Sanket – a revolutionary product in the healthcare/wellness space is the brainchild of Agatsa, a Noida based product and Solutions Company. ProductNation interviewed Rahul, co-founder of Agatsa to understand the product and their plans to make it available to the masses. Read on…
What was the motivation to start Agatsa?
My wife Neha (Co-Founder) and I started Agatsa back in 2010. When we started, our aim was to exploit the opportunity of providing innovative solutions to worldwide customers on the mobile/web/internet platform. We leveraged our expertise in working with mobile devices and built custom solutions and applications to clients in different sectors such as healthcare, education and social networking.
However, from the past year, we have pivoted, and reoriented ourselves as a product company in the healthcare space. All our current efforts are focused towards these aspects now.
How did this shift in direction of the company come about? What idea propelled you to think about this product?
The idea for the product came about as a result of personal experience of having to deal with heart related ailments in my extended family, and a lot of deep thinking about how these could be prevented. These days, we have compact and easy to use devices to monitor and keep a tab on few diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure etc. However, when it comes to detecting symptoms of heart related ailments, it usually involves a detailed diagnostic procedure at one of the labs. If one digs deeper, it comes out that most of the heart attacks could have been prevented, had there been proper and early diagnosis of the symptoms.
This led us to conceptualize and prototype a device that is smaller-then-a-credit-card sized pocket card device which can be carried along as a card in the pocket. This device would enable monitoring the vital stats of the functioning of the heart. We have named it ‘Sanket’, to reflect the signalling capability any potential ailments in the functioning of the heart.
Can you provide a few more specific details about the device – Sanket? How would one use it and what benefits would one get?
Sanket is the name of our product range that includes health monitoring, wellness devices. The very first product in Sanket portfolio is possibly the world’s smallest Pocket ECG card that can read and interpret ECG. It’s even smaller than a credit card !
There are at least three ways in which one would benefit by using this product. Firstly, Sanket simplifies the process of getting an ECG done. In the current practice, one needs to travel to a diagnostic centre, wait for his/her turn and get the ECG conducted at the lab, place gel and electrodes at numerous places on body. Using Sanket, one can do the same at the location of their choice, and without any external dependency or help. This greatly reduces the time and effort spent by the individual without the use of any gel or electrode. Moreover, Sanket records all the ECG data measurements of the individual, couples itself with mobile through Bluetooth and smartphone app and transmits this data to a central cloud server. A cohort analysis is performed on the cloud server, and data is benchmarked against reference standard readings and physician recommendations for that individual. The individual gets regular ECG reports/statements based on a predefined schedule.
Secondly, Sanket can provide early warning of abnormalities discovered as and when an ECG is measured by this device. As soon as the ECG measurements are taken from the individual, if there are any deviations observed in the ECG, immediately, the device will raise an alarm and has possibility of connecting live with doctors in case of emergencies, for quick consultation and advice.
Thirdly, due to the built in danger level indicator, if the ECG recording of the individual indicates an emergency situation, such as initial few moments of a heart attack, it starts an audible beep to alert the user to quickly get to a doctor. It can be improvised sends an SOS alert to the registered health provider and nominated family members about the situation of the user.
So, in summary, Sanket provides a revolutionary, easy to use alternative to traditional ways of getting ECG done. One can use smart mobile apps to display, record and interpret ECG waveforms. Due to its sophisticated circuitry and patent pending technology, Sanket can capture the electric heart signals of a user, with the same amount of accuracy as a traditional ECG recording setup. A user can monitor the trends of his/her heart condition due to the analytics and cloud based data storage. Most importantly, Sanket can reduce the fatalities by alarming or sending SOS alerts to concerned people in case of irregular or emergency situations.
This seems to be a very disruptive sort of an offering. How are you ensuring that you protect your IP, and ensure you have competitive edge over others who may copy you once this device is out in the market?
We realize that this sort of offering is very disruptive in the marketplace. Hence, we have proactively worked on protecting our IP. We already have filed for over 6 patents on the different unique aspects of the device, which are in various stages of processing. With this, we are confident that our IP would be protected. In terms of dealing with competition once this product is out, we think that there is not much one can do to curtail or stop imitation – especially when a solution is this effective. Hence our approach is to stay ahead in the thought leadership and sustain our early mover advantage by introducing similar new products/variants to the market. Of course, one needs to execute well on their plan as well to maintain this edge.
Have there been guides/mentors for you on this endeavour? Who have helped you in this path thus far?
We have been fortunate to get a few people who have greatly helped us to be where we are as on day. Rohan Sehgal and Arvind Jha from Gurgaon Angels not only seed funded our initiative but have also been a great source of strength, motivation and mentoring.
How much has your background helped you in this endeavour?
I have a background of over a decade of professional working experience, working in companies such as LG, Samsung and ST Microelectronics. This experience has helped me in drawing out the technical specs of the device – both in terms of hardware, firmware and software.
Neha, the second Co-Founder has been working earlier with Hewitt, CSC and has expertise in QA and Software development. She has experience in handling large scale projects which are product oriented. This helped us in managing various stages of product development and troubleshooting day to day issues/problems in developing a world-class electronic device in India.She is also a key part in designing the core strategy of product development and planning the much needed rigorous clinical trials.
What sort of initial traction and interest have you received from the market?
Even though we are in an early beta cycle, and trials with a select set of users, we have received huge interest from various players in the ecosystem. Firstly, we are very excited because we have received positive feedback from the initial set of users. Then, there are a few device manufacturers interested to collaborate with us to enable us scale. We are also in advanced stage of discussions with a global semiconductor giant to explore a joint go-to-market strategy which would allow us to scale and make the device available across the globe. So, in all, we have been overwhelmed by the initial traction that our device has received from the interested communities.
We are on track to make the product available in India by early next year, and are looking forward to make a disruptive change in this space!
ProductNation joins them in wishing more successes as ‘Team Agatsa’ moves ahead with the formal launch of Sanket.