A slew of homegrown health tech startups including Dozee, Qure.ai, Log 9, MyLab, and Biodesign Innovation Labs are stepping up their go-to-market and production efforts in a bid to offer solutions as the country prepares to treat Covid-19 patients at scale.
These solutions range from prevention mechanisms and testing to monitoring and manufacturing medical equipment. Some of these businesses are already seeing interest from global health departments and several state governments in the country including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka to procure units, investors told ET.
Dozee’s device, for instance, can be used for medical-grade remote monitoring of vital parameters including heart rate and respiratory rate to monitor vulnerable patients in their homes, in make-shift ICUs, or in hospitals that are facing manpower shortages.
“We have been working to secure our supply chain and can meet a demand of up 100,000 devices per week although, given the demand spike, we are attempting to prioritize this for health systems dealing with large numbers of at-risk patients or where healthcare workers are scarce,” said Mudit Dandwate, CEO and co-founder at Dozee.
The company is backed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council. “We are helping set up isolation ward in Barah, Rajasthan with WISH Foundation,” he said.
Some health tech companies have already started deploying solutions globally. Sequoia-backed Qure.ai has partnered with Italian San Raffaele University Hospital to deploy new solutions that automatically read and interpret chest X-ray scans for Covid-19 in seconds. The tool can quantify how much of the patient’s lungs have been affected, thus enabling clinicians to monitor disease progression more effectively. “This technology can be deployed here (in India) in under a day,” said Prashant Warier, CEO and Co-founder of Qure.ai.
Anther startup speeding up its production is Sequoia-backed Log 9. The company claims that its device can completely neutralize Covid-19 and other pathogens on surfaces of masks, hospital PPE and groceries in less than 10 minutes. The company is already live on the government’s e-marketplace procurement portal GeM and will also be available for public for use by delivery personnel and in homes, said a person aware of the plans. Biodesign too is building a cost-efficient portable ventilator.
Last week, Pune-based molecular diagnostic company Mylab received a regulatory nod for its Covid-19 diagnostic test kits which it plans to price at around Rs 1,200—less than a third of the current price set at Rs 4,500.
The venture has raised Rs 1 crore from Action Covid Team, a Rs 100-crore grant started by India’s top venture capitalist and founder community to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. ACT has also granted Rs 25 lakh to Founders vs Covid-19 which powers state helpline numbers through a scalable network of existing cloud telephony, queuing systems and a network of doctors on call.
“The need of the hour is to support ideas which can become force multipliers… in a scalable and capital-efficient way,” Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, said.
The launch of this grant was first reported by ET on Tuesday.
Over the last ten days, consulting groups like Think North Consulting as well as Telegram groups like Founders Vs Covid-19 and select venture funds have come together to build a platform that co-creates and curates solutions to help different stakeholders including individuals, healthcare practitioners, and governments combat the ongoing crisis across the globe.