Create solutions and not just any product

Neha Rastogi, Founder & COO, Agatsa Software in an interaction with Kalyani Sharma shares her company’s journey and future plans. She also highlights the role of startup culture in the Indian medtech ecosystem

Can you share the journey that led you to establish Agasta Software?

Myself and Rahul both are electronics engineers and were working in different organisations. Rahul being a top notch electronics product (consumer oriented like smartphones) developer and me being in software development role were working in different MNCs. We both had a regular job, however we always looked for opportunities to learn about new technologies and latest advancements. In 2013, Rahul’s father was diagnosed with a cardiac problem and advised to have ECG every time he felt a discomfort or chest pain. This is when we searched for devices which a user can use himself anywhere, anytime and capture his ECG and send to a doctor for quick review. This would not only save a lot of crucial time in case of emergencies but also would be lot more convenient for both doctors and users. There were no products available at that time, so we decided to research and build one.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of this entrepreneurial journey, and what challenges have you faced in bringing your product to market?

Most people start building a product because they want to earn big money. We started because we wanted to create value in the eco system so powerful that it can save lives. Today when we hear stories about heart diseases being diagnosed early, lives being saved in emergencies and people using doing regular monitoring of health with our tiny devices, we feel like we have succeeded. It’s a long way to go still but these small steps and milestones are a big part of our journey. Creating a product totally made In India, which was much ahead of it’s times in terms of technology is itself challenging. From funding, to getting the right team together, from getting raw materials to getting the technology work accurately, from creating a commercial quality product to launching it commercially every step was challenging but the good thing is these were all good problems to solve and we could overcome these challenges.

Can you explain how SanketLife 2.0 works and how it has been received by both medical professionals and individuals?

Sanketlife is a tiny palm sized pocket device which works just by Touch. It has 3 in-built electrodes, out of which 2 electrodes need to be touched at a given time to capture a lead of ECG. It needs to be touched at 6-8 different points of body to capture full medical grade ECG. The device is coupled with a smartphone app, which displays real time ecg as well as records ecg to give out a digital pdf report which can then be shared, saved for future and referred for quick diagnosis. The device was primarily designed keeping a normal, non-medico user in mind so that he can take his ecg anytime, anywhere, but seeing its accuracy and ease of use the device is very well adopted by the medical fraternity to use it in their clinics, remote camps, home visits etc. The best part about this device is that apart from being user friendly and accurate this has no recurring cost associated like electrodes, gel and thermal paper which a normal traditional ECG machine requires.

What are your future plans for Agasta? Are there any upcoming developments or innovations in the pipeline?

Agatsa has many new products both in the heart monitoring segment as well as general health monitoring segment. As Agatsa is known for its capabilities of designing user friendly, compact, smart yet accurate devices, these upcoming products will also be marvel of innovation designed, developed and manufactured in India.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who may be considering a similar path, especially in the field of healthcare technology?

Healthcare domain is a recession proof, much needed and much important domain. But it is also very challenging, as anything in healthcare which deals with human life has to be accurate and effective. This also needs to take all stakeholders like healthcare providers, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and government to be in sync. Which in itself is an uphill task. The only advise to anyone working in this domain is stick to the problem you are solving and create solutions to the problems and not just any product. Do not worry about the challenges, just keep moving and you will reach there.

What role does startup culture play in the Indian medtech ecosystem?

The healthcare startup eco system is still in a very nascent stage with not many startups which are successfully driving the solutions to a huge healthcare burden of the country. I think with a country like India where healthcare has not been a top priority, this is a time where startups can really play a very important role by driving a change in both how healthcare is delivered in India as well as how it is accepted by the population. Medtech is far more challenging because conceptualising a product, and making it a reality is a huge challenge which only startups can take.

Looking ahead, what do you foresee as the key challenges and opportunities for the medtech landscape in India, and what impact might these have on healthcare delivery and patient care in the country?

Non communicable diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension etc are taking a precedence as India is on top of the world with the burden of these diseases, with even the young population being diagnosed with these. Post-COVID the situation has become even worse. So, the problems and challenges are huge for combatting these and saving our population. With innovative technologies and ideas these challenges can definitely be solved by startups. Government also needs to acknowledge these challenges and see the solutions offered by startups to effectively mitigate these risks. Another pandemic might also be in possible in future, so we have to be prepared with the best solutions, hence the opportunities are many.

ECGhealthcare delieveryhealthcare start-upsmedtech
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