Healthcare is a basic and essential human need. Whether a person is ill or not, regular health checkups are a good personal habit and a norm in a modern self-aware society. It is not only a sign that you care about your health and your life; it also increases your awareness about the medical issues you need to look out for!
The past century has seen a rampant growth in the healthcare sector modernizing the way this system works. Interdisciplinary research in the field of medicine has led people to explore the application of ICT in providing better care facilities to patients in terms of quality, timely treatment and early diagnosis with mobile technology leading the health care initiatives in the professional healthcare domain.This has started to attract monetary investments and technological developments in this vicinity and as a result, health care startups are getting huge funding throughout the globe.
For Pakistan, the recent startup drive has also sent some good vibes in the medical and pharmaceutical industry and the good thing is – the numbers of healthcare startups are rising!
Therefore, we decided to have a look at some of the promising startups which are purely related to this domain; the healthcare:
Health Wire is an online portal for improving access to dental care for patients. After signing up for free, people can search and locate a dentist or dental clinic within their vicinity depending upon the treatment they seek. An appointment can be setup afterwards and patients can provide their reviews once they have visited the clinic.
The startup is currently based at LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lahore and is co-founded by Haris Durrani & Hamza Iqbal.
E-NovatRX is a primary health care startup to prevent fraud or abuse of pharmaceutical purchases to insurance agencies and reduce medical errors caused by prescription illegibility. It has created a unique ID smart card, the technology behind which automates and digitizes the pharmaceutical chain, allowing for purchase restrictions to be applied, so that authorization of payment from employer to employee might only be on generics of medicines, dosage and quantity; not on non-medical items and window times for purchasing (such as monthly refills at specific times).
The startup is a program by Naya Jeevan lead by Dr. Asher Hasan, Dr. Iffat Zafar, Dr. Zhara Shah and Saima Shivji.
doctHERs is a startup whose main aim is to establish clinics in underserved areas across Pakistan. It also conducts awareness and free medical camps within these areas. These clinics will be using “Tele Medicine” technology to have patients and doctors connected online.
doctHERs is co-founded by a trio of doctors; Dr. Sana Khurram, Dr. Iffat Zafar and Dr. Ashar Hassan. Being accelerated at invest2innovate program, it currently resides at the “Naya Jeevan” co-working space. The startup has recently won at Seedstars World, Karachi & internally at the Tech-I, 2015. A list of their achievements can be viewed here.
Vitealth, is a startup which has a core product with the same name. Their main product is a health sensor watch which provides the information regarding vital signs by simple use of touch working like a personal health assistant to the wearer. Whether you are working, having a walk, doing exercise, driving or having your evening tea with your family, it helps you keep your vitals in check.
It is founded by Saad Qureshi and based in Islamabad associated with JumpStart Pakistan. They recently pitched at Seedstars World, Karachi.
CareActions is an online portal aiming to revolutionize the healthcare process by connecting care seekers with their desired caregivers. It allows patients to get to the right caregiver for the right treatment by providing them with a list of health care professionals alongside their location, specialization and rate/consultation from their database. It is an easily accessible, convenient & 24/7 available service for people to book a meeting with their caregiver.
Founded by Umer Farooq, it is based in Lahore and currently operational in beta mode.
Sehat is an online pharmacy plus medical store with coverage all over Pakistan started by Apothecare (Pvt.) Ltd.’s. The orders for medicine can be placed online by simple verification of prescription via email or fax followed by a confirmation of payment after which the medicines are delivered at your doorstep. The site also markets different consumer items such as baby care and beauty skin products etc.
Procheck is a pharmaceutical industry based portal serving as a three pack solution for its customers; an anti-counterfeiting application, a remote plant management solution for third party manufacturing assistance and a data analytic tool for sales force activities. Their anti-counterfeiting application, Asli Goli, is an SMS-based pharmaceutical product verification service for consumers, that uses unique serial numbers printed on the product to combat counterfeit medicine in Pakistani market.
Procheck is founded by Saim Siddiqui, whereas Asad Rana handles the business development and Fahad Khan looks after the operational side of the venture. They won third position at Startup Asia Singapore 2014.
Trequant is a unique startup showcasing a wristwatch coupled with a monitoring device to assist patients with essential tremor (ET) disorder. The watch looks like any other watch but the tremor quantifying device fixed in it tracks and analyzes the tremor patterns and saves the date on cloud to be shared with doctors and family members later. In this way, it not only helps in effective self assessment but also keeps doctors and families updated with reports through recorded data, 24/7.
EzPz Sehat is a portal created to make a collaborative base for doctors and patients. It allows patients to make an informed choice regarding their treatment using a range of the portal’s features such as the doctor’s contact details, qualifications and experience. The doctors can create their profiles on EzPz to update their patients about changes in their availability.
It is co-founded by Maliha Kiyani and Ayaz Kiyani being accelerated at invest2innovate, in Islamabad.
What we think about these startups in context of
In Pakistan, issues related to lack of infrastructure & provision of basic medicines in underdeveloped areas are very common. Although private hospitals are well equipped, their expense is affordable to only a particular social class whereas, the poor are left with no option other than the overcrowded and less equipped government hospitals. Filling this gap, emerging healthcare startup initiatives in Pakistan are adding to the growth of healthcare industry as internet facility is reaching out to the less developed parts of the country. Recent floods and earthquakes have placed these startups in a key position for helping the affected. Now, they can play their role in not only providing medical assistance, but providing timely and reliable treatment and information processing.
Lets see what the future holds for these health care startups as emerging leaders in reforming the health care system of our country!