Why we invested in Karkinos - Intersection of Healthcare & Technology in Cancer Care
The digitization of healthcare is an area that brims with promise — both globally and in India. According to Invest India, the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, health-tech is growing rapidly and is expected to create 40 million jobs by 2030.
Technology in all its manifestations - from wearables to IoT, robotics, 3D printing, and AI/ML - is coming to play across various digital health verticals, including health screenings, online consultations, diagnostics, home healthcare, e-pharmacies, drug discovery, cell therapies, genomics etc. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in healthcare - at warp speed. Digital Health is set to change and better our world in times to come and its journey has very much started.
The intersection of healthcare and technology has been one of Endiya Partners’ foremost areas of interest since our inception in 2015, and the momentum currently at play in digital health is a validation of the early bets made by us much before the pandemic changed the game.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are caused by a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioural factors. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. After heart-related ailments, Cancer remains the largest of these causing immeasurable suffering to the patients along with financial and emotional anguish to the family in the long term.
The rapid rise in NCDs is predicted to impede poverty reduction initiatives in low-resource countries, by increasing out-of-pocket health care spending by families, pushing households into lower income brackets, affecting their savings and future plans, thus negatively affecting the larger economy. Therefore, investing in better management of cancer and other NCDs is critical.
Salient Features of Cancer in India:
- 1.30 Million new cases of cancer are detected every year in India and the 5-year survival rates in India are less than 50 % than in advanced countries like the USA because of late diagnosis. Over 70% of cancers in India are detected at Stages 3 and 4. If detected early, cancer treatment costs can be halved and survival rates can be improved to >90%
- As cancer is diagnosed late, many patients are forced to come to tertiary care cancer centres in the country travelling long distances.
Innovative Tech startups in the Cancer care space which help drive affordable and quality diagnostics and treatment to a larger number of patients is the need of the hour. Though current favourable schemes and policies by the Government of India like Ayushman Bharat have been able to get more people under the health security net, there still remains a significantly large sized underserved population who have limited access to quality healthcare.
The need for tech-led startups in Oncology, covering the whole gamut from research to medical treatment to post-treatment care is felt deeply for an ever-increasing number of cancer patients in India.
All these should open up opportunities for innovative startups in Oncology. In the last few years, many new ventures have made their entry into various verticals within the ambit of Cancer research and care – in early detection, diagnostics, medical devices, expert opinion (Tumor Boards), treatment (medicine and surgery), post-treatment or supportive care, alternative therapies, CRO / Bio-Banking and more.
While the value generated by each of these novel ventures is noteworthy, often there has been a void felt for a 360 degree, end-to-end tech-led support platform that journeys with a patient from screening to treatment and beyond.
Karkinos, with its comprehensive tech-led Cancer care platform aims to be the all-weather friend for those battling cancer guiding them through the various steps from screening, treatment to post-care. With its stellar team, innovative solution, deep understanding of the sector and a clear future roadmap, Karkinos is poised to drive real impact in the Cancer-Care eco-system in India.
Karkinos is a state-of-the-art technology-enabled Oncology Platform for a comprehensive cancer care journey. What Karkinos is attempting is a holistic way of targeting cancer - from screening, early diagnosis, and treatment (Medical, Surgical, and Radiation), to Nutrition, Psychological counselling, etc with technology being the enabler.
Karkinos is building technology-enabled navigation services that combine a patient-first approach and an extensive partnership with oncologists, hospitals, health plans, employers, and risk-based entities, aiming to better oncology outcomes by engaging individuals and families in their health and guiding their decisions at every stage of care.
We need to be cognizant of how positive impact in patient care directly adds to the social, community, and economic development goals of a country and the world and makes our world a better, safer, and healthier place to live in.
With that thought, we wish Karkinos, a great journey in the novel mission it has undertaken and commit to standing strong by them with our support and optimism.