Info-tech

Fitness trackers begin to gain traction in India

Venkatesh Ganesh Bangalore | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on September 15, 2014

Wearable computing is beginning to make inroads in India, indicating changing trends in the country's healthcare system.

Dubai-based healthcare company Tupelo has launched Mymo, a device that helps a person track his or her health-related activities daily. The device is priced at ₹3,999 and will be available at all major retail outlets in the country, according to company officials. It comes with a six-month battery and is the size of a two rupee coin. It can track a user’s calories, steps and distance covered in the course of a day.

The logic is simple– create a market by selling devices, provide the services around it and then get doctors and insurers on this platform, according to Martyn Molnar, CEO of Tupelo. “Eighty per cent of premature onset of chronic diseases can be prevented and in some cases reversed if daily activities are monitored.” Mymo is not the first one to do so in India. 2mpower Health Management Services launched GetActive, a device resembling a Bluetooth headset, in early 2013. This device helps its users measure their daily physical quotient and also provides a personal dashboard that shows readings for each day – steps taken in a day, physical activity, sleep quality, among other things. This data is further analysed by the GetActive team to suggest medication time, list nutritionists to augment wellness and lapses in daily activity.

Similarly, 42Gears.com, a Bangalore-based start-up, has come up with a remote patient monitoring device and is working with Philips, according to Abhay Koranne, Strategy, Marketing and Business Development. All this is a result of two factors— changed lifestyles and higher costs related to healthcare. “Lifestyle diseases have become a bane for modern society, even with the aid of advanced healthcare,” says Mohammed Hussain, founder of 2mpower. This, in addition to spiralling healthcare costs, is resulting in people wanting to adopt a proactive rather than reactive approach to healthcare, adds Molnar.

While the proof is not yet in the pudding, initial trends point towards some uptake. GetActive has around 10,000 users and Mohandas Pai of Manipal Group, Ashok Soota of Happiest Minds and Shalini Pillai of KPMG as investors.

In India, this segment of wearable health devices is pegged at ₹25 crore, and is expected to touch 1 million units in 2015, which is 24 times smaller compared with the US where the market for these devices are estimated to be $1 billion and to touch 8 million units in 2014.

Correction

We misspelled Happiest Minds' Ashok Soota's name as Ashok Sutta. This copy has been modified to correct the error.

Published on September 15, 2014
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