About 70 million people live with diabetes in India and the World Health Organisation estimates that an additional 36 million remain ignorant of their condition. This means that nearly 1 in 10 Indians suffers from this condition but is either unaware of it or is slipping through the treatment cracks with inadequate reporting and monitoring. The moot point is this: Diabetes is a serious disease, but you can learn to manage it. Diabetacare, a niche start-up is trying to help patients manage their diabetes and stay healthy and active. “Our venture is a marriage of advanced treatment strategy and technological innovation for the management of diabetes, with the intent of delaying complications and preventing premature mortality,” asserts Sanjiv Agarwal, founder and MD of this Bengaluru-based firm.
Diabetacare started with a modest sum of £1 million in 2013 and it has multiplied it with further strategic investments. Agarwal says, “Our model and 24×7 connected patient offering is unique in India. We provide end-to-end care: from screening, monitoring and intervention to patient data analysis and personalised counseling. Our technology allows us to automate data collection and presentation, so that our people can spend more time in providing comprehensive, customised and complete clinical support to our patients.” Notably, Diabetacare was the first to introduce smart connected glucometer, in 2014, as a part of the IoT strategy to enable round the clock monitoring of patients suffering from diabetes. The device sends the readings in real time to the central EMR called DXNET which analyses patient data based on the clinical decision making rules in the system to alert doctors, nurses or kin of the patient.
It has also introduced connected blood pressure monitoring that enables real-time data transfer of BP. Shortly, Diabetacare will introduce its Diabeta Connect app that enables transfer of data from 100-plus points of care devices covering glucometers, blood pressure, weighing scales, ECG and heart rate monitors.“In the near term, we will take Diabetacare to different markets within India, increasing our footprint from metros to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. What we offer is an attractive solution for diabetes patients and clinicians,” says Agarwal. “In the long term, we hope to help change the way people approach diabetes management and with the right level of awareness, perhaps also help prevent the steady rise of diabetes through regular screenings and lifestyle interventions.”
Diabetacare aims to move diabetes management system in India from a deeply fragmented model to a 360-degree comprehensive care one. “Having worked in the healthcare industry for over two decades—both in India and with National Health Service in the United Kingdom—we could see the gaps and realised that intelligent use of technology can make a huge difference towards bridging those gaps in chronic disease management, especially diabetes,” says Agarwal. As a doctor and an entrepreneur, this unique situation presented both the responsibility and an opportunity to contribute.
Diabetacare has treated over 50,000 unique patients to date. “We started four years ago with our flagship experience centre in Koramangala, Bengaluru, and a few partner physicians’ sites. Today, we have 40-plus physician and hospital partnerships pan India,” he adds.