In order to make the preventive care movement mainstream and reach out to a larger audience, healthtech start up Vivant adopted a B2B2C strategy for India. Adrit Raha, CEO, Vivant explains to Viveka Roychowdhury that the platform sublicenses its wellness platform and services to enterprises like insurance, corporates and healthcare providers, which have an obligation to ensure their customer’s/employee’s health as it has a direct impact on their top line and profitability. With the strategic application of big data, artificial intelligence and cloud-based IT infrastructure, Vivant aims to identify, track and manage an individual’s health, promote change in consumer behaviour, thus delaying the onset of NCDs and leading to more effective treatments
What is the business model and value-add proposed by Vivant, which is the re-branded wellness and health analytics platform AllizHealth?
As we are all aware, globally, there is an increasing precedence of non communicable or lifestyle diseases (NCDs). Approximately, 41 million deaths each year are due to NCDs and over 85 per cent of these deaths are premature. The only silver lining in this seemingly insurmountable challenge is that NCDs can be prevented. Through early identification and detection, the onset of such diseases can be delayed if not reversed and also lead to more effective treatments.
This is precisely where Vivant comes in. Through its comprehensive health and wellness platform, Vivant is helping people identify their health risks early and use various resources to track and manage such risks and conditions. From solutions such as health risk assessment to storing/accessing/sharing health information electronically, receiving personalised care messages and connecting with specialists and health coaches, the platform proves to be an effective instrument for individuals to make the right health choices and more significantly, at the right time.
In order to make the preventive care movement mainstream and reach out to a large audience, Vivant follows a very novel business model. Instead of reaching out directly to end consumers, Vivant taps into groups for whom ensuring their consumers’ health and wellness is an obligation. Focussing across three core segments: insurance, corporate white and blue collar and healthcare providers, we are getting on to the wellness bandwagon as managing the health of their customers, members and employees have a direct impact on their top line and profitability. Vivant’s platform almost acts as an “Intel Inside” for these groups and enables them with the necessary foundation to construct their health and wellness initiatives. Vivant thus pursues a B2B2C model and sublicenses its wellness platform and services to these enterprises.
As a health tech startup, what is Singapore’s Wellness Platform (SWP) business plan/strategy for the India market? What has been the response since the buyout of AllizHealth last July? In terms of the kind of partnerships, members signed on, products/services launched, revenues earned, etc.
It wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that in the near future India is going to lead the way with regards to innovations in healthcare. We are already leading the pack when it comes to medical tourism, quality of specialists, low cost diagnostic devices and healthtech start-ups. So even for Vivant, India is and will continue to play an extremely crucial role. As a shorter term strategy, we are looking to double down and pursue our enterprise licensing model. We are especially bullish on the occupational health space. Given the inefficiencies and inadequacies of the current processes adopted by manufacturing companies when it comes to employees’ health, there is a tremendous opportunity to utilise our platform and bring about a change.
The acquisition of AllizHealth proved to be a great shot in the arm for us. AllizHealth came in with not only a proven product and huge customer base, but also with a wonderful team. There was an instant connect and both groups can in with complimentary skillsets. This synergy has helped accelerate our go to market plans and also take several bold steps. We are in the process of setting up a Vivant Innovation Labs to focus on some cutting edge innovations ranging from voice enabled apps, AI/ML powered data analysis to fall detection and prevention wearables. To showcase our diligence towards women health issues, we are recently launching our comprehensive period and fertility tracker app. Post buyout, we have onboarded several leading enterprise partners such as Star Health Insurance, Chola MS GI, Hero Motocorp and over 100,000 end customers. We are now furthering our presence in SE Asia and MENA regions as well.
How does Vivant intend to deal with the fragmented healthcare ecosystem across hospitals, chemists/ pharmacists, insurance companies as payers and patient/customers?
With our platform; services and approach, we are quite uniquely positioned to cater to the various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. While an insurance provider can use our platform for early identification and management of health issues of their members, a healthcare provider can utilise it in the form of health CRM and upsell/cross services and a patient/customer can use it to manage their health and change health behaviours. Having said that, each of these stakeholders have their own nuanced requirements and there is still a lot that Vivant needs to achieve in order to provide a seamless experience to its users and ensure effective interoperability of health information.
As a start, Vivant is building a network of ecosystem partners with over 4000+ such partners. From diagnostic chains to fitness and day care canters, telemedicine partners, home health providers, online and offline pharmacy partners, it is providing an architecture which almost acts as a sales channel for other companies. We realise we cannot be a pioneer in everything and strategy is to partner with such groups who are providing such niche services. This has a dual benefit as a) it helps our consumers with the best services/solutions available and, b) gives us a chance to build a tightly coupled interface with our ecosystem partners. This in turn enables seamless exchange of information. The more our ecosystem partners grows, the more we are able to address the challenge from a fragmented ecosystem, at least for our consumers.
Traditional stakeholders in the healthcare sector (doctors, hospital administrators, chemists/pharmacists) in India as well as other countries have been resisting digital health initiatives. Each stakeholder has a different reason, How is Vivant planning to address these issues?
It is a misconception that healthcare stakeholders are indifferent to digital health initiatives. Yes, it is true to some extent that many of them prefer status quo and resist any change but it stems from the fact that digital health initiatives often lack the level of intuitiveness required attract these stakeholders. Same time, many of these initiatives are copycat models from other industries, be it ecommerce or fintech etc. Such initiatives fail to consider that healthcare is a very need driven industry where the interests of each stakeholder needs to be accounted for and protected.
The way Vivant is trying to go about it is by carefully considering how its platform and initiatives are going to impact each and every stakeholder. As an example its period and fertility tracker needs to consider the personalised needs of every female, then the data and metrics which might make sense to her gynaecologist and lastly, what would her insurer be interested in tracking. So, for us a successful app would be one, which takes into account the interests of all the three groups involved above and let them have a skin in the game. We realise that this is not a build things, break things industry and one cannot rearrange just one piece of the puzzle without touching others.
How will patient data be protected?
Patient/consumer health data is sacrosanct to us and there is zero tolerance policy when it comes to ensuring security of data, both, while in transit and at rest. Vivant has been a strategic partner of Microsoft for few years now and is part of its Biz Spark+ programme for start-ups. We use Microsoft Azure cloud platform for hosting and storing our data. As a result, we do have a ringside view of the stringent protocols Microsoft follows to ensure security and safety of data. They do run frequent VAPT’s and share reports with us on system vulnerabilities and loopholes which we need to close. Apart from this, Vivant does frequent third party data safety and security audits and also access control audits. Our platform uses some of the latest encryption methodologies and security protocols. Though bit of a moon shot at this stage, we are also considering moving on to blockchain which would further guarantee data protection.
What is the cost of the services being offered by Vivant?
Our enterprise licensing models come in different flavours. We have a model where we charge an initial upfront fee to handle changes to UI/UX, customisations, integrations and other changes. Post that we charge our clients a per user, per annum fee. This model works particularly well with our Insurance partners as there is shared risk and with both groups having a skin in the game and an incentive to drive usage and engagement. With our corporate partners, we typically follow a per annum subscription fees model and is independent of the number of employees utilising the platform (SAS model).
Apart from the licensing fees as mentioned before, Vivant offers number of value added services such as medical second opinion, discounted health check-ups, online pharmacy and condition management programs. Such services are “pay per use” services and paid for directly by end customers. The costs here could vary depending on the service opted.
How is Vivant funded?
We have had a fairly impressive growth trajectory so far and run an extremely tight ship so fortunately our need for external funding is limited. Frugality is at the core and essence of how we do innovation. While our customers have been fuelling our journey so far, we are definitely interested in getting an external investor onboard. We have pretty aggressive expansion plans not just with respect to our product portfolio, but also in terms of geographies and industries covered. To achieve this objective, we are looking for a strategic partner with access to capital and network. Securing an external round of funds would also work almost as stamp of approval on our venture and future plans.
Where does Vivant’s Advisory Board fit into the equation?
No start-up reaches success alone. Even when we have moved beyond the idea stage and have a full-fledged company, we do need to rely on outside expertise to keep the organisation flourishing. This is where an advisory board comes in. The board helps us in bouncing ideas, keeps us on our toes, prevents us from getting complacent and brings in a fresh and outside the box perspective. Vivant’s board of advisors have been handpicked and are among the finest in their fields. The board comprises of experts from insurance broking and health and wellness space to medical experts and healthtech entrepreneurs. The diverse board helps us develop solutions which are more holistic and inclusive. Some of the names that Vivant has onboard are Dr David Kaplan, senior partner and founder of Mercer LABS; Dr Seemanthini Desai, clinical leader and authority in infection control; Sonali Shivlani, internationally certified pregnancy, lactation and child nutrition counsellor and Shweta Rastogi, clinical dietician with more than 15 years of experience.