Remote diagnosis has previously been efficaciously applied in specific situations, such as long expeditions, conflict zones and lately in remote populations. These proficiencies have paved the way for varied use of remote diagnosis, especially in developing countries. Increased efficacy is needed to meet the growing patient demand. Remote diagnosis collects and analyzes data, captivating in a larger range of data—considering both a person’s past medical history as well as associated data from the patients with similar illnesses than doctors typically have accessible to them. Employing AI reinforced technologies; remote diagnosis can chaperon doctors to make informed choices faster and more accurately.
CureAssist is one such AI-powered on-demand assessment & remote diagnostics platform, which enables users, regardless of their location to get first level assessment of one’s health, diagnosis by a medical professional, access to preventive care services without having to leave their home or workplace.
The company works towards a single point vision to democratize healthcare and provide access to primary healthcare to everyone regardless of the geographical location they are in.
Empowering Journey of CureAssist
Saurabh Satija, the Co-founder of CureAssist is a serial entrepreneur & hit upon the idea while working with his last startup – HealthSocho. This company solved availability for alternate medicines, where he kept getting requests from users to recommend products for specific symptoms. “Since it was alternate medicine (Ayurveda, Nutraceuticals, etc.) people thought it was ok to self-medicate on the basis of symptoms.” asserts Saurabh. He would consistently request HealthSocho users to visit doctors to understand what their symptom entails and why they should not self-medicate. While some patients would ignore the request, others would talk about geographical constraints and quality of doctors available in their locality.
These consumer responses led Saurabh to look at healthcare more closely and realize that there is a major supply restraint in terms of the number of doctors available in the country (800,000 for a population of 1.3 billion) and how skewed the concentration is – more that 70 percent of the doctors are in Metro and Tier 1 towns, which represents only one third of the population. “This skew made people fall for quacks and also self-medicate.” he says. This was the genesis of CureAssist. “Since I’ve always worked in the marketing domain, decided to bring in a doctor as a Co-founder, somebody who could bring in the domain expertise and also help in creating the right product.”
He joined hands with the other Co-founders; Pawan Shetty, Nischal D. and Dr. Ambana Gowda, and was able to build a great team. In terms of partnerships, this team is now working with 5 big hospitals, 175 doctors, one of India’s largest diagnostic chain, and healthcare at home service provider. CureAssist consistently goes back to its users, who provide the company with feedback based on, which it keeps refreshing its product offering.
Distinct Services and Products
CureAssist is an app (Android & IOS) driven care ecosystem. It not only allows users to assess, but also get connected with doctors for further diagnosis. The platform enables users to choose from a host of services like diagnostic labs, healthcare at home, and on-call nutritionist amongst others.
AI Transforming Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence has numerous applications and has been put to use in various cases in the healthcare sector; like diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, and to identify new therapies. Few of the examples being, primary care or triage, radiology, drug discovery, and risk identification. “While all of the initiatives are geared to address key issues prevalent in healthcare, I still believe there is a lot to be done in terms of data ownership, data privacy and ownership in case of a miscue in diagnosis.” asserts Saurabh.
“While the healthcare sector is growing at double digit numbers and is touted to reach $280 billion by 2020, predominantly at the back of rising income, greater health awareness & changing outlook towards preventive care, in spite of this there is still a huge accessibility gap when it comes to primary healthcare”, says Saurabh.
With the doctor to patient ratio of ~ 1:1700 and 70 percent of the doctor concentration in Tier 1 cities, there seems an urgent need to provide a technology solution at scale. While CureAssist’s initial solution is for the city dweller, the company is continuously striving to find an easy and effective solution to tap into the population beyond Tier 2 cities and reach out to the masses. Speaking of the future of the company, Saurabh says, “We are adding some very exciting features in the coming days!”