In Conversation With Abhishek Shah, CEO & Co-Founder, Wellthy Therapeutics

Wellthy Therapeutics has received $8,500,000 from various investors including Cipla Ltd (NSE: Cipla), Family Office of the Founder of Manipal Hospitals, Saama Capital, Beenext Ventures, GrowX Ventures.

1. Brief us about your business model like how did the idea come to start and how does it work (step by step procedure)?

The co-founders of Wellthy Therapeutics, Abhishek Shah and Prayat Shah had a personal perspective on this front since their respective parents are patients of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Having seen the inadequacy of episodic healthcare, the two identified the gaps in the treatment process and decided to change the status quo with Wellthy Therapeutics. With the tech-led platform, they aimed to catalyze the evolution of the healthcare space from episodic to continual care. Today, the platform is making waves in the industry by enabling condition-specific, clinically validated infrastructure which is empowering patients and helping them with prevention, management or treatment of their condition. 

2. What are the unique key points of your company? 

A few key highlights of the company include: 

· Wellthy Therapeutics’ digital therapeutics platform, Wellthy Care, helps to prevent, manage or treat complex clinical conditions by working closely with every stakeholder of the healthcare ecosystem- pharmaceutical companies, medical devices, life insurers, health insurers, to achieve real-world clinical and business outcomes across multiple therapeutic areas 

· With targeted DTx intervention, the company helps primary beneficiaries like patients and caregivers by giving them personalized solutions to improve quality of life. We partner with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to enhance health and economic outcomes for them and their patients. 

· Wellthy Therapeutics extends its services to the insurance ecosystem by empowering insurers to influence risk, increase access, affordability and coverage and offer personalized value based care solutions 

· Our Digital Therapies are backed by Clinical Evidence with 20 + Clinical publications including the likes of American Diabetes Association (ADA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), International Diabetes Federation (IDF) among many others has showcased real-world evidence by Wellthy Therapeutics. 

· Over the past five years, the company has partnered with leaders of the healthcare ecosystem, like-Roche, Intas, Cipla, and more.

3. How are you different from the existing competitors? 

There are over 300,000 healthcare apps on the app store, and maybe over a million healthcare products and solutions. Yet, there are 100-200 of those which have published clinical evidence supporting what they claim they do, and have been clinically validated. Still lesser, have proven to be safe and effective for the claim they make. Healthcare, especially for complex clinical conditions, needs expertise and rigour to build and deliver. Digital Therapeutics takes on the burden of clinical proof - to show that what it claims it can deliver, can actually be done, and is done. Few companies invest in this effort - which comes at the cost of speed, at the cost of time, at the cost of immediate scale. This is what differentiates us - we make this investment, we hold ourselves accountable to the rigour that prescription healthcare holds itself accountable to; typical lifestyle and wellness applications and solutions would not. 

4. What is the funding status and monetization model? 

Wellthy Therapeutics has received $8,500,000 from various investors including Cipla Ltd (NSE: Cipla), Family Office of the Founder of Manipal Hospitals, Saama Capital, Beenext Ventures, GrowX Ventures. The platform’s latest round of funding was completed in April 2020. We create patient focused clinically validated solutions for healthcare partners (at different stages of the patient journey) and then share a fraction of that new revenue based on proven outcomes via a B2B2C channel. 

5. What challenges are you facing in running your business? 

The most challenging part was category building. The category of digital health did not exist, therefore category building was the main focus. When we began, the category was still in the nascent stage and it still isn't completely defined. Regulation of Digital Therapeutic applications across geographies are still in the formation process but we have seen considerable progress in Europe and US where a regulated app can be prescribed as a digital therapy if backed by sufficient clinical evidence. Adoption of Digital Therapeutics in Health Care is still a long way to go. 

6. How has been the people's response so far? 

The response has been phenomenal as the need-gap was quite large. In just 5 years, Wellthy Therapeutics has partnered with the leaders of the healthcare ecosystem like Roche, Intas, Cipla, and more. The platform is live in multiple countries across Europe and Asia and operates in four major languages. 

7. What are the traction details (like users, app downloads & other achievements of the company)? 

As mentioned above, Wellthy Therapeutics has witnessed consistent growth over the past five years, forging partnerships with leaders of the healthcare ecosystem. The DTx platform is currently live across Europe & Asia, operating in four major languages. Apart from being regularly featured in leading clinical publications, Wellthy Therapeutics has been decorated with multiple awards in the healthcare sector time and again. Till now we have crossed the milestone of 50K downloads. 

8. How do you look at expansion? 

Wellthy Therapeutics’ has a big portfolio of chronic indications which includes Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma, Dyslipidemia, Congestive Heart Failure, Women's Health, Ischemic Heart Disease. In the near future, the company aims to add more chronic indications to its portfolio. We are also working on advancing our product capabilities to excel in the new healthcare normal- post Covid -19. Apart from the portfolio and product expansion, the company is also eyeing geographical expansion to international markets within APAC and Europe. It is committed to further product innovations and creating new business models in tandem with its partners, while also continuing to make its product reimbursable through major private and public payers. 

9. What are your marketing plans?

Our Focus is to drive awareness and communicate what Value Digital Therapeutics interventions bring to healthcare. Standalone or as companion to a drug/medical device, DTx augments the current standard of care with protocol driven care. We use a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing channels and drive conversations with 20+ Clinical evidence and successful case studies that we have done with our existing Partners ( Pharmaceuticals, Insurers, Medical Device Companies). We will also continue to showcase our product prowess and brand presence through global events, webinars and panel discussions. 

10. What has been the biggest learning so far? 

We have been active for the past half a decade and this period has been a learning curve. We have learnt and incorporated our experiences into real-time to derive better outcomes in the future. One of the biggest learning has been to adjust and model DIgital healthcare solutions which could be adapted to local language, cuisine and cultural adaptation for successful adoption. For example, the same diabetes therapy needs to be contextualized for South East Asia differently than for India or European nations. Also, we have always emphasized on the role of doctors in promoting DTx solutions to patients as the trust bond between the doctors and patients is unique. The biggest advocate for Digital healthcare solutions are doctors and they need simple, easy to use solutions that add to their cognitive overload. 

11. What is the market size and opportunity? 

There are over a billion people globally who have or are at risk of a cardiometabolic condition, with a global cost of over 2 trillion dollars. 240M diabetics live in Asia and 800M hypertensives are projected to live in Asia by 2025. Asia has more than 2B cardiometabolic patients and chronic disease prevalence is expected to rise by 57% by 2020, and 60% of this burden will be borne by emerging markets. India is also witnessing a surge; NCDs accounted for a mere 30% of the disease burden in 1990, now they account for over 55%. Our target beneficiaries are individuals suffering from or are at risk of NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, CKD and dyslipidemia both in India, and globally. We are slowly moving and exploring in Europe, where the market is quite expanded and ripe. The awareness among users is high.

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