Video Courtesy of YouTube
Mobile health, popularly called mhealth, leverages mobile devices and information communication technology (ICT) to enable exchange of information and deliver health services at a cheaper rate.
Harnessing mhealth to control diabetes, two Mumbai doctors, Dr Ankit Khambhati, a physician, and Dr Viral Shah, a neuroradiologist, launched Cheeny Kum, India's first real-time disease management technology.
The programme provides patients 24/7 mobile and web integrated diabetes monitoring and management services.
Meticulously designed, Cheeny Kum (cheenykum.com) offers its services through a three-tier team of 25 members:
Base level: Dieticians who specialise in diabetes and cardiac care.
Mid-level: Senior nutritionists/ dieticians and psychologists.
Top-level: Diabetologists and physicians.
How It Works
Diabetics can send their personal data including meals, glucometer readings, blood pressure, weight, and even state of mind through a voice call, by SMS or online. The team at Cheeny Kum processes the information, and depending on the statistics provided, helps with diet advice and exercise tips. Additionally, it advises you on your lifestyle so as to make you less prone to diabetes or keep your sugar level down.
Those who need medicines and monitoring supplies can order them by mail from Cheeny Kum.
Khambhati and Shah invested Rs1.25 crore from their personal savings to create Cheeny Kum. In addition, the venture received angel funding of Rs10 crores, which was mostly used for software development, the most expensive part of the entire project.
The venture thrives mainly on subscriptions. Around 80 per cent of the revenue comes from annual subscriptions, starting from Rs4000 for diabetes management and Rs6000 for weight management.
Cheeny Kum charges for consultation and counselling, and makes money through merchandising products such as insulin, glucometers, glucometer strips, etc.
With 14 shop-in-shop centres across Mumbai, Cheeny Kum is a near-rage among the diabetic patients in the city. The increasing popularity and the immense potential of the project have encouraged Khambhati to plan on opening another 100-150 centres across the nation within a year.
So far, Cheeny Kum has made over a crore since its inception, and is 14 months away from reaching its break-even point.
Fifty million diabetics in India, plus about a third of the population that is at high risk. This is a huge pool of prospective clients.
Cheeny Kum currently has 1500 individual and two corporate accounts.
As Khambhati says, “Most people are in denial about being diabetic or at high risk for the condition.” The challenge is to increase awareness about diabetes and its complications.
To achieve this, the team is increasing awareness about diabetes management through smart and low cost community workshops, mass-media campaigns and corporate and institutional collaborations.
A Sweet Beginning
The two doctors sat brainstorming over the name of their exciting new business model. Deep in thought, Khambhati asked his friend, “How much sugar in your coffee?” Shah said, “Cheeny Kum.”
“And Cheeny Kum it will be!,” they said, almost in unison. Exemplar Lifecare Pvt Ltd. launched Cheeny Kum soon after.