With both his father and father-in-law suffering from diabetes, Kartikeya Joshi saw the complications that came with the disease firsthand. He also saw that there are many myths around diabetes and every patient struggles to manage it.
For a person living with diabetes, it’s not the disease itself but the many risks it brings with it that makes it a serious disease. If not managed, diabetes could prove fatal in many cases.
“That’s when I realised that technology can help solve the problem and help manage the disease and actively delay complications. Diabetes management is not only about medication but also about lifestyle correction that needs to be done and a person with diabetes must be compliant to therapy,” he adds.
To solve this problem, Kartikeya, along with Amitabh Nagpal and Partha Sarthi Pati founded Life in Control. The Gurgaon-based startup has built a clinician-led digital platform where a physician can set up a preventive care plan for a patient along with an active patient engagement program through which the patient can be engaged to make sure he is complaint and can manage risks better.
The addressable market for diabetes in India is huge. India has the second largest number of diabetes patients in the world with over 70 million. Given the lifestyles we lead, the number is expected to reach 120 million in 20 years. It is also the seventh most common cause of death in India.
Kartikeya says that this market is large enough for them to address and positively impact a considerable number of people. If managed well, a diabetic can live a much longer life sans complications.
How it works
Life in Control works on a B2B2C model where end customers (patients) are acquired through clinicians. The startup approaches clinics, introduces them to the program and when the patient comes on board, she/he starts to onboard patients.
Once a doctor onboards a patient, the doctor creates a customised care plan either using the scientifically designed preset template or by creating her/his own on the life in control app.
The patient then receives a link to an app preloaded with her/his care plan. On the patient’s side, once she/he receives a customised care plan, she/he starts logging in data, which the doctor can track.
The doctor will have complete access to the patient’s data at all times and can make changes, recommendations and also make interventions in real time.
The startup also has a clinical bot, which can make contextual conversations with patients to interact with them and keep them engaged at all times. In fact, Kartikeya says that they are also working on an advanced algorithm to enable not just structured but unstructured conversations as well.
Life in Control also has a coaching platform where every patient is assigned a personal coach to advise them on lifestyle, diet and work with them to keep them compliant to the program. Constant monitoring on aspects such as whether or not the patient is visiting the doctor as required, is regularly exercising, taking medication is enabled through interaction feedback and active reporting to patient.
Life in Control is currently live in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Pune and Lucknow. It has 100 doctors on its platform and nearly 40,000 patients that regularly use the app.
But Life in Control is not the only startup trying to solve the problems faced by over 70 million people. There are several startups such as Wellthy Therapeutics, which focuses on type 2 diabetes care through its AI-based mobile app, Diabetacare, which not just has an app but comes with devices as well to help record data. There are also startups such as Healthplix and Diabeto.
But Kartikeya says that what differentiates Life in Control is the strong clinical positioning of the product.
“Many startups only correct lifestyle. They only advise patient on exercise and diet but you can’t reduce risk this way. We also bring in standardisation of care through some built-in tools and a clinical support system where the doctor can view the current condition of the patient in a snapshot and hence knows when to intervene. So we are the only one offering an integrated platform—for clinician, patient and coach,” he adds.
In fact, Life in Control is working on another feature, which it believes could be a major differentiator—an insurance infrastructure.
The startup will soon launch an insurance product. It is talking to insurance companies to launch a more structured product where it can help healthcare providers manage it in a more structured way and bring it to a larger population.
It also wants to increase the number of doctors and patients to increase the overall level of engagement.
It also wants to cover all metros and tier 1 cities. It is also working on multilingual support, which will help it expand into tier 2, 3 towns as well. In fact, to be able to reach out to the tier 2, 3, 4 and rural markets, it is also working on an SMS-based service.
An international expansion is also on the cards over the next three to four years. Kartikeya says that there is a need for such a solution in South East Asia and Dubai.
The ultimate goal? Reaching each one of the 70 million diabetes patients and 50,000 Diabetologists in India says Kartikeya.
This article has been produced with inputs from T-Hub as a part of a partner program.