Priced at just Rs 650, it aids early detection of breast lumps and lesions with simple, safe, pain-free and certified digital breast screening that can be done even at one’s home.
At a Glance
Founder: Carman Kobza, David Da Silva and Vinod Raju
Year it was founded: 2015
Where it is based: Bengaluru
The problem it solves: Offers diagnosis for early detection of breast lumps and lesions
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
When 32-year-old Anusha Dona from Bengaluru was fighting stage 4 breast cancer, the prognosis was not good. Many doctors refused the case as impossible, many close to her also had a hard time knowing what to do or how to support her.
Even after a 10cm lump was removed from Anusha’s right breast, the outlook was not positive.
Eight weeks later, in September 2017, after a long battle, Anusha was pronounced cancer-free.
After this experience, she wanted to work towards breast cancer awareness and to take this forward, she joined MyCliniCare.
“I do not want others to suffer like I did. We know breast cancer is curable if detected early. I wanted to contribute my bit towards awareness of this disease. I came to know about MyCliniCare through a neighbour and knew it was the right thing for me to do,” says Anusha.
Based in Bengaluru, MyCliniCare is a preventative healthcare company, which provides medical diagnostics. It conducts early digital breast screening for women in India at an affordable cost of Rs 650. It partners with various corporates and NGOs and offers a digitalised clinical experience on-site.
Anusha shares her story by taking part in various awareness sessions and events for MyCliniCare. These aim at disseminating positive information about early breast cancer screening to enable immediate action and care.
The men behind the idea
MyCliniCare was conceptualised by Carman Kobza, David Da Silva, and Vinod Raju when they realised that there was a sharp increase in the incidences of breast cancer in India.
Carman explains, “In India, breast cancer results in a death every seven minutes. What’s shocking is screening is rare and only one percent of women have had a breast exam. The mortality is a staggering 50 percent because of late detection. In contrast, in the US, this is less than 10 percent. These stark statistics prompted us to introduce a focused digital women’s preventable healthcare platform leading with on-site digital breast screening.”
The trio comes with formidable experience in their respective fields. David Da Silva (in his 50s) was the Managing Director of Goodyear’s engineered rubbers international division, Vinod has led several startups in China and India and Carman has worked as Managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa for a Fortune 300 Oil and Gas solutions company, leading teams and operations across emerging markets in different countries.”
Needle-less and radiation free
Digital breast screening is a certified pre-screening device for breast lump and detection of lesions. “Unlike mammography, digital breast screening is radiation-free, thus making it safe for pregnant, or lactating women. Digital screening can be done on younger women as well, as opposed to mammography that is usually recommended for women above the age of 40. Mammography, ultrasound and other clinical screenings are common follow-up steps if a lump or lesion is detected,” explains Carman.
How does it work?
The process is simple. After registration, the screening specialist takes you to a private screening room, where you are asked to lie on a bed and disrobe only to an extent where your breasts are visible for screening. After the digital screening, a manual breast exam by the specialist completes the process.
Care is taken that the environment is welcoming and as comfortable as possible. “For most women, it’s their first breast exam and we understand their fear and apprehension. So before the actual exam, we walk them through the process so that their fears are assuaged to a large extent. From the moment a woman enters the screening room, the process of screening, to her departure, we assure every attention to detail.”
All the equipment and devices are mobile and cloud connected, which provides the MyCliniCare team with access to all screening results and feedback.
“If a suspicious lump or lesion is detected, the woman immediately enters the Forward Journey Champion protocol under which she receives doctor instruction, handholding for further tests, and access to financial resources and treatment options depending on each case,” explains Carman.
The revenue MyCliniCare receives from paying customers is invested in its Forward Journey Champion programme and awareness events. “We have also partnered with NGOs, and also receive CSR funding and sponsorship from corporate entities and government bodies, which aid us in reaching out to the underprivileged in rural areas,” he adds.
At present MyCliniCare has an all-women team of 30 that comprises certified screening specialists. It claims that these specialists are trained and certified by partner OB/GYN teams.
The company, in its endeavour to reach out to more women, has partnered with over 100 companies like Wipro, and HP Mindtree, among others. It also conducts breast screening events directly, or with sponsors and NGOs.
Carman says, “Recently, we were selected as the screening partner for the NGO India Turns Pink. We have also partnered with FICCI Flo, as well as many other women’s organisations.
We have taught over 20,000 women preventative health practices and how to do self-breast exams.” adds Carman.
Breaking the stigma
Despite awareness campaigns and programmes, women are unwilling to talk about breast cancer, and seem to believe that the disease won’t strike them. And even if it did, what was the way forward?
Carman says, “We do so much more than screening. In fact, our 40-20-40 MyCliniCARING Rule defines our approach with 40 percent of our efforts in awareness and education before the screening; and, 40 percent of our efforts in follow-up support and Forward Journey Champion responsibilities. We focus on true and lasting meaningful impact and not solely on screening. This is the only way to make a sustainable difference in the lives of women and their families.”
Initially bootstrapped, MyCliniCare has received support from a private investor and through debt financing. “The first private equity funding, which happened nine months ago allowed us to expand in terms of equipment and human resources. We focus on a lean and low overhead model where all our work is done on location. The majority of investment goes into people and equipment needed for screening.”
It further plans to expand coverage for women across India and a few other countries as well.