India’s healthcare system, though stronger and more robust than ever, still suffers from inefficiencies and service gaps. Rajinish Menon, a serial entrepreneur and startup mentor, encountered these flaws firsthand when his mother was diagnosed with neurological and cardiovascular ailments. While sporadic assistance was available, it lacked consistency and reliability. This experience highlighted the unpredictable nature of healthcare support in India, oscillating between hope and help and moments of helplessness.

In 2015, Rajinish founded Sukino Healthcare to address these gaps in the healthcare system. Based in Bengaluru, the company specializes in providing continuum healthcare services, offering fast recovery through out-of-hospital recuperative, rehabilitative, and palliative care for patients at various intermediate stages of their diseases.

Sukino’s Vision: Fortifying Healthcare through Continuum Care

Sukino aims to be a trusted partner for individuals seeking continuous care, ensuring a seamless journey from A to Z. This approach allows healthcare patients and their families the freedom to focus on their responsibilities while entrusting their loved ones to Sukino’s professional care.

Reflecting on the journey, Rajinish Menon, Founder and CEO of Sukino, said, “Sukino aspires to be a trusted advisor and partner, providing long-term care plans that encompass both recuperation and rehabilitation. This involves collaboration with primary consultants to ensure comprehensive and personalized care for individuals suffering from chronic ailments and their families. Through our comprehensive continuum care delivery model, we aim to make a lasting impact on the healthcare landscape.

With state-of-the-art facilities in Bangalore and Kochi, Sukino is expanding its reach to Coimbatore. Menon added, “At Sukino, we pride ourselves on providing quality care and ensuring wide accessibility through affordable prices. Across all levels of care, we intend to be a helping hand to care, protect, and nurture you or your loved ones as our own. Through home-like care away from home, we hope to bring back our patients’ smiles.”

On the Rise: Sukino’s Achievements in 2023

In 2023, the healthcare sector witnessed significant private equity and venture capital deal flow. Sukino Healthcare Solutions secured ₹50 crore in a Series A private equity investment round from Stakeboat Capital in March 2023. The funds are strategically allocated to facilitate expansion into new geographical regions such as Coimbatore and enhance rehabilitation efforts through technology integration and streamlined business operations. The capital is also being utilized to enhance bed capacity and incorporate cutting-edge technology to elevate the overall quality of healthcare services.

Expectations and Outcomes for 2024 and the Years Ahead

Sukino aims for both horizontal and vertical expansion. In terms of horizontal expansion, Sukino plans to expand geographically, aiming to cover and service the entire city region of Bangalore and branch out to Coimbatore. By the end of March 2024, Sukino aims to scale from a current capacity of 200 beds to 550 beds, with a goal to reach 1500 beds in the next three years.

Additionally, Sukino will focus on adding more service lines through vertical expansion. Menon explained, “From services such as recuperative care, rehabilitative care, and specialized physiotherapy care, Sukino intends to start introducing related devices that can accurately predict problems. With assistance from our medical experts, our patients should be able to employ these devices to overcome their problems in the therapy area itself. We are also instituting hydrotherapy in all our centers because of the tremendous benefits of hydrotherapy, which range far beyond what people have imagined.”

Home Care Services in India: At the Junction of Evolution and Innovation

Home-based care has transitioned towards value-based care, with technology advancements supporting more affordable and accessible care delivery. The pace of change has increased in recent years, providing significant advantages to patients who increasingly prefer home-based care.

Rajinish sees this as an evolution in the journey to personalized, patient-centric healthcare delivery: “For example, if we notice a persistent problem, we can connect patients to relevant service professionals. This new way of thinking, where we know that social factors are just as important or even more important than medicine, is a big change that’s really important for stopping health issues before they happen.”

Before the pandemic, people were already recognizing the benefits of care at home. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated acceptance of home care due to the increased risk of exposure in crowded places or medical centers. “Home health services not only offer a safer care option, especially with the ongoing spread of the JN1 variant, but they also ensure patients receive care on time. Additionally, with hospitals dealing with more COVID-19 cases, there’s a growing need for hospital-level care provided at home,” revealed Menon.

Advancements in Technology Shaping the Healthcare Landscape in 2024

In the future, AI is expected to play a dual role in healthcare by improving patient experience and supporting clinical or therapy-related technology. In the area of therapy, AI will suggest exercises and preventive measures for health issues such as shoulder pain and detect underlying causes such as poor posture and ergonomics. On the patient experience front, AI will contribute to more efficient clinical record management systems. Sukino, for instance, allows patients and doctors to view measurements and scales on its app, demonstrating the transformative potential of AI in personalized and comprehensive healthcare.

Telemedicine enables patients to opt for both primary health checkups and secondary opinions. Menon pointed out, “Previously, obtaining a second opinion required visiting another hospital, but with telemedicine, people can upload their records and consult a specialist for informed decision-making. Telemedicine has evolved beyond simple consulting to encompass both primary care and secondary opinion consultations.”

Furthermore, smart devices enhance teleconsulting, enabling various hospital activities to be performed remotely, particularly in subacute interventions. This trend is especially relevant for countries such as India, where many primary healthcare centers face challenges. The central government is leveraging these technologies to develop smart primary healthcare centers, improving care accessibility in rural areas. Even underprivileged primary healthcare centers can offer more significant care, reducing the need for people to travel. Telemedicine is playing a crucial role in advancing remote healthcare by informing individuals about the necessity of visiting tertiary care hospitals.

Views expressed by Rajinish Menon, Founder & CEO, Sukino Healthcare.

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