DigitalHealth Startups

PregBuddy’s year with Google Launchpad by Sivareena S. L. @SarikaSivareena

We’re all aware about the Google Launchpad accelerator which selects pre-series A startups across the globe every year to assist them scale their business. Along with this, Google Launchpad has few more offerings where they have extremely well structured programs for various stages of startups. Pregbuddy has benefited from couple of these programs as we grew our product.

We started building PregBuddy from the end of 2016. In the first half of 2017, we were heads-down focused on co-creating our product with our early set of users. PregBuddy is India’s first peer-to-peer reassurance platform for expecting mothers. Along with personalised information, we connect them based on their trimester, location, vernacular language and medical condition. Our early set of users loved PregBuddy, we were growing organically via word-of-mouth and via discovery on Google Play Store.

A year ago, in July 2017, we got into Google Launchpad Build – a 2-day super-packed program for early stage startups that connects mentors to validate their product and growth strategies. This was one of the key events in our journey of building PregBuddy.
Let me share with you how it helped us:
  1. Early Product Validation: The fact that Google selected a handful of startups across India was a great early product validation that we are building something good, and meaningful for our users.
  2. Right Mentor-Startup Matching: Google Launchpad has a huge network of mentors from within Google and industry experts in the fields of technology, product, marketing, sales and design. The Launchpad team matches each startup with the right mentors based on the challenges we’re currently facing or based on our product roadmap.
  3. Expert Insights: Launchpad mentors not only shared their perspectives on our product, design, and growth strategies, but also shared their insights on how we can structure our business model, focus our efforts to scale faster and what may not work based on their learnings. This was very crucial at that stage of our bootstrapping journey, as it helped us save both time and money and not repeat mistakes which others did.
  4. Media Coverage: Google Launchpad Build literally helped us launch PregBuddy in media with their wide media coverage. We got covered both online (YourStory, Inc42, and more) and offline in print media (Deccan Herald, Business Standard, and more). It helped us reach a wide variety of audience – users from across India, talent who wanted to work with us, and get attention from potential partners and investors from the startup ecosystem.
  5. Inbound Partnerships: Apart for the fact that people got to know about PregBuddy, and we got some users, Google Launchpad helped us get inbound leads from hospitals and brands, who wanted to work with us.
  6. Continued Support: Being a part of the Google Launchpad alumni network, the Launchpad team provides continued support with the right introductions with mentors, businesses and technology support whenever we needed.
  7. Recognition & Growth: The fact that you graduate from a program like Google Launchpad really opens up doors. While working closely with our inbound partners, we were able to identify much deeper challenges which we are now solving in the healthcare space.Since 2017 PregBuddy has grown from being just a small project to a company, thanks to the support of Google Launchpad. We’re humbled to be awarded by actor Akshay Kumar and Govt of India, and onboard renowned angels from Google, Uber, Times Group, YuMe, and Indian Angel Network.
Earlier this year, we were fortunate again to be a part of the 1st cohort of Google Launchpad Solve for India program, where Google selected 10 startups who are focused on solving local challenges and building experience for the next billion users coming online from India. It was at the perfect time in our journey, where our first hires got a chance to interact and learn hands-on from the Google and industry experts from this 5-day structured Launchpad program. A really great exposure for your core employees.

I’m sure you’re wondering how you can be a part of Google Launchpad, well here is your chance. Google Launchpad has recently announced an accelerator program focusing on the startups Solving for India using AI/ML technologies. If you are one of them, do apply here. So, what are you waiting for? Get on the ride, and take your startup to the next stage with Google Launchpad!

Pregbuddy made it to the Yourstory’s 2018 Tech 30 Startups
Sivareena S.L

Co-Founder PregBuddy (Google Launchpad)

mfine, the MVP of a “Cloud Clinic” by Prasad Kompalli, @pkompalli CEO & cofounder, mfine @mfinecare

It has been roughly a year since Ashu and I started mfine. During the course of this journey, we studied the healthcare sector very closely and started interacting with people in the ecosystem. The more we learnt, the more we got passionate about healthcare and at times obsessed with it!

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Made Affordable and Accessible by Piyush Gupta @Ambrosia_Sys

Living with diabetes comes with many challenges. At the top of the list is monitoring glucose levels to avoid a health crisis. Monitoring can be inconvenient and expensive, but thanks to advances in technology, these issues are being addressed like never before.

Dealing With Diabetes
Diabetes relates to the body’s ability to produce and process the hormone insulin. Without it, cells cannot absorb sugar, or glucose, which we need for energy.

Diabetics are typically diagnosed with one of two types of the disease: Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 is when the body produces no insulin. The immune system destroys the cells that release it. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin, or the levels produced are not sufficient to help the body generate energy.

In either case, the person diagnosed must make lifestyle changes to ensure glucose levels are kept in check. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should work out at least 2 hours/wk spread over 3 days/wk with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise. The ADA also recommends nutritional counselling to address eating patterns, including lowering carbohydrates, fat intake and adding fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy to your diet. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all program, and it’s important to consult your doctor to determine the dietary, exercise and behavioural changes that are best for you.

By The Numbers

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the US population has diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the largest group of people who have diabetes.

Another 86 million have been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic.

Globally, according to a 2016 report by the World Health Association, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. In fact, the global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. Diabetes is on the rise not only in the United States but also around the world, and the complications from diabetes are impacting individuals and their families.

Behind these numbers are people coming to terms with the emotional and physical realities of managing their disease. We mentioned the importance of activity and exercise as well as healthy eating habits. Stress is also an important considering when managing diabetes. Learning to live with diabetes can weigh down the strongest amongst us and that stress can raise your blood sugar. Learning ways to lower stress, from yoga and deep breathing to gardening and listening to your favourite music, can keep your mind in a healthy state. 

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends acquainting yourself with the ABCs: your A1C, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. Considering your ABCs can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems. When it comes to your blood pressure, monitoring it is a necessary addition to your daily routine. The key to the lifestyle changes diabetics undergo is having options to monitor glucose levels that are both effective, and affordable.

Technology Makes Monitoring Easier

Active management and monitoring of glucose is neither convenient nor cost effective for many. Some medical professionals recommend up to 10 tests per day. Assuming you have the schedule and discipline to stick with it, most diabetics have had to resort to testing their glucose levels through frequent, invasive needle pricks on their fingers.

There are saliva-testing devices under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, and Google was rumoured to be testing smart contact lenses that could monitor glucose levels as well. But a finger sticks remains the most common test despite the pain of a prick, the need to record readings and do so multiple times per day.

More convenient and accurate methods of testing glucose levels are becoming more readily available. For example, Abbott Laboratories invented the FreeStyle Libre system.

The device has been hailed for its convenience. Placed just under the skin, the sensor continuously measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid that bathes the cells. Those wearing the device can use their smartphones to get immediate readings. According to Bloomberg, FreeStyle Libre users scanned their sensors an average 16 times a day; some exceeded 45.

While the repeated checks help diabetics lower their glucose levels, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems are costly. Prices can range between $3,000 and $4,000/year, limiting the accessibility of life-saving monitoring. However, companies like Ambrosia Systems are reinventing the wheel, bringing cost savings and convenience to glucose monitoring.

Introducing BluCon
We invented BluCon to build an affordable next generation continuous glucose monitoring like system for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. Our iOS and Android apps work with Abbot’s FreeStyle Libre sensor, sending glucose readings to any Bluetooth enabled connected device.

Today, two factors prohibit active monitoring and management of diabetes: cost and inconvenience. BluCon quickly reads data from Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre sensor and sends that data to the LinkBluCon mobile app on your phone for less than half the annual cost of available solutions. Our battery life is also twice as long, adding to the convenience and cost savings brought by BluCon.

Living with diabetes entails constant glucose monitoring, which, as we noted, can mean significant lifestyle changes. Checking glucose levels, and keeping an accurate record, can be complicated. BluCon is meant to simplify glucose monitoring and ongoing management of your type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Piyush Gupta

Several years experience in product management worked at Abbott Diabetes Care, Kaiser Permanente, Capital One Bank and a couple of healthcare startups as senior product management executive. Helped companies in building next generation platform, iOS and android mobile products

@iCHRCloud & iNICU: A Complete Child Healthcare Solution by Ravneet Kaur and Harpreet Singh

Only 65% children in the first year of their life have been able to achieve full immunization and the increase in coverage has stagnated in the past 5 years to an average of 1% every year

Our goal with iCHR is to attain the sustainable development goals and reduce the child mortality rate. 

In present day advance technologies are playing crucial role in most aspects of human life. Now extending its footsteps in one of the most treasured moment of any parent, birth of a child. A thought of building a complete child healthcare solution catering from the birth of a baby till it’s adolescent age powered by technology and big data came into existence when Oxyent Medical — a company run by Harpreet Singh and his wife Ravneet Kaur joined hands with Dr. Raghuram Mallaiah of Fortis La Femme Hospital in Delhi to combine their skills.

The interest of Harpreet Singh, a biomedical engineer with two advanced degrees in engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and Ravneet Kaur, post graduate in computer science stems into this solution from personal tragedy. He along with Mrs. Kaur lost one of their twins as babies were preterm, born in 26 weeks instead of normal 34-38 weeks. One of the children survived, the doctor said that the deceased infant — barely bigger than the palm of an adult — had succumbed to sepsis.

The on ground journey to formulate the solution started by conducting a new research to collect data from preterm infants, tracking their progress over the months of their stay in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Delhi hospitals. The approach to design the complete child healthcare solution leverages IOT, Cloud and Big Data technology, enhancing the doctor-parent engagement model by enabling continuous and personalized child health monitoring. In this regard, the first product launched by company on 19th February’16 was iCHR – integrated Child Heath Record (iCHRCloud). 

iCHRCloud is India’s 1st Hospital linked solution – a revolutionary concept of automated vaccination record & scheduler, growth monitoring and prescription & lab investigations panel for the precious child. It provides the web portal for doctors and mobile application for parents, which enhances doctor-parent engagement. The adaptability of the solution allows it to be implemented across hospitals and clinics with minimal infrastructure investment.

iCHRCloud offerings are aligned to the Digital India mission. 

An estimated 26 millions of children are born every year. As per WHO in 2015, 5.9 million children under age five and 696,000 neonatal deaths were recorded.  

These deaths are mostly due to issues related to malnutrition and lack of vaacination. Malnutrition, wasting and stunting are major growth burden in child healthcare and growth monitoring is needed to build policy framework to solve this issue. Moreover, full immunization against preventable childhood diseases is the right of every child, and to provide this right to every child, the Government of India launched the Universal Immunization Program (UIP). 

Only 65% children in the first year of their life have been able to achieve full immunization and the increase in coverage has stagnated in the past 5 years to an average of 1% every year. 

It has also been observed that every year in India, 5 lakh children die due to vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Another 89 lakh children remain at risk, because they are either unimmunized or partially immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases

Our goal with iCHR is to attain the sustainable development goals and reduce the child mortality rate. It helps in keeping track of all the vital parameters up to 12 years of age responsible for monitoring the growth of a child such as: vaccination records, prescription notes, head circumference, height, weight and BMI. 

The parameters are plotted on Fenton, IAP and WHO based charts, which help the child’s pediatrician to analyze any risk of malnutrition, and the statistics can also be used by policy makers for future studies.

Oxyent is looking to extend its solution offering by bringing iNICU – integrated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the market. iNICU a one stop workflow solution to assimilate and disseminate neonate information by connecting the generated source data from various devices. The application is designed to cater to all the responsibilities of various roles/owners (Nurse, Resident Doctor, Senior Doctor, Pediatrician and Administrator). It’s an effort to virtually eliminate human error in neonate health monitoring.

The combined solution package of iNICU and iCHR is a complete child healthcare solution which was envisioned by company during the inception of idea. What stands out this offering by Oxyent from others is it caters to both preterm & term babies from birth to adolescent age. iCHRCloud and iNICU applications have been succesfully implemented in NCR region in major hospitals and clinics.

Also, the first one to bring live data monitoring from anywhere, auto discharge summary and prediction of onset of infections, kind of advance technologies in the child healthcare segment. These advancements are unprecedented even in the international scenario, which provides the global platform to Indian IT Healthcare industry. 

Recently, Oxyent were declared the winners of the IBM India Smartcamp for HealthTech 2016

“IBM Global Entrepreneur program is the Startup initiative of IBM. We engage with Startups in providing them with Cloud credits worth $24000 / year on Softlayer and Bluemix. IBM, GEP also provides technical mentoring, assist with go to market, work with accelerators in India. We engage with large enterprises in helping them finding their next set of innovations. One of the key initiatives done by us is IBM Smartcamp which is India`s biggest Industry focussed Startup challenge. has the details of that.”  

Mr. Radhesh Kanumury, Country Lead, IBM Global Entrepreneur Program 

The article has been published with the authors permission.

[tab] [content title=”About Ravneet Kaur”]

Ms. Ravneet Kaur

Ravneet as the co-founder of Oxyent Technologies, is an entrepreneur involved in working with domain experts to bring digital transformation in the Healthcare Industry. With her engineering skills she is interested in resolving business challenges through technical innovation, showcased in the products she has brought to market.

Her Favourite Quote “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

[/content] [content title=”About Dr. Harpreet Singh”]

Dr. Harpreet Singh

Harpreet is a Technology Strategist, an entrepreneur with international consulting experience. As founding member of Oxyent, he has a Proven track record in rapid IP creation and execution; taking idea from conception to GTM, and is involved in building strategic insights and shaping future direction with a blend of deep analysis and high level synthesis.

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