#Asia This app tracks the mood, medication and activity of diabetic patients


Diabeto, which has raised US$300,000 in funding, is launching a hardware device which would sync the readings from a glucometer into the app

The Diabeto team

The Diabeto team

Shreekant Pawar’s dad lived with Type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years. The dad used to maintain his paper logbook for more than five years and take it to the doctor during consultation and treatment.

One day, the hospital misplaced his logbook. The doctor, being a busy man, couldn’t remember the numbers either. And the documents were lost forever.

“That’s when we thought that we need to make this entire process seamless,” says Pawar, who along with Amir Shaikh and Hemanshu Jain, launched a mobile app called Diabeto, in 2012 to address the problems faced by diabetic patients.

What is Diabeto?

A mobile app, Diabeto can track the mood, medication [insulin intake], physical activity as well as the carbohydrate intake for people living with diabetes.

It analyses information and displays intuitive and easy-to-understand graphs, which can then be shared directly with a doctor for expert advice.

Also Read: Medi Assist invests US$1M in Indian mobile fitness startup MobieFit

“Diabeto is focussed exclusively on people living with diabetes. It is not just an application, but we are offering a cloud solution as well, wherein the person with diabetes can take a video consultation right from our platform at the comfort of their homes,” adds Pawar.

While there are mobile apps and online platforms like Practo for consultation and doctor appointments, Diabeto follows a different model. Says Pawar: “For Practo, one needs to still physically go to the doctor with their readings. On the other hand, with Diabeto, one can take a video consultation from home, while the doctor accesses the diabetes readings and information from the app.”

How does it work?

A diabetic patient can manually enter the blood glucose reading and other parameters in the app. These readings are then remotely synced with a cloud application wherein they can get a detailed analysis about their diabetes and also get a video consultation from an endocrinologist on its cloud.

The Mumbai-based startup now plans to launch a hardware device next year which would sync the readings from a glucometer into the Diabeto app. According to Pawar, it already has pre-orders for the device, which is priced at US$29,000, from 32 countries.

The Diabeto app

The Diabeto app

Diabeto banks on three channels for revenues:

  • Sales of the hardware device
  • Diabeto hardware SDK for third-party diabetes apps/businesses who want to take blood glucose readings from hardware into their application
  • Percentage revenue from video consultations offered by endocrinologists via our cloud platform

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The company sees massive opportunities in India, where the number of diabetic patients is on the rise, along with South America, the US and Europe.

Talking about the medtech ecosystem in India, Pawar says: “It’s still nascent as innovating on hardware is really difficult. In spite of a government push, it’s not really enough. India is not a hardware country, so innovating frugally is really a challenge.

If Indian startups are planning to sell the devices outside India, they need to adhere to the medical regulatory standards which are time consuming, laborious and expensive as well. Due to these reasons, the investors want to bet only on those medical devices which are either patentable or already patented.”

He feels that diabetes and the chronic disorders (for e.g. heart ailments) market is huge. However, the innovation is only limited to pharma companies which have big budgets and hence, there are startups focussing on the obesity and weight loss market. Of late, the apps which help in general fitness and losing weight are gaining popularity, he observes.

“The gestation period for healthcare startups is on an average of three to five years — more than a typical tech startup. Moreover, the funding in this space is sparse, especially in the medtech space where the working capital is high,” he says while listing the challenges for the companies in the space.

Diabeto, which has raised US$300,000 in funding so far, has also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise US$30,000 more.

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