Nearly 70 million people in India live with diabetes. The World Health Organisation estimates that another 36 million people remain ignorant of their condition.
Having worked in the healthcare industry for over two decades, Dr Sanjiv Agarwal saw a huge gap in chronic disease management, especially in diabetes. According to him, while nearly one in every 10 Indian suffers from this condition, they are either unaware of it or are ineffectively managing it, due to inadequate reporting and monitoring.
With a desire to move diabetes management from a fragmented model to a 360-degree comprehensive care one, he founded Diabetacare in July 2013. The idea behind it was the intelligent use of technology to bridge the gap in managing diabetes.
Diabetacare employs technology that couples a diabetes electronic medical record system with clinical decision-making algorithms.
“A vital part of our solution offering are the smart M2M-connected glucometers and blood pressure-machines. We educate and enable patients to use these machines and readings are automatically recorded on the device, communicated to the patient’s or the doctor’s mobile device and relayed to us at the experience centre,” says Sanjiv.
Every patient that visits Diabetacare can avail from the various plans and services that could range from a day to 15 days and annual plans. And based on those who enrol with Diabetacare, they gain access to a range of devices, apps and services that Diabetacare offers.
While it has its own clinics, it also offers its devices and services to clinics and hospitals.
And what are these devices and services?
If you are a patient
One of Diabetacare’s flagship offering is DxNET, a comprehensive diabetes Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with Intelligence built for clinical decision making (CDM), which sends notifications to the caregiver and to the patient.
It has several clinical decision-making algorithms, which helps doctors and care givers in personalising diabetes management to the patient.
DxNET, which both the patients and doctors have access to, is integrated with all of Diabetacare’s devices and apps and every reading comes on this. Diabetacare’s team also is constantly monitoring this to keep track of the patient’s health and notify patients and the doctors in case of any spike in their blood sugar levels.
It also has a complete record of the patient, which the doctor can refer to before treating them.
One of Diabetacare’s main devices is dCare Smart, which is a smart glucometer. Results are transmitted within 30 seconds to DxNET. That way, doctors will always know how their patients are doing.
It is a Vodafone SIM-enabled device and is connected to secured M2M platform.
Another product of the company is dCare 2-in-1, which is a bluetooth-enabled glucometer and blood pressure, blood glucose level monitoring device for patients at higher risk. Just like the dCare Smart glucometer, it transmits measurements to DxNET within 30 seconds.
All the test reports and records are also present on the Diabeta app, which send patients reminders and alerts to check blood glucose level, take medication and exercise. This lets patients track the trends, reports, care plan all on one platform.
The last patient offering is the Snap a Meal app, which helps patients track calorie intake and helps control weight and blood sugar level. All the patient needs to do is click a picture of a meal using the app. Diabetologists or Nutritionists will then send the nutritional value of the meal on a real-time basis with calorie values along with details of its carbohydrates, fat and proteins.
Based on the plan selected by the patient, they get access to some or all of these services and devices offered. But every patient gets a DxNET number post which all of their records, tests and progress is tracked by Diabetacare.
For partner clinics and hospitals
DiabetaCart is a comprehensive set that has everything that a doctor would need to test for, monitor and treat a diabetes patient. It includes a range of components right from a retinal camera for early and rapid diabetic, retinopathy screening, 12 Lead ECG to assess cardiovascular risk, vibration perception, and heat and cold perception for picking up small fibre neuropathy, body fat and composition analysis and POC Biochemical Analyser, which gives instant results for lipid, renal and diabetes profiles including HbA1c.
The DiabetaCart is sold to clinics and hospitals. Once Hospitals and clinics partner with Diabetacare they can also use DxNET and smart devices for treating their patients.
Additionally, doctors can access a patient’s clinical trends through Diabetapad, which is a tablet. It comes with the InTouch Physician app, which helps you manage and monitor patients that require extra care and attention.
Revenue is generated from various avenues. One source is their clinico-technology partnerships, where it sells its services to clinics and hospitals. Another source of revenue is the plans adopted by patients. Some plans start as low as Rs 749 and could go up to Rs 39,999. Additionally, it also sells its healthy food range focused on diabetic patients.
Started with an investment of £1m, Diabetacare is currently present in over 40 Indian cities and has one flagship experience centre in Bengaluru. It has treated over 45,000 patients and has over 40 physician and hospital partnerships. This 100+ member-startup has already turned profitable on mature business lines.
With a comprehensive set of offerings, Diabetacare sees no competition.
“Our model and 24x7 connected patient offering is unique in India. We provide end-to-end care from screening, monitoring and intervention to patient data analysis and personalised counselling. Our technology allows us to automate data collection and presentation allowing us to provide a comprehensive and customised clinical support to our patients,” Sanjiv says.
In the near term, Diabetacare wants to increase its footprint from metros to tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Like its partnership with Vodafone, it has also received many queries from interested partners from all over the world and some of these may translate into its medium-term growth strategy.
Diabetacare has also recently launched a diabetes management solution in UAE and the Middle-East in partnership with UAE’s mobile communications and technology provider du, which is providing the connectivity platform.
“In the long term, we hope to help change the way people approach diabetes management in India and abroad and with the right level of awareness, perhaps also help prevent the steady rise of diabetes through regular screenings and lifestyle interventions,” says Sanjiv.