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Improving Patient Treatment Management With Technology Using tech to fight chronic diseases with easier guidance.

By Kunal Kishore Dhawan

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A chronic disease is a long lasting condition that can be managed or controlled but not entirely cured. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in India. Although chronic diseases are somewhat preventable, more often than not, managing them is a challenge. Errors in medication, regular availability of good quality medicines, adherence and compliance to treatment regimens, and regular follow-ups with medical practitioners are just some of the challenges faced by patients.

Medication adherence forms a big component of effective management of disease conditions. Studies suggest that for 50% of the cases where regimens are not being adhered to, simple forgetfulness of the patients plays an important part. Data from the US suggest that around 40% of all patients do not adhere to prescriptions, and 10-25% of all hospitalizations are a direct or indirect result of failing to keep up medication adherence. When these are extrapolated to an Indian context (even if we take into account demographic differences), it could translate to some huge numbers, and threaten to pose a high burden on the healthcare system of the country.

Latest government statistics show that there is 1 doctor for every 1,700 people in India. With the number of chronic disease patients reaching 200 million, according to some estimates, consisting around 70 million diabetics, over 50 million hypertensives, 20 million asthmatics, 1 million new cancer cases and 2.5 million new tuberculosis cases every year, it is safe to say that doctors in India are highly overworked. More importantly, it poses a huge question over the ability of doctors or medical providers, to effectively monitor and treat their patients. Systems that allow for tracking and monitoring of patients so as to aid in effective health decision making, is something that our country's health ecosystem more desperately needs, in addition to basic facilities such as hospital beds, nursing staff, good quality and genuine medicines, point of care facilities etc.

With a firm eye on the need for such systems in the market, there are health tech companies operating in this space. One such company is Navia Life Care, armed with a mobile app, this startup aims to increase medication adherence and improve treatment management. It has a dedicated web portal that allows for real-time monitoring of their prescribed patients. Additionally, a virtual caregiver feature allows for loved ones to monitor the treatments of their kin, and improve medical outcomes.

Kunal Kishore Dhawan

Chief Executive Officer, Navia Life Care

Kunal Kishore Dhawan is the CEO of Navia Life Care, a healthcare startup based in Delhi. He is a former strategy and business development professional at Fresenius Kabi, a global pharmaceutical company, and with prior stints at PwC, GSK, Abbott Vascular and US-based VC firm Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. Kunal is a Masters graduate from Carnegie Mellon University, and is responsible for strategy, business development and operations of the company, along with providing the medical perspective to the venture.
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