Truworth brings state-of-the-art technology to India that is easy to implement andÂ use. The company offers products and services for the entire list of stakeholdersÂ in the healthcare vertical.
In an interview with eHEALTH, Rajeish Moondraa, Director and Chief OperatingÂ Officer, Truworth Group of Companies, talks about the importance of preventiveÂ as well as proactive healthcare in the Indian setting.
Truworth Group of Companies
What is the importance of preventiveÂ healthcare?
India is on the brink of a disasterof chronic diseases like diabetes, Â cardio-vascular ailments, respiratoryÂ diseases and obesity. In the latestÂ report of International DiabetesÂ Federation, India has 50.4 millionÂ diabetic patients that amountsÂ to approximately 7% of the adultÂ population. By 2010, 3 out of 5 heartÂ patients in the world will be Indians.Â More than 50% of deaths due to strokeÂ and 25% deaths due to heart diseasesÂ occur because of hypertension.
Considering mainly the effectsÂ of premature mortality, WHOÂ estimates that (between 2005 andÂ 2014) diabetes, heart disease andÂ stroke combined will cost patientsÂ USD 336.6 billion in India. It will be aÂ huge tragedy if these diseases are notÂ controlled in a timely manner. TheÂ biggest problem with these diseases Â is that these diseases are silent killersÂ â they do not show symptoms untilÂ they reach a stage where life-longÂ medication or surgery is the onlyÂ solution left, and once you areÂ affected by them, you are at risk forÂ the rest of your life.
The only saviour for India nowÂ is preventive healthcare. In fact, IÂ would take it one step further and callÂ it proactive healthcare where peopleÂ are motivated to be proactivelyÂ health conscious and take necessary Â steps to delay, if not avoid, the onsetÂ of these life-threatening diseases.Â To handle the growing epidemicÂ of chronic diseases in the country,Â mere education and awareness willÂ not help â a proactive program isÂ needed.
If the magnitude of the problem is soÂ huge, why is preventive healthcareÂ still being neglected in India?
Preventive healthcare, as of now, isÂ voluntary in India and requires a visitÂ to a lab or hospital. Very few peopleÂ in the age group of 25-40 go for aÂ preventive health check because it isÂ not affordable in terms of actual costsÂ and time for the middle class, whichÂ is the largest market segment andÂ forms the biggest chunk of IndiaâsÂ productive workforce.
Preventive healthcare for theÂ majority ends at the lab values. TheÂ current process eats up about halfÂ working day from oneâs schedule,Â which is a big deterrent for bothÂ individuals and their employers.Â Psychologically also, it is diffi cult forÂ an individual to undergo screeningÂ in the care delivery setting. LackÂ of awareness of the severity andÂ non-symptomatic silent killerÂ characteristics of these diseases isÂ another major reason why peopleÂ are so negligent about the wholeÂ phenomenon. Labs are using health Â check-ups as money-making tool byÂ bundling essential and non-essentialÂ tests thereby jacking up the cost.Â Believe it or not, even grown-ups areÂ scared of syringes. Nobody wants toÂ go to the hospital by choice.
What are the initiatives taken by yourÂ company in this area?
Keeping in mind all of the aboveÂ hindering factors, Truworth hasÂ created a service for people to availÂ preventive healthcare and technologyÂ enabled proactive healthcare atÂ their doorsteps, with minimal effort Â required from their side, at a fractionÂ of the time and cost that it takes themÂ now to get a preventive health checkÂ done. Truworth also runs corporateÂ wellness programs and diseaseÂ management programs.
What is the current portfolio ofÂ products & services that you offer?Â What is your fl agship offering in termsÂ of expected impact on the market?
Our flagship offering is called MakeÂ Me Healthy, which is our lifestyleÂ health risk assessment service. ItÂ facilitates health checks at peopleâsÂ doorsteps brining in ultimateÂ convenience in terms of time, costÂ and availability.
We also have disease managementÂ programs for different chronicÂ diseases. No Extra Sugar (www.Â noextrasugar.com) for diabetes,Â No Extra Cholesterol (www.Â noextracholesterol.com) for highÂ cholesterol and heart ailmentsÂ and No Extra body-fat (www.Â noextrabodyfat.com) for obesity management.
Apart from this, Truworth is alsoÂ into healthcare informatics likeÂ HIMS & EMR.
Tell us more about how Make MeÂ Healthy works?
Make Me Healthy (MMH) is whereÂ preventive healthcare starts. UnlessÂ you know where you stand, youÂ cannot decide how you will reachÂ where you want to. Therefore MakeÂ Me Healthy, is the first key to openingÂ the doors of good health by providing Â a lifestyle health risk assessmentÂ (LHRA).
Make Me Healthy is a home-healthÂ check-up program whichÂ harnesses technology to give the bestÂ customer experience. Those whoÂ want to undergo the LHRA simplyÂ make a call or send an SMS to theÂ MMH call-centre. MMH technicianÂ reaches the home/offi ce (or any Â other place of preference) of theÂ individual and conducts the LHRA inÂ just 15 minutes.
LHRA comprises of collectionÂ of personal health history, familyÂ health history, symptomaticÂ assessment, social lifestyleÂ habits and biometric screening.Â Biometric screening comprises ofÂ ECG, spirometry, pulse oximetry,Â total cholesterol, triglycerides, Â random blood sugar, bloodÂ pressure and body composition.Â All these tests are performedÂ using US-FDA approvedÂ bluetooth enabled point-of-careÂ diagnostic equipment. These Â equipment transfer test resultsÂ instantaneously to a laptop orÂ smart-phone, which sends it to theÂ central monitoring station (CMS)Â along with the entire informationÂ collected.
At the CMS, there is a teamÂ of doctors that analyses allÂ information and test results andÂ creates a comprehensive riskÂ profile. This risk profile, along withÂ the doctorâs report, nutritionistâsÂ guidelines, fitness expertâs tips Â and a health guide are sent to theÂ individual by email within 4-6 Â hours. If they want it in print, it isÂ delivered using next-day courierÂ service at no extra cost.
What is your target market for MakeÂ Me Healthy? How do you plan toÂ reach out to this market?
All of the above services are availableÂ to retail customers as well asÂ companies for health managementÂ of their employees. We believe thatÂ everyone has a right to good health.Â Therefore, the target market is anyÂ individual, group or organisationÂ looking to use technology enabledÂ proactive care.
We have successfully launchedÂ the service and are now looking Â to take it pan-India. Our plan is toÂ appoint franchise partners, whoÂ will take care of the front end salesÂ and assessment service-deliveryÂ while we take care of the backendÂ operations such as selectionÂ of equipment, technologyÂ integration, set-up and training,Â managing team of Â doctors andÂ experts, scientific algorithmÂ design and improvement andÂ report creation and delivery.
We are also looking to workÂ closely with hospitals, whoÂ would want to provide theseÂ services under their ownÂ brand. We can take care of theÂ complete preventive healthcareÂ department for hospitalsÂ including marketing, sales, setup,Â health risk assessment andÂ further counselling for primaryÂ and secondary treatment at theÂ hospital.
Apart from the end customer, whoÂ else can benefit from this service?
Since healthcare is a very complexÂ industry with several stake-holders,Â we see a lot of other agenciesÂ benefiting from this service. WeÂ have already discussed about howÂ hospitals can benefi t by improvingÂ their brand and business. TheÂ second biggest benefi ciary will beÂ the pharmaceutical companies asÂ they could reach out to the right setÂ of people who need their treatmentÂ methodologies by partnering withÂ Make Me Healthy. We also see lifeÂ and health insurance companiesÂ as potential partners because theyÂ benefit from knowing the risk profi leÂ of their potential customers beforeÂ issuing the policy of their existingÂ customers on a periodic basis so theyÂ could motivate them towards properÂ treatment to avoid any untowardÂ incident of illness or death.
How do you see Make Me HealthyÂ benefiting corporates and theirÂ employees?
The USD 336.6 billion burden ofÂ chronic diseases primarily consistsÂ of the opportunity cost of time lostÂ by employeeâs illness. Imagine yourÂ most important resource taking aÂ sick leave three days before the allÂ important projectâs deadline!
These diseases come with severalÂ co-morbidities like degeneration ofÂ organs (kidney, lungs, eyes, nervousÂ system etc.), slow healing of wounds,Â increased risk and slow recoveryÂ from other diseases and ailments. InÂ severe cases, often amputation is theÂ only solution left.
In this era of cut-throatÂ competition where quality of humanÂ capital is the defi ning factor betweenÂ success and failure, no organisationÂ can afford to lose good employees. IfÂ the employeesâ health is taken careÂ of by the organisation, there is a very Â high chance that the retention periodÂ and productivity of the employeeÂ will increase. Studies suggest thatÂ employers who take care of theirÂ employeesâ health needs see lowerÂ rate of attrition as compared to peers Â not doing the same.
Which are some of the recentÂ milestones for Make Me Healthy?
The response to MMH has beenÂ very encouraging since its launch.Â To mention some of the recentÂ milestones, MMH has been awardedÂ an exclusive contract by the DiseaseÂ Management Association of IndiaÂ (DMAI) to conduct Health RiskÂ Assessment of India (HRAI). MakeÂ Me Healthy also bagged both juryâsÂ choice and online voting award forÂ the âeHealth Initiative of the YearÂ 2009â at the eRajasthan summit, heldÂ on 18th December 2009 in Jaipur.
Make Me Healthy and The TimesÂ of Indiaâs wellness banner TimesÂ Wellness, jointly published a HealthÂ Guide to be distributed to peopleÂ focusing on the risk of chronicÂ diseases.
Make Me Healthyâs HRAI effortsÂ were featured in the DiseaseÂ Management Association ofÂ America: The Care Continuumâs
Where do you see yourself and MakeÂ Me Healthy two-years down the line?
Our sincere effort is to makeÂ sure that people from all strata ofÂ the society get access to preventiveÂ healthcare in the coming years.Â We see Make Me Healthy becomingÂ a pan-India phenomenon inÂ the long term and the next two yearsÂ will be crucial for the same. In the next Â two years Make Me Healthy creatingÂ its presence in at least 20 major citiesÂ in India using franchise partners forÂ Lifestyle Health Risk Assessment.
When can we see the DiseaseÂ Management services in action?
Disease Management servicesÂ will be started in its first locationÂ within Q1-2010. After theÂ completion of first successfulÂ training, the learning thereof willÂ be incorporated in the programÂ and the same will be replicatedÂ at all our franchise locations.Â Therefore the expected time frameÂ to see a wide-spread Disease Â Management program will beÂ around end of 2010.