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How UK’s Clinitouch Plans to Disrupt India’s RPM Offerings with Mohali-based Healthtech Startup Zorgers

Written by : Sharmila Das

June 27, 2024

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Varun Gupta, Zorger’s founder & CEO - Bruce Adams, Commercial Director, Spirit Health

Remote Patient Monitoring is not new in India. The use of telemedicine, wearable devices and mobile applications are its tools to transmit patient data comprising vitals, symptoms to the healthcare provider. The use of RPM is specifically resounded in managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, respiratory illness, heart health issues etc.

The benefits are behemothic and likely to grow in the coming time with technology advancements. RPM saves time, offers timely interventions, patient care and early disease discovery. Indian hospitals including Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital, Apollo Hospitals, Manipal Hospital among others are using it abundantly and proficiently.

Dr Gayatri Deshpande, head of gynecology and obstetrics at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, in a previous interview with DHN outlined how the hospital’s teleconsultation services are benefitting. "The demand for technology adoption in hospitals like Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital is rising, especially with the proven efficacy of teleconsultation services, which have served over 55,000 patients in the past 18 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this need, highlighting the pivotal role of telemedicine in ensuring timely medical interventions irrespective of geographical constraints," Deshpande said.

At Apollo Hospitals, the particular use of AI-powered in-patient room automation system brought tremendous results enhancing patient care. This system continually tracks vital clinical indicators from a distance, streamlining monitoring processes and improving efficiency. Likewise, Manipal Hospital adopted Fitbit-ConnectedLife solution, providing next level remote monitoring solutions. And such examples are plenty.

Capitalizing on this demand for remote patient care, UK-based RPM major, Clinitouch recently formeda partnership with Mohali-based Zorgers. The startup offers at-home health services in the range of elderly care, medical equipment services among other. The partnership, looks promising where the demand for enhanced remote care delivered through advanced technology and decade long experience merged. Talking to DHN, Bruce Adams, commercial director at Spirit Health, shared how it’s platform Clinitouch is rolling out RPM system across the globe.

He said, “There is huge opportunity for digital health initiatives in India, namely due to the country's commitment to a digital health future, which in India is driven by the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, being implemented by the Government’s National Health Authority.”

Adams pointed out how the widespread adoption of mobile technology, and challenges in healthcare access and delivery, especially within rural areas, are all areas where digital health technology is proven to deliver outcomes and make healthcare more accessible and affordable (Central parts of the Clinitouch mission).

He further said, “The ability for digital heath technology like Clinitouch to deliver patient education and run large-scale health awareness and education campaigns not only benefits patients but also builds skill sets and capacity within both the formal and informal healthcare workforce, especially in rural areas.”

Clinitouch’s RPM Solution Tailors India’s Healthcare Needs

Shedding light on the India-specific health challenges, Zorger’s founder & CEO, Varun Gupta said, “In India, currently, we see a great void in Patient-Doctor connectivity. For most of the cases which require clinical contact either in the early or advanced stage of disease discovery, there is no authentic platform available to ease the journey of patient. There has been some good work which has happened in the space of Diabetes, Cancer and PCOD management, but most of the other disease profiles still have no active support.”

Per Gupta, being in the home healthcare space for more than a decade now, they see a great need for neurological, pulmonary and cardiopulmonary patients to have access to anRPM platform.

“Our first and primary target group includes individuals suffering from chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung-related conditions,” Gupta said.

Zorgers intends to leverageClinitouch’s remote monitoring technology, to bring advanced pulmonary care directly to patients’ homes, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits and improving overall patient management.

Clinitouch, on the other hand, has been used within the NHS in the UK for pulmonary and cardiac patients, including in rehabilitation. “When we met Zorgers during a UK Govt Trade mission in December 23, we were delighted that they could see this technology making a difference for patients in India. This was a natural starting point, and it's been a pleasure supporting Zorgers to expand this into further therapy areas,” Adams added.

Disrupting Indian RPM Space

Zorgers and Clinitouch aim to disrupt the Indian remote patient monitoring infrastructure by integrating Clinitouch’s advanced digital health technology with Zorgers’ extensive local healthcare expertise. The current model of Physical Rehab has limited reach and limited scale. This collaboration, both the companies believe, will enable real-time health data monitoring, personalized care plans, and improved clinical connectivity. By leveraging these technologies, the companies plan to enhance patient engagement, reduce hospital admissions, and provide comprehensive rehabilitation remotely. Both the companies focus on creating a scalable and effective remote care model that can be implemented across diverse regions in India.

Further, their device is flexible to use in rural set ups as well. Adams informed that any mobile device can be used to access Clinitouch, and any medical device can be used to enter vital signs information provides a great deal of flexibility for patients - especially in rural areas. “This flexibility, just as importantly, keeps the cost down of leveraging and accessing the technology. Offline modes are being built into the platform and will be released in early 2025 which will increase access even further,” Adams noted.

Future Promises

Just like the technology has benefitted us in every way, RPM has brought healthcare access, remotely. The importance has gained prominence since the COVID era. Since then, RPM has been evolving rapidly, with many technological advancements enhancing its scope to impact many, many more lives. These include advancements in AI, diagnostics, data analytics and medical devices to capture various health metrics in increasingly non-invasive and automated ways.

“The challenge that the industry faces is ensuring that these enhancements don’t drive up the cost of this technology and in turn widen the health divide. We should be fighting to reduce the cost of RPM technology so it’s accessible to greater numbers of patients – many of whom will benefit from it the most,” Adams noted.

The future for RPM usages holds significance considering patient care is more than just curing the disease, it’s about creating experience as well. Therefore, the future technology for RPM needs to be revolved around patient experience and hence Adams cautioned to avoid too ‘techy’ solutions in RPM.

In his words, “We know that the average age of patients on Clinitouch globally is 77 years old, who are often managing multiple chronic conditions, so it's important that the technology is easy to use and increases accessibility! Simplicity is key.”


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