Battling issues such as large doctor-patient ratio disparity, minimal access to facilities, and high cost of treatment, healthcare in Asia had been described as non-existent at worst and fragmented at best. But with consumers’ increasing financial affluence brought about by economic developments in the region, there is a continually developing market of well-informed individuals seeking customised health services that are aligned to their own health philosophy.
Enter these startups that are attempting — and succeeding — to address these gaps in healthcare systems that have been the norm in Asian countries.
Promising healthcare anywhere, Medifi is a cloud-based app allowing remote doctor consultation through video conferencing and secure in-app messaging. The Philippine-based startup seeks to address some of the country’s pressing healthcare problems such as inaccessibility of healthcare facilities in its remote areas and the hours-long queues patients have to endure for a quick examination.
The app also allows physicians to access patients’ historical medical profiles, as well as to securely upload and store DICOM-based images such as MRI and CT Scan. Medifi is also in the process of building integrations with popular wearable tech devices to harvest and store real-time patient vitals accurately.
One of the most-cited issues in Malaysia’s healthcare is the long waiting time. From getting an appointment to actually getting into the consultation room, patients are averaging 75 minutes of waiting time. Door2Door Doctor seeks to address this issue through an online platform that connects patients with healthcare professionals and services near them.
The platform works with a fleet of doctors, nurses, therapists, and even medical transportation providers to deliver treatment to the patients’ homes, reducing and potentially eliminating the time spent in hospitals and clinics and allowing patients with mobility difficulties to receive expert professional care without the difficulties of transport.
Singapore-based RingMD is designed to connect patients with doctors around the world. The online platform gives patients the benefit of a doctor’s consultation through voice or video calls minus the aggravation of delays that are of usual occurrence in Asian healthcare facilities.
Emphasising mobility, RingMD is a user-friendly platform that is optimised for desktop, tablet, and smartphone platforms, geared for anytime, anywhere access. It also allows for convenience in payment by utilising a system that accepts major credit cards from all over the world.
Focusing on preventive healthcare, Finc uses artificial intelligence coupled with medical test results and scientific approaches such as, but not limited to, genetic testing to provide personalised fitness, nutrition, and fitness advice to users.
This Japan-based startup collaborates with dieticians and fitness trainers in analysing user data inputted in their app to create health and fitness lifestyle plans that would help users attain health goals and lessen chronic disease risks.
Founded in 2011, LinCor Biosciences was primarily created with the express objective of further development of bioengineered corneas. With over 10 million people all over the world suffering vision loss in one or both eyes, this Singapore-based startup is creating human tissue-compatible engineered corneas that would address the problem of severe shortage of human donor corneas.
Using human collagen and bioploymers, LinCor Biosciences is currently in the tail-end of its human clinical trials of bioengineered corneas with a longer shelf life than human donor corneas.
Focused on Asia-prevalent tumour types, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals is an oncology-focused biotechnology startup developing a portfolio of immuno-oncology agents and targeted therapies.
With four development-stage proprietary candidates in its pipeline, this Singapore-based startup has a platform that reaches across the region enabling them to conduct regional clinical development programs and collaborate with local and regional companies to further develop cancer treatments.
Hingeing on the premise that a unique DNA should equal a unique approach in healthcare, Prenetics specialises in pharmacogenomics, a branch of science that studies how a person’s response to medication is affected by genes. The company’s technology allows healthcare providers identify the right drug and dosage to treat patients with minimal adverse effects based on patient genetic profile, thereby resulting in more targeted treatment at less treatment cost.
With a team consisting of top-tier scientists, engineers, and healthcare practitioners, this Hong Kong-based startup uses a proprietary DNA sequencing technology and operates out of a ISO-accredited and World Health Organisation-approved laboratory.
Due to tighter regulatory constraints in new drug development, pharmaceutical companies take a longer time in research and development for discovery of antibodies with the need to present increased efficacy and safety before the beginning of development. Japan-based Molcure seeks to address this delay through use of big data in designing antibodies in the early stages of drug development.
Molcure is an antibody drug-focused biotech company specialiSing in biomolecule discovery. Using a proprietary antibody discovery platform that combines biology, bioinformation, and automation, the company has reduced the time and resources to develop antibody-based drugs through identification of gene sequences and automation of candidate testing.
Lifetrack Medical Systems
With over 6 billion patients with little to no access to reliable and affordable radiological diagnosis, Lifetrack Medical Systems has created a system to expand the reach of radiologists to remote areas. Working with hospitals and clinics, the company assists healthcare practitioners in switching to digital radiology through use of its cloud-based system that allows radiologists to view clearer images and easily create reports for faster and more efficient diagnosis.
Based in the Philippines, Lifetrack can be accessed anywhere in the world and not only allows radiologists to access reports and scans faster, but also provides a platform for global interaction and learning.
Addressing the delays caused by fragmented operations of different healthcare providers in the Philippines, StashPH has developed a platform that connects patients, doctors, and medical insurance providers.
Developed primarily to help address the delays and potential human errors in the communications between doctors and health insurance companies, StashPH has also expanded to providing patients with a facility to find and schedule appointments with doctors.
mClinica works with data and analytics to provide clients with tools to better engage with patients and improve health outcomes. Launched in the Philippines but headquartered in Singapore, the company has built a network of pharmacies, physicians, and patients that provide them with healthcare market data.
The platform provides companies with the market insight to develop programs to improve patients’ health, boost sales, and widen consumer base. mClinica has developed proprietary analytics and visualisation engines that generate real-time data and actionable insights for private and public healthcare organisations.
A cloud-based healthcare ecosystem is a vision that Attune has hinged its product on. Integrating all departments of a healthcare operation such as laboratories, accounting, wards, and administration, the company aims to increase revenue and operational efficiency across different types of organisations. The platform is also designed to interface with over 1000 devices for ease in the inclusion of laboratory operations in its network and elimination of human error.
With a vision of a connected universe for the entire healthcare sector, Attune’s platform can be used not only within an organisation but across different healthcare networks, integrating the operations of partner organisations, payment facilities, and branches in different geographical locations. This allows not only for a more efficient operation, but also a quicker method for collaboration between different healthcare facilities.
Featured Image Credit: carballo / 123RF Stock Photo