Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan, Founder, HealthCube, talks to Sanjiv Das about why HealthCube is not standalone wellness, or diagnostics or telemedicine company but a combination of everything
How can technology-enabled diagnostics centres bring in a change in India’s healthcare sector?
Technology has permeated every sector today and can help bring about the innovation that the Indian healthcare sector has always needed. It is possible to utilise technology such as AI and advanced material science, sensors, etc., in India for innovation and solve a particular need in a real way. Even technology-enabled diagnostics can be taken from India to other countries globally. HealthCube represents ‘Made for India’ and the government’s Make in India vision. A product like this has the potential to change access to healthcare in more ways than one.
How big is the market in India and what are the growth projections for the next five years?
The global point-of-care diagnostics market size is projected to reach $50.6 billion by 2025. India provides a huge market potential for this sector to progress and fulfil the healthcare demand of the large population. By providing rapid and accurate results HealthCube is enabling positive patient-centric interventions to protect the health, save time, and reduce the cost of healthcare. This is particularly important for countries such as India and DR Congo among others.
What is the USP of HealthCube? What is the business model of the company?
One of our biggest USPs is the fact that HealthCube is the only Medical Grade point-of-care device providing diagnostics as a service. We are not standalone wellness, or diagnostics or telemedicine company but a combination of everything. With our device, people can get their urine analysis and a multitude of other tests done including ECG. This is currently the only device that offers this holistic solution but at an affordable price. HealthCube provides results in 1 to 15 minutes for over 30 tests.
With which healthcare institutions have HealthCube tied up?
HealthCube has footprints across four continents. In Kenya, the company is working with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support diagnostic services in remote parts of the country through ten clinics. HealthCube is also working on different operating models with 11 state governments. HealthCube has also worked with the Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation in Bhagalpur on maternal health. Leading corporates have collaborated with HealthCube for their CSR programmes including Vodafone Idea, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, among others. HealthCube is now offering COVID-19 risk assessment to employees of organisations such as Tech Mahindra, Tagros Chemicals, etc. as part of their return-to-work programme.
Which technologies are being incorporated by HealthCube and how user friendly are they?
HealthCube utilises a combination of smart diagnostics and artificial intelligence. The smart solution helps in adding value to the work being done by healthcare practitioners including GPs & ANMs. All the results generated on the device are stored on the cloud and can be accessed anywhere, anytime on phones and laptops. The best part is that the device can run even without electricity or the Internet making it ideal for remote areas. Our other device called AgeWell is operated through a phone app and the results can be shared with the doctor & caregivers in real-time.
Your company was founded in 2015. How has been the journey so far? Any challenges you faced?
Our journey since inception has been productive and full of positive outcomes. Around seven lakh people have been screened and benefitted through HealthCube has done more than 2.5 million diagnostic tests Additionally, we primarily sell the device in tier II and III cities. Several doctors and multi-speciality hospitals are using HealthCube. Our device enables operators to conduct tests faster and affordably thereby enabling quality healthcare. We are screening people including school children under the ‘Anemia-Mukt Bharat’ initiative and other programmes. At HealthCube, we also regularly conduct surveys, some of which have been in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Uttarakhand. We are already present in several countries. Going forward, we plan to tap into the US market. We are also working towards getting FDA approval and work with some big pharmacy players in the US.