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Big Idea

Heard of this Phable?
This healthcare app hopes to bridge the distance between patients and doctors, through real-time info sharing

Hari Menon

Did you know? In the USA, if a shopping cart contains diapers (especially on a Friday), there’s a good chance you’ll find a six-pack somewhere in there too.

Prashanth Reddy spearheaded the behavioural intelligence division at Borderless Access (BA), an Indian consumer intelligence and market research firm. His team crunched years of buyers’ data to arrive at the beer-diaper connect.

In September 2017, Reddy and two BA colleagues, Sumit Sinha (co-founder at Kristys Kitchen, now eat.fit) and Mukesh Bansal (not to be confused with Bansal from Myntra and cure.fit) decided to leverage their number-crunching skills to start Phable, a healthcare app. While they incorporated the company in November 2017, operations began in March 2018.

Sinha and Bansal lost their fathers within months of each other. Both passed away suddenly and suffered from high blood-pressure (BP) and diabetes. Through Phable, the trio wanted to provide preventive care for patients who do not receive a doctor’s attention after diagnosis.

The idea behind Phable is simple: to automate healthcare for people with chronic diseases. It’s a digital assistant that helps doctors monitor your health after consultation without being harassed by the patient on Whatsapp.  

For it to work, both you and the doctor need to be on the app. After your consultation, you upload the doctor’s prescription, the lifestyle changes suggested by the doctor, and self-monitoring guidelines (periodic blood-glucose and BP checks, or full-body check-ups) and that’s it.

The app reminds you to take your medicine, pings and pongs to tell you it’s time for your daily walk, and sends you daily tips to improve your health depending on your ailment. It syncs with your Bluetooth-enabled FitBit, glucometers, BP monitors, and smart-weighing scales to track your vitals, and also allows you to upload your lab reports. If any vitals are off, the app notifies your doctor who can adjust your dosage on the fly.

Reddy says “The biggest issue with patients is non-compliance. They miss their doses, don’t conduct self-tests as often as prescribed, and doctors don’t have the means to monitor their patients when they are away… We need to solve this problem by creating a care continuum.”

Currently, Phable has 150 experts who handle five ailments: Diabetes, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia (cholesterol imbalance), Hyperthyroidism, and Hypothyroidism.

The start-up recently tied up with Fortis Hospitals. This association brings more doctors on board taking the total to 200 and also helps the app grow its user base. Phable also aims to be the world’s largest IoT integrator of medical devices. Japanese BP monitor giant Omron is their biggest strategic partner, while notable associations also include Apple Health and Fitbit. Transactions made possible through the platform — medical tests, medicine purchase, insurance — will allow Phable to make a commission (say 10 percent) through its partner networks.

Phable started out with a bootstrapped capital of 3 million that the founders raised from friends and family. In July 2018, it received its seed-round capital of $250,000 from Omphalos Venture Partners.

Phable’s next target is to reach 100,000 users by 2020, from its current user base of 6,000, and clock a revenue of $2 million by that year end

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