Working towards wellness
When he was working at Sassoon Hospital, Dr Abhay Chopda would get patients with advanced cases. “If I asked them, ‘Why couldn’t you come earlier?’ They would reply, ‘We were collecting money for ST’s fare. I realised that the bus fare from a village to the city was equal to what they earned a month’,” he says. This would bother Dr Chopda a lot. He would often wonder, “Why should my patient come all the way to the city? Can I not provide care where he is?”
In 2016-17, he started working on his dream project with his friends Dinesh Samudra and Nilesh Jain. The trio founded Clinivantage, an integrated digital platform, putting in their money. Clinivantage has fused medicine and technology and its goal is to touch billion lives by delivering last mile healthcare in rural areas.
What’s the platform?
“Clinivantage is an integrated digital platform that connects doctors, hospitals, caregivers and service providers with patients in real time and puts them in control of their health, bringing speed, simplicity, transparency and efficiency to patient care,” says the UK-based Dr Chopda.
It was his keen interest in medicine and technology that inspired him to set up Clinivantage and the patient app MyLife. “I was equally interested in engineering, technology and medicine. But I chose to study medicine because human machine sounded a lot more interesting. When I went abroad to practise, I realised that a majority of computer sciences evolved from neurobiology. There are a lot of parallels between medicine and engineering, and I started getting drawn towards technology. We are in exponential space and medicine is the last stream, where we don’t have that much technology to change the processing,” he explains.
When asked what he means by processing, Dr Chopda says, “When you are unwell, you go to a doctor, and wait at the clinic or hospital, till he is free. In medicine, we are dependent on services. We have accepted that there will be inefficiency. My question is, ‘Is it necessary?’ If the doctor has the data of patient/s with him, his time will be managed better. Once the technology is integrated, the processes will be made efficient.”
When the trio started discussing the concept with hospitals, pathology labs, insurance companies, they received positive feedback. They got the first contract in Malaysia for a 600 bed hospital within two months of launching Clinivantage. “We have signed up more than 60 hospitals across six countries. Our footprint, at the moment, is 50 million patient records. It will keep increasing,” he explains.
The team was also invited by the Government of India for Champions of Change event, last August. “The authorities gave us problems to solve in healthcare and nutrition. One problem was how to bring about a transformation in delivering last mile healthcare. Our solution was to integrate Internet of Things or IoT devices into the platform. These devices will pick up the right parameters — pulse rate, blood glucose level, heart rate, ECG — and the data will be accessed by the doctor/s. He can open the proper interaction, deliver the right care and the episode will conclude. We were then asked to be a part of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s committee, and we were also invited by the Government of Maharashtra to be a part of its Village Social Transformation Foundation,” says the Pune born and bred doctor.
Currently, the team has conducted the Proof of Concept of telemedicine based remote consultation in Mohot and Barasgaon villages in Raigad district.
How does it work
The Clinivantage team has trained the volunteer workers to read the data of vital parameters and then the data is transferred in real time to the doctor. So the doctor’s prescription too reaches the patient in real time. If there is any abnormality, the doctor can ask him to travel to a city or nearest primary healthcare centre.
For urban consumers, Dr Chopda says, the app MyLife, will come in handy. “It has some features like ‘Healthvault’ which contains all your health records, allows you to make appointment with the doctor, sends notifications to pop your pills etc. Doctors, who are a part of the platform, can share the prescription with e-chemist and the medicines will be delivered to your home. These features can bring about a transparency in healthcare and curb malpractices because you can track the entire treatment,” he adds.
The data and record of the patient will not be shared between countries without his authorisation. “We have democratised care to the patient level. Data compliance is one of the key factors on which we have based our platform on. In Europe, we have GDBR — General Data Protection Regulation — compliance. In India, we have a new Act coming in. The entire architecture of the platform is such that the true owner of the data is the patient,” assures Dr Chopda.
Challenges in India
The Clinivantage will be joining hands with other service providers. “We have to meet the telecom regulators, state governments. Partnerships are still evolving. We need value investors. People need to understand that they don’t have to wait to fall ill. They have to go for wellness. The entire vision is about empowering people. Healthcare will be transformed if we do it collectively,” he says and concludes.