4 of the Most Exciting Health Care Start-ups in Southeast Asia
Mobile-based solutions for the region’s sick
In a region where many still lack access to cheap, quality health care, a number of local companies, tech start-ups, and health organizations are filling in the gap by developing mobile-based solutions for those who fall ill. Here are four of the most innovative start-ups we've uncovered in Southeast Asia:
At one point or another, we've all consulted Google for one health-related concern or another. Apart from having to verify the credibility of online sources, language might pose an additional barrier for Southeast Asians. In Indonesia, online portal Alodokter aims to provide scientifically accurate and easy-to-understand health information in Bahasa Indonesia. The website has feature articles about health and wellness, as well as an A-to-Z list of drugs and diseases.
Alodokter is not trying to replace a consultation with a doctor, according to founder and CEO Nathanael Faibis in an April Inc. Southeast Asia feature, but instead helps patients make better-informed decisions regarding their health. It has become Indonesia’s top online health-information portal, with over 8 million total site visits as of February, 2016.
mClinica is a mobile health platform that connects drug companies directly to pharmacies in emerging markets in Southeast Asia, which helps solve the problems of fragmented supply chains and the high cost of medicine. Patients can avail of discounts on medicines by providing their mobile phone numbers, and pharmacies can send the transaction details to the platform in order to get reimbursed by the drug companies. In turn, drug companies gain access to valuable sources of patient data.
The Singapore-based company, which gained initial traction in the Philippines, was founded by Farouk Meralli. In 2014, it raised an undisclosed amount from 500 Startups, Japan’s IMJ Investment Partners, and Kickstart Ventures in the Philippines.
Singapore-based start-up Healint revolutionizes health care by enabling doctors, patients, and other stakeholders to utilize mobile devices, sensors, and big data for the management and monitoring of chronic conditions, such as migraine. Its mobile app, Migraine Buddy, serves as a headache diary and tracking app designed by neurologists and data scientists. It helps users record and identify triggers, duration, and intensity of migraines so appropriate actions may be taken.
Founded in 2013 by Francois Cadiou, Ali Elgamal, and Veronica Chew, Healint has so far received $1.36 million in funding, according to data from Crunchbase.
With the tagline “Putting the fit into Benefits,” Singapore-based ConneXionsAsia is a digital platform that manages employee health benefits. It takes what companies would spend on insurance coverage and converts it to a fixed budget for every employee to personalize their own benefits, such as enrollment in wellness and disease-prevention programs that fit their lifestyles. The start-up was founded by Rosaline Chow Koo in 2013.
The platform shifts the paradigm from treatment to prevention of disease. To encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles – which would, in turn, translate into long-term benefits for the company – the app can age their photos to show that the more bad habits they have, the older they will look. The platform also provides the tools companies need to reward employees for participating in wellness activities or for losing weight.