A physician as an entrepreneur is a rarity; however, Shikha Sharma seems to be defying the odds with her online health platform, Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth. With extensive investment in modern technology, services at this healthcare start-up are delivered through voice, video and app. It has a tele-nutrition centre with over 175 people including doctors, nutritionists and technologists advising clients.
This year NutriHealth received Series A funding of R12 crore from Singapore-based OneHealth Ventures. It has serviced 50,000 customers till date and manages over 2,00,000 calls every month. Its mobile app, called YuWow, has an active customer usage of 85% and over 40% of new clients come by referrals.
Origin of the idea
It was while working as a junior doctor in the cardiology department that Sharma she realised that most of the critical hospital admissions like heart failure occur due to lack of preventive nutrition. “Most of the patients in the ICU have no idea about the root cause of their heart problem. Worse, they were likely to relapse into unhealthy eating after treatment,” she says.
However, absence of experienced nutritionists was the biggest hurdle. “Weight management is also a specialised process which every dietitian is not well trained in, hence many customers suffer from trial and error advisory,” she reveals, adding, “A need was also felt to create a centralised model of knowledge and advisory management.”
Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth has been working in the field of weight management and prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related disorders. Every client is assigned a personal doctor and nutritionist. The client is given a customised diet plan based on his/her lifestyle and health conditions. “Our mobile app, called YuWow, helps track the client’s progress and helps them choose recipes they like. The client can also reach out to her nutritionist and doctor through a phone call or Skype,” she says.
Standing out in the crowd
What sets this healthcare start-up apart? “It is the integration of Vedic nutrition with modern science to create the concept of nutri-genetics,” she informs. NutriHealth analyses the blood test reports and Prakriti, the body type of any individual as per Ayurveda before designing diets. It has a propriety CRM—Amikus, built completely in-house which assists the nutritionists to make high quality diet plans. “Nutri-genetics is based on the observation that each person is different genetically and that the effect of food on each person varies according to his genetic structure. Nutrition management is the most sustainable way to stay healthy in the long run,” she says.
NutriHealth’s diverse services span weight loss and weight gain programme, diabetes management, cholesterol management, therapeutic programmes in specific disorders, such as poly cystic ovarian syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, etc.