The Indian Healthcare system has made significant strides over the past few decades, demonstrating a dedication to make healthcare available to all its citizens. Educating the Indian public on the topic of healthcare is the first step to building a better healthcare system and more awareness but still it is far behind than the health care of other countries matching the development, GDP & population level of India.
The problems India facing today in healthcare are:
1) Lack of infrastructure : Lack of continuous water supply in many PHC’S, some government building is being used as a primary health center at some places etc.
2)Inefficient workforce : we need to introduce an efficient check on working of medical officers and the auxillary staff.
3)Awareness of the people : A lot of primary health problems can be solved if we provide effective training and the knowledge to the local population.
4) There is only one doctor per 1,700 citizens in India.
If shortage of doctors is one problem, their unwillingness to work in the rural hinterland is another. Generic medicines are highly underrated in country where doctors sometime prescribe expensive medicine.
Today we are presenting an exclusive interview of a healthcare startup with the name Arogyam Medisoft Solution. This startup has done a revolutionary work in the field of rural healthcare system and has set a milestone in the entire healthcare system in India.
Lets see what the founder has to say about their venture and how their journey had been so far.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
- Name of the venture: Arogyam Medisoft Solution
- Our Mission: To Enable provisioning of quality & affordable healthcare by adopting the benefits of advancement of technology (medical, telecommunication and information)
Arogyam means ‘health’ or ‘cure’ in different Indian languages. We have kept an Indian name for our venture, keeping our mission in mind.
2.Who is your target Audience / clients?
- Primary customers
- Healthcare providers
- Homecare providers
- Primary health units, community hospitals, medical camps
- Healthcare providers
- Secondary customers
- Industrial park, Forest outreach camps, Tea plantation, Colliery
- Public health programs
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
- Founded: June, 2016
- Location: Kolkata, India
- Incubated at Bio-incubator IIT Kanpur
- Geographical target area: India (Currently)
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Our study reveals that one of the key challenges is that significant cost of primary healthcare to a patient is related to the travel to distant facility. 30 percent of the rural population still needs to travel 20 km to access healthcare, incurring additional expense of Rs 450. In Urban India, 40 percent of elderly spends Rs 75000 for avoidable hospitalization because of lack of proactive healthcare.
Our solution is to bring care to the doorsteps using this platform and devices in homecare, healthcare & public health.
– by bringing the physicians and the patients from different places together
– by making the required diagnostics available to the care giver, while monitoring progress of the treatment.
Our product is a remote health monitoring platform and a device for evaluation of blood & urine and a remote health monitoring platform, connected to it. The remote health platform is accessed through tablet based technology and includes artificial intelligence features for disease prediction. The device typically weighs 200 gm. In its full capability, it shall be able to perform 35 blood & 15 urine tests. The device is designed based on chromatography, microfluidics, machine learning, image processing and IOT technologies. It has micro-channels, to which a test strip, exposed to small amount of blood and urine, is inserted.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
After graduating from IIT, I spent around 12 years in the US and New Zealand to develop solution for life sciences and healthcare industry. I came back to India in 2006 and continued on my corporate work. Along with that I spent time in social work for development of healthcare and education facility in rural India. Through this association I learnt that building these facilities are important but these along can’t move the needle significantly. We wanted to create a multiplier effect. That was the starting point of our venture.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Clinical labs with the standard equipment is currently providing the necessary diagnostic support. This segment will continue to perform. Our proposed solution works complimentary to the current segment and address the white space.
Point of care devices are being developed and coming to the market. However, currently these devices do not have capabilities to connect to digital health platforms along with real time transmission of data and predictive modeling ability.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s
Co-founders were with me while doing the social work. Common vision about touching people’s live is our binding force.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
We want to have right mix of skill in our team. As founding team is from engineering background, we have inducted people with medical background, pharmacy background and sales & marketing background.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Summary of expansion plan is as follows:
|S No||Time Frame|
|1||Year 2||Acquire 10 customers, sale 1000 device, serve 5,00,000 people and generate revenue of 10 Cr Indian Rupees|
|2||Year 5||Acquire 50 customers, sale 5000 device, serve 25,00,000 people and generate revenue of 50 Cr Indian Rupees|
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
We want to run a world class medical device company with a focus on indigenous product development from India serving 10 million people, generating revenue of 150 Cr Indian Rupees.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Summary of goals is as follows:
|S No||Time Frame|
|1||Month 1||Complete incubation @ Bio-incubator in IIT Kanpur|
|2||Month 2||Complete finalization of manufacturing partners|
|3||Month 6||Complete development of MVP|
|4||Month 12||Complete regulatory compliance & product marking |
Ready for initial launch
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We are currently bootstrapped and raised funds from friends and families. We have plans for fund raising in near future.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Getting access to a well equipped laboratory was our biggest problem during the starting days. We are grateful to receive support from Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine in our initial days. We are recently selected by SIIC, IIT incubator for bio-incubation. This would certainly help us in increasing accuracy of the device, we are making.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Even though we have conducted our market study and had understanding of social need, validation of our idea and understanding the market pulse is found to be the most challenging part. We are continuously working on that.
Our solution received award as the best solution in the area of Elderly Care in Bengalathon 2018, a hackathon jointly conducted by Govt of West Bengal and Nasscom. Our solution has been selected among Top 22 solution in area of platform technology for reducing disease burden (communicable and non communicable) by BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India. We were also shortlisted among Top 354 in Power of Idea challenge, conducted by Economic Times & IIM Ahmadabad. Interacting with the industry leaders, academician and policy makers had provided us the initial validation of idea.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
I am married.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Listening to music, reading and travelling. Most of my non-work time is spent with my family and spending time in rural areas.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
Fish curry and rice is my favourite food. Anyway it is a staple diet for the Bengalis. Hill stations and seas are my favourite holiday destination.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Following your own passion
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Apply what I learnt in IIT and build enterprise on science.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
It is very difficult to explain. Building an enterprise over science is not very well known concept. My family has been very supportive in this change over. I am also thankful to my friends, who have given me encouragement.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Focus, focus and focus.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
Education: B.Tech (Energy Engineering), IIT Kharagpur, 1994
Family background: Born in family of freedom fighter, my father was a graduate in science and served Govt of India. My mother completed her degree in master in arts and is
home maker. I am married to a Maharastrian. My wife completed her master in computer science and work with me in developing innovative instrument. She also teaches French language in school in Kolkata. Our daughter will go to class 6.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains?
The key features of the platform and the devices are
The ability of provide real time monitoring (transmitting data in real time) and disease prediction (cognitive & predictive modelling) feature.
Easy to set up in remote area
On smart computing device
Low internet bandwidth requirement
Ease of use
Self testing device
Requiring less skill
Small quantity of blood & urine
Ability to provide immediate results at point of care.
These features make the solution to respond with a faster turnaround time, improved QA and enabling remote monitoring and assessment. Aided with analytics and predictive modelling on digital health platform, the solution delivers superior health outcome.
25.What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
There has been improvement in recent years in ease of doing business. Biggest threat to the success of small business & start ups today continue to be lack of access to market and maintaining cash flow.
26.Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Success is a journey. While taking this journey, many challenges shall be faced. Quality of this journey is enhanced, when it touches people’s life. We are happy that we are initiated in this process.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
|Contact Person||Partha Chakraborty |
|Partha Chakraborty, Chief Scientific Officer – Prod Development, Regulatory |
|Rajiv Mondal, CEO – Finance & Infrastructure |
|Saikat Ghosh, Director – IoT Platform |
|Tanuja Chakraborty, Inventor & Product Designer |
|Dr. Sumalya Sen, Field Testing & Clinical Evaluation |
|Dr. Balaram Ghosh, Field Testing & Clinical Evaluation |
|Dr. Santanu K Tripathi, MD, DM |