Pulse

Tech aids the war on lifestyle diseases

Thomas Abraham | Updated on February 21, 2021

Digitised care: The founders of LiveAltlife (from left) Purushottam Govindarajan, Monika Manchanda, Vivek Subramanyam, Naren Santhanam and Kartik Sarwade

Dr Abhijit Bhograj, co-founder of 7Sugar.com

From counting calories to monitoring blood sugar levels and other vital parameters, tech solutions have a finger on the pulse

Mitali, 45, was rushed to the hospital with sugar levels touching an alarming 350 mg/dL. Obese and hypertensive, she received treatment to bring down the sugar level and stabilise it.

Besides administering medicines, the doctor pinned a coin-sized sensor on her forearm. The device would monitor her sugar level every 15 minutes, helping establish the pattern of sugar highs and lows. She was is advised to wear the device for 15 days.

The doctor also told her to download the 7Sugar.com app on her smartphone. For the next fortnight, she would upload images of her meals to the app, which calculates the calorie intake, sugar levels and tracks the number of steps she walks. In case of doubt, she could always ping the doctor.

Tech backbone

Devices like the one pinned on Mitali, from healthcare major Abbott (FreeStyle Libre), and device-linked services like Roche’s (mySugr app and Accu-Chek Instant blood glucose monitoring system), for instance, provide a technology backbone to diabetes treatment, as they provide real-time information on glucose levels.

But it is in aggregating and personalising data from various wearable as well as non-wearable devices — Fitbit, Myfitnesspal, glucometer, blood test results — that ventures like 7Sugar come into play. They are a virtual one-stop solution for patients, cutting down the time needed for doctors to make sense of the different data.

“We use AI across the entire value chain of our offering to reduce the burden of time on doctors, provide real-time feedback/insights to patients and doctors alike, and a truly personalised diabetes care,” said Dr Abhijit Bhograj, a co-founder of 7Sugar.com. The other two are Adhi Kesarla and Satish Kathrisetti.

Not just diabetes, 7Sugar’s AI-led solution models patient physiology and behaviour based on data shared by the patient on the app (lifestyle, diet, fitness, glucose, vitals, and so on) to deliver lifestyle interventions in real-time to patients and assist doctors in right-sizing the medication.

“Though our company’s core focus is diabetes, a host of other chronic conditions such as heart disease, thyroid, obesity, cholesterol, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome can be monitored by the 7Sugar app, and insights delivered to the treating doctor, who can then take the required action,” says Dr Bhograj.

The USP

“While there are thousands of apps and various services in this space, there is not a single app like ours that provides an integrated and holistic approach to treat lifestyle diseases,” claims Dr Bhograj. “With this, the treating doctor is able to get integrated data from a variety of devices and provide patient advice in a matter of minutes.”

Concurs Dr Om Lakhani from Ahmedabad, who uses the 7Sugar app for his patients. “The app helps the treating doctor take decisions fast, and with precision.”

Currently, 7Sugar has presence in eight states.

More the merrier

7Sugar is not alone in this tech-driven battle against lifestyle diseases.

Bengaluru-based Vivek Subramanyam, an IIM alumni, fought diabetes for over a decade before he decided to do something to bring relief to himself and others like him. His efforts gave birth to LiveAltlife (www.livealtlife.com), which provides holistic solutions to help reverse diabetes and other lifestyle conditions.

“Our solution helps folks suffering from lifestyle conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, hypertension, fatty liver, and PCOS,” said Subramanyam, the chief founding member and CEO of LiveAltlife. The others are Kartik Sarwade, Monika Manchanda, Naren Santhanam, and Purushottam Govindarajan. All of them were fighting one or the other health condition when they decided to come together in crusade against lifestyle diseases.

According to Subramanyam, in its beta launch, LiveAltlife’s triangular approach to health has helped hundreds rid themselves of their dependence on daily medicine, lose significant weight and achieve commendable improvement in health. “Diabetics who have been on multiple medications have reduced their HbA1c by up to 50 per cent and reclaimed healthy levels, lost 15-plus kg in some cases and became significantly fitter while also getting off all their medicines,” he added.

Agrees the serial IT entrepreneur Sanjay Sunku, a patient-client: “My diabetes was at an alarming level — HbA1c at 12.4. and fasting blood sugar at 200. In 66 days, the two parameters came down to 6.4 and 100.1.”

Bengaluru-based Sunku’s inflammation levels — the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein or hs-CRP, has fallen from 36.3 mg/litre to 9.3 mg/L. The normal is 3 mg/L.

Restore health

LiveAltlife’s solutions include the flagship 90-day “Health Restore 90” programme, which includes therapeutic food, curated fitness routines, mindful stress management, predictive medical diagnostics and expert consultations managed by a tech ecosystem. There is also the Health Restore 30 and a Gut Revive and Immunity Revive programmes. LiveAltlife’s NutriSmart AI enables precise nutrition intake for positive health outcomes. The DiagKnows AI allows clients to predict the future of their health, whereby early warning signs are identified for rectification.

According to Subramanyam, what sets the company apart from competition is “our safe and natural solutions that leverage cutting-edge science. We provide various components of the solution that enable people obtain significantly better health outcomes and reverse their conditions in a convenient way, powered by our high-tech ecosystem.”

Two-year-old LiveAltlife, currently operational in Bengaluru for some of its products, and pan-India for others has a team of 50-plus professionals including doctors, researchers, nutritionists, culinary scientists, chefs, physiotherapists, yoga experts, counsellors, operations specialists, techies, and business analysts.

India is home to 72 million diabetics and another 70 million in pre-diabetic condition. Less than 1.4 per cent of the diabetics are in glycemic control stage. Only 10 million diabetics have ever visited a healthcare facility.

Says Dr Bhograj, “The space is so large that no one approach or competitor can solve the entire problem of lifestyle diseases.”

Clearly, sky is the limit for innovators in the space.

Web of wellness
  • LiveAltlife: One- to three-month programme (with/without a nutrition plan — ₹30,000 to ₹1.65 lakh
  • 7Sugar.com: Based on a software-as-a-service (SAAS) model, prices start at ₹350 and increase with added services

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Published on February 21, 2021
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