What is health?
According to WHO, it is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. But in India, the latter part of the definition, which is the absence of disease, makes our definition of health.
This is why the ‘sick care’ model of health is more prevalent than predictive healthcare. This focus on treating disease results in 65% of the healthcare cost being paid from the patients’ own pocket.
A veteran with over two decades of experience in the healthcare field, Dr Garima Singh saw this problem very closely. She was previously the CEO of Saket City Hospital. She had also founded Axia Health Services. She quit her job as a Senior VP of Strategy at Max Healthcare.
She decided to bridge this gap of timely access to healthcare with affordability. She founded Health Assist with co-founder Bhavna Sharma in New Delhi. Garima and Bhavna had worked with government agencies and corporate clients during the hard times of COVID. With their intervention, they were able to reduce hospitalisation by 40%.
The startup provides a healthcare ecosystem that takes care of the patient’s urgent and non-urgent medical needs. They particularly focus on the hidden disease that are potential threats of the future.
The startup pairs every patient with a general physician who would check all health vitals. Once the GP flags the area of concern, a specialist would come on board for specialised treatment. The GP would then check whether the treatment is working or not. Further modifications would be done based on the results.
The patient would also receive a team of psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists that would assist the process when required. The bootstrapped venture started with a personal investment of Rs 4.5 crores. It has so far received 1 million app downloads and will close at Rs 2 crore this fiscal year.
Their immediate goal is to enter all metro cities in India and by 2023 they plan to capture international markets. Will Health Assist be able to make the lives of Indian healthy as per WHO’s definition? That is health that is comprehensive and wholesome.