13 November 2015 11:26:43 IST

Now, an app to keep diabetes in check

HealthPlix aims to provide personalised patient information available to docs

The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease, said Thomas Edison.

Raghuraj Sunder Raju

While Edison may have his detractors, Raghuraj Sunder Raju, founder of a Bengaluru-based venture, believes strongly in this adage. And it was further this belief that he began his healthcare start-up, HealthPlix, which, according to the founder, aims at making life ‘sweeter’ for patients with diabetes all over the world. “We are focused on helping patients avoid complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, stroke, and heart ailments, among others, that arise out of mismanagement of diabetes,” says Raju, who has worked with tech giants like Huawei, Nokia and Honeywell, before starting a venture of his own.

To understand the magnitude of diabetes affliction, one just needs to take a look at the statistics. Globally, India is ranked second in the world in diabetes prevalence, with 65 million people afflicted with this disease. Consider urban India — one in five people are diabetic. And this number is only set to grow; globally too, the situation is no different. If reports are to be believed, the number of diabetics will increase to 592 million, by 2035.

An answer to all questions

After his MBA from National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Raju came back to India and joined Huawei as a strategic business development role. So, what prompted him to start this venture? “It was an outcome of my own personal frustration, when I found it difficult to manage a chronic problem proactively,” he explains.

When the app was developed, it was with an aim to disseminate information on what diabetics should do, what they should eat and about the kinds of lifestyle choices that are available for them. “People need constant reminders of what and how they can eat. While doctors can do that role too, a visit to a general physician will show you how tied up they are, with the long queues and rushed consultations,” says Raju. And almost all patients, during their check-up, ask pretty much the same questions.

It was to achieve this goal that HealthPlix was born; a companion mobile app for patients that allows self-management of their diabetic condition proactively.

What it does

At the basic level, the app helps doctors in decision making by providing a unified view of their patients’ health status. “It is also an attempt to get adequate data points that can help make effective treatment decisions,” Raju says. Industry watchers point out that with deteriorating quality of doctors and a large patient base, a lot of doctors rely on experimenting, and data-backed decisions can help address these problems.

HealthPlix is available on Google Play store. During its beta launch, the start-up got around 30 diabetologists and endocrinologists on board to use the product. “They used it to connect with and treat their patients,” Raju shares.

It also helps monitor sugar levels, stress and blood pressure; it also gives a review of doctor’s analysis, dosage reminders, chat with a dietician and involves kin in care management. For doctors, it helps in tracking case history, patient’s compliance, proactive intervention in case of high risk detection, and personalised treatment amongst other things.


The start-up raised ₹1.6 crore in angel investment from two senior executives of global corporations and a high net-worth individual based in Bangalore.

So what makes his app different from a host of other diabetes-related apps in the market? His strength lies in being India specific. A lot of apps are focussed on Western markets. “The Indian DNA is different and so is the diet,” says Raju.

With rising incomes in India, and sedentary lifestyles that have starch and sugar-rich diets, it is no wonder diabetes is rising as an uncontrollable monster. Industry watchers say that it is not just the urban population being afflicted with this disease — people in rural areas too are succumbing to it. To make the app more accessible, Raju has plans of launching HealthPlix in local languages.