A study reveals that last year more than 45 lakh people in India succumbed to cardiovascular diseases, commonly referred to as heart attack. But the experts believe that the majority of these deaths could have been prevented, if the victims were aware about their heart health.
Here comes the need for ECG (electrocardiogram) tests. It can evaluate if your heart is healthy or has developed a problem. But this test is commonly done before a major surgery or if a heart problem is suspected. However, many people don’t even consider undergoing ECG tests due to their lack of knowledge about the signs and symptoms of heart diseases. Keeping this in mind, young physician Abhijit Upadhyaya has launched a startup Cytopot to get ECG tests done freely, especially for those belonging to poor financial backgrounds and living in rural areas.
From the very first day of joining MBBS course, Abhijit has been trying his best to sensitise rural and tribal population about health issues by conducting health awareness programmes and camps free of cost through his voluntary organisation ‘Being and Becoming’. He had a hypothetical plan in his mind for a startup that would improve the healthcare system by going digital and more easily accessible. For one and half years it remained in the planning stage. But things changed after he tested positive for Covid 19. Suddenly he could see everything with a much greater clarity. He realised the urgency of digitisation of even the healthcare system.
“I always wanted to launch a startup to provide better healthcare services. When I was down with Covid, I decided to create a digital healthcare ecosystem through which we can better the healthcare system during pandemic. I realised that certain key problems of the healthcare system in the country – overburdened and disorganised private clinics and OPDs, overcrowding in the areas for patient waiting and lack of real-time updates about the unanticipated rescheduling of appointments – led to a loss of significant working hours for the patients and fewer patient consultations per day. I created the startup Cytopot to provide ECG services to patients freely as cardiovascular diseases accounted for 28.1 per cent of total deaths in the country in 2020”, says Abhijit, the CEO of Cytopot.
Upon being asked to explain the whole process of reaching out to patients, Abhijit says, “Currently we are accepting two types of booking for ECG. Patients can book through our toll free number or can book through our website by submitting their details. Once booking is done, our technician will make a call, confirm about the timing and reach the destination. The technician, following Covid protocols, performs the ECG in less than three minutes and sends his observations to our cardiologist for interpretation. At present, we have three technicians, two assistants and five cardiologists in our team. In case of female patients, we send a female technician to record the ECG. Since, it is a recently launched concept, we have so far covered only Balasore and Bhubaneswar towns. For our doorstep ECG services, we now get booking of approx 15-20 patients per day. Within a couple of weeks we have done more than 1000 ECGs at doorsteps. Our aim is to cover areas where getting healthcare services is a distant dream and help heart patients with portable ECG machines.”
Elaborating more about his startup, Abhijit says, “Cytopot is a digital healthcare system that facilitates provision of standardized access to healthcare at an economic price but ECG service freely. On an integrated platform, the user and the service provider can have direct communication and an appointment is scheduled. The system takes into consideration of the appointment with respect to the location of the user, distance between the user and the service provider, tracking the real-time location as the user moves and calculates the time-delay; thereby alerting both the service provider as well as the user. It operates through a unique algorithm to improve the time-management for the client availing an appointment for a consultation or a diagnostic work-up or other healthcare services. Additionally, if the user continues to move beyond a certain range/distance that cannot be covered in the stipulated time period and if there is no response against the alerts, the server automatically sends messages to the service provider for either rescheduling or cancellation of the appointment, taking into consideration of the travel time and other unforeseen time delays. The user is able to explore the search based upon several criteria, such as a keyword search related to the service, geographic location of the service area, date and time of the service, the pricing and if a tele-consultation is available.”
What core members have to say…
Rotarian Aayush Jasoria says, “It has been observed that Odisha has inadequate ECG (electrocardiography) facilities which are leading to deaths in a majority of heart attack cases in urban as well as rural areas. It is indeed a big intervention from doctor Ahbijit Upadhyaya and his team of Cytopot who have brought this ECG at the door step in Bhubaneswar and Balasore. Disease prevention and treatment being one of the focus areas of Rotary International, Rotary E Club of District 3262 has joined hands with Cytopot to take this initiative to pan-district and get the heart check-up done for patients in rural areas. This will further help in creating awareness and Rotarians also can be taught first-aid to handle situations related to heart diseases.”
Abhinav Cardea, who works as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Cardea Labs, feels Abhijit and his teammates are literally saving lives by this service at the bottom of the pyramid. There is a huge gap in the healthcare ecosystem in Southeast Asia where a large number of people miss out on quality diagnostics because of cost and non-availability of technologies. Our team at Cardea Labs along with doctors at AIIMS, New Delhi have worked dedicatedly for years to develop a robust ECG system which can give a high definition, simultaneous 12 lead signals on any Android phones. The user can then instantly send the PDF report for analysis via services such as WhatsApp/mail. It gives a massive edge over the traditional paper based ECG machines and now the patients won’t have to travel to get their ECG tests and its analysis done.”
“My role in the startup is to understand business and operations problems and find solutions. With my experience in building and scaling startups like Moveinsync, Swiggy and Cardekho, I have developed the right understanding to find practical ways. Abhijit sees this company as a mission to improve healthcare in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The zeal and enthusiasm of Abhijit and team has made me join them in their mission”, says founding member and executive officer for marketing and growth of Cytopot Udit Varshney.
“As a business woman and a responsible mother, going to hospital for an ECG checkup is not only quite risky but it also takes up a lot of time from my busy schedule. But thanks to Cytopot , that’s no more an issue. I didn’t have to step outside my house to get my ECG done. Looking at the current scenario where crowding puts individuals at high risk, I would say Cytopot is a big step in the healthcare industry at the right time”, says Mrs Supreety Mishra.
Bhubaneswar-based interventional cardiologist Soumya Ranjan Mahapatra maintains “After the age of 25 any person can develop myocardial infarction (MI). With the data we have, 15 per cent smokers can have risk for CVD, 21.1 per cent hypertensive people can have MI heart failure. However, many persons worldwide are globally silent for MI and other CVD. Elderly, individual with immunocompromised and with organ failure like renal and respiratory failure can have CVD. People of any age group with anxiety , recurrent palpitations, pulses, head reeling syncope and presyncope attacks should be evaluated with simple screening with ECG. It is the most cost-economic and preliminary screening of CVD in a few minutes. Even deadly Corona virus has some effect on your heart in such a pandemic era of Covid 19. Door step ECG with online verified by cardiologist has a great initiative for our local community.”
Rashmi Rekha Das, OP