
On this World Health Day, we look at 7 Indian healthtech startups putting up a fight against COVID-19 and helping the stressed healthcare sector.
NIRAMAI, a Bengaluru based AI-powered startup known for providing breast cancer solutions for hospitals and diagnostic centres amidst the pandemic has developed a device that can automatically detect fever and COVID19 respiratory symptoms. It is aimed towards enabling automated screening of groups of people to detect likely COVID19 infected people by checking for fever plus associated respiratory diseases. This solution uses NIRAMAI's AI solution called Thermalytix. The above solution can be monitored automatically by a simply skilled health-worker, thus reducing the pressure on clinical testing at public places.
Mumbai-based healthtech startup, Qure.ai, has emerged as one of the major Indian healthcare startups assisting the country's health sector. The startup which had developed a screening solution for tuberculosis has repurposed the technology to detect COVID-19 among patients. The startup later offered an additional solution for remote patient management and disease monitoring purposes. Both solutions are now available on a monthly subscription basis.
Founded by Prashant Warier and Pooja Rao in 2016, the startup has also won numerous awards for its innovation including Nasscom AI game changer award in 2018.
Founded in 2017 by Harshit Rathore and Nikhil Kurele, Nocca Robotics, an IIT Kanpur incubated startup in the backdrop of the global crisis, decided to develop life-saving ventilators. When the pandemic struck the entire country, and the number of cases were on the rise, severe patients were put on ventilators. However in a quick period of time, it was found that ventilators in the country were over burdened and people were dying due to unavailability of them. These made the duo with their 20 member team who had never seen a ventilator before build one. After successfully manufacturing low cost ventilators, the startup received certification from HLL and more importantly started receiving orders. The company back in July was able to produce 40 ventilators a day.
Apart from monitoring and detecting COVID-19 virus among patients, Indian healthtech startups have excelled in bringing doctors consultancy to patients' homes
Founded by Satish Kannan and Enbasekar D., in 2000, MediBuddy provided doctor consultation to its lakhs of users. The startup which acquired DocsApp and raised a Series B round in the middle of the pandemic claims to have helped more than 5 million corporate employees make informed healthcare decisions. According to the company around 3 crore Indians have used its platform to access specialist doctors on video, order medicines and book home collection of lab samples. The startup also boasts of being chosen as digital healthcare partner by multiple Fortune 500 companies.
When it comes to telemedicine, Delhi-NCR based Lybrate, a health and wellness startup has to be talked about. Started in 2014 as online doctor consultation platform, Lybrate subsequently made a foray into health e-commerce space to help users stay fit and healthy.
For doctors, the platform allows healthcare professionals to consult users remotely and multiply their presence, as well as network with their peer group on GoodMD.
Lybrate during the first three months of the pandemic has seen a 180 per cent rise in online consultations on the platform. The startup is backed by Tiger Global, Nexus Venture Partners, and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata.
myUpchar, a health start-up, co-founded by Rajat Garg and Dr Manuj Garg is currently serving over five crore people every month. According to the company, every month around one million visitors seek teleconsultations and other medical services from the platform.
The startup apart from providing doctor's consultancy also allows its users to purchase medicine directly from its platform. The startup has reported that post the lockdown, its telecommunication business has risen by 25 per cent, with 90 percent of telecommunication requests coming from Tier III and beyond.
The platform also provides educational content to make users aware of the latest happening about any particular disease in the world. The startup boasts of providing high quality healthcare content in Indian languages.
Bengaluru-based Simbo.ai, is a healthcare AI company working on advanced technology based on Neuro-Symbolic AI. Simbo is based on BISLU (Brain Inspired Spoken Language Understanding) architecture which understands a human like a human. Simbo's explainable AI enables it to explain its decisions to the Doctor using plain facts and reasoning.
The startup founded by Baljit Singh and Praveen Prakash recently announced the launch of SimboAlpha - its flagship Voice-Enabled API Platform for the Healthcare sector. SimboAlpha, is cloud-based API technology platform, which allows Electronic Medical Record providers, Health App providers and Hospital chains to add smart voice-based EMR for its doctors.
Through its technology, the startup is preventing spread of the contagious virus by enabling contact-less prescription.
"Maintaining Electronic Medical Records/ electronic Health records and prescription digitization is the need of the hour.Most of the IT systems in leading hospitals are primarily for billing and not for Electronic Medical Records/ Electronic Health records in a real sense. While some hospitals have implemented EHRs, the doctors there need to physically type the EHR records manually.Typing tends to become a laborious process especially when the doctor has to type more than 25-30 Electronic Medical Records per day. This leads to doctor burnout also hinders their productivity," Baljit Singh, founder and CEO of Simbo.ai said.
The startup has till now collaborated with 6 EMR ( Electronic Medical Record), HIS ( Health Care Information System) companies and are working in 17 hospitals as of now.