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Startup Saturday: Your health (and your doc) now in your hands

Passion and technology driving Dr Chopada in his pursuit to bring about changes in healthcare industry.

pune Updated: Aug 11, 2018 15:39 IST
Namita Shibad
Namita Shibad
Hindustan Times, Pune
startup saturday,pune,maharashtra
Clinivantage, a healthcare start-up aims to provide patients access to doctors.(HT Photo)

Providing patients in remote areas access to doctors over the internet has been around for quite a few years now. And almost all such ventures have failed. Clinivantage, a healthcare start-up aims to provide patients access to doctors. So what is it that makes Dr Abhay Chopada, director and co-founder of Clinivantage think that this venture will be a success?

“Well to start off, Clinivantage is not just a telemedicine solution. The reason telemedicine failed was because the doctor had no information about the patient he was seeing over a web cam. With Clinivantage, we give the doctor ample information to make a diagnosis. If a woman complains of fever, a doctor cannot just see her on a webcam and make a diagnosis. He needs to know her temperature, oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, ECG, hear her heart and lungs over a stethoscope and so on. Only then can he make a diagnosis. And Clinivantage does that.” Providing a distinctive edge over old telemedicine.

And how does that happen? Says Chopada, a gastro-surgeon who studied at BG Medical College and went to London to set up a successful practice there. “As a doctor, I noticed that over the years the trust that is so vital between doctors and patients had been declining. I think the reason is that there is no clear information between the two. How could that be changed?”

The solution lay in providing data freely to doctors and patients alike. The idea in Abhay’s mind was put in action when he met his friend Dinesh Samudra, an IT specialist who had years of experience in healthcare and also his co founder. “We wanted it to be the best that IT could offer. And we wanted it to be technology agnostic.”

So what does Clinivantage do? Basically it provides data mobility. “We store all medical records on a cloud that can be accessible to the patient when and where he wants it.”

And what does Clinivantage do for hospitals and clinics? “Besides data mobility, we offer a suite of services to hospitals. So say you want to make an appointment with a doctor at a hospital. You could do it at 2 am via our app. This will get registered with the hospital. There would be no need for any staff to handle your appointment, payment, coordinate with the doctor. Next, when the doctor sees you, his computer will show up all your medical history. He can then make an informed diagnosis without wasting time. ”

Abhay, Dinesh and Nilesh Jain, who is another director and co-founder had their solution ready and launched it four months ago. He says that the response has been terrific so far.

Clinivantage’s pricing system is working to their advantage. “We charge per use. It is not a blanket rate. This helps hospitals since then it is not a capital expenditure.”

Before its launch they signed up for the Champions for Change Challenge run by the Government of India. “The government put up problems they face in 11 verticals and healthcare was one of them. They wanted to know how we could provide service even to the last mile service. We took up the challenge. We were given two villages in Raigad district, Mohod and Barasgaon Maharashtra by village social transformation foundation(VSTF). How could we serve the people in these remote villages that had only a primary healthcare centre?”

With the help of IoT based devices that Abhay had commissioned they managed to help these two villages. “all the Asha worker had to do was use our gadget ( Clinivantage health monitor) that could measure the patient’s ECG and transmit over a mobile phone, calculate the oxygen saturation, blood pressure, temperature without any medical training. With this info, it is possible for a doctor sitting anywhere in the world to make a diagnosis. Going by the success of these two villages VSTF has asked them to provide this solution to 50 villages now and later cover all the villages in Maharashtra.

Abhay and his co-founders invested a million USD of their own money into this business. So far their revenue is negative.

Their funding needs are flexible. Says Abhay, “We have already developed our platform. Now we are renting it out to hospitals. So our growth will be exponential. We are already growing. We want people who believe in this company, who can do things to make it grow.

“ I think hospitals will see the savings this can bring to them, doctors can see the difference it can make and patients will be more empowered,”adds Dr Chopada

Given that kickbacks are more a norm than an exception in the healthcare system, this will be the big challenge. Says Abhay, “The laws are changing. If you do not change you will perish. Customers will not come to you if you are not clean and transparent.” With that hope, Clinivantage surges on.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 15:34 IST