ONWARD HEALTH – THE ONE STOP SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR POST-OP WOES4 years ago Madhureema RoyMoulik
A recovering mother, a plethora of prescriptions, and a dedicated son. These were the ingredients that lead to the creation of Onward Health – an app that guides you back to good health, “a step at a time, together”. This innovative application helps PostOp patients keep track of their instructions as per doctors’ advice.
In simple words, PostOp, standing for “postoperative” refers to the medical advice given to a patient by the doctor after having gone through a medical procedure. Contrary to popular belief, the process of the surgery is not completed when you just walk out of the Operating Theatre. It is estimated that 30% of any treatment’s outcome is dependent on the patient’s ability to follow the doctor’s advice accurately. This is why being aware of all the postop procedures and technicalities are extremely integral for the speedy and effective recovery of the patient.
Most of us have seen a loved one recover post surgery, if not having gone through one ourselves. It is common knowledge how complicated and challenging it is to follow through with all the postop instructions. This poses a great threat to the optimum recovery of the patient. It also leads to further complications, which in turn lead to readmissions and higher health costs. Lack of proper remote patient monitoring platforms further aggravates the problem.
Enter Onward Health, an ingeniously crafted app that lets you keep track of all your PostOp requirements at the tip of your fingers. Its various advanced features allow you to
- Get instant access to discharge summary at the click of a button
- Track your vital parameters
- Gain easy access to your care team
- Bring in greater specificity to your physio routine
What’s more? The utility of this app doesn’t end with helping patient’s alone. It also helps doctors with various tasks such as:
- Maintain a list of patients
- Track their adherence to instructions in real time
- Remote Patient Monitoring
- Refer to analytics across different departments and specialities
Onward helps connect patients and medical practitioners and empowers a relationship beyond the boundaries of the hospital. It ensures that doctors can provide the best possible treatment by customising it for each individual patient and that patients can reap optimum benefits of the medical procedures they go through with minimal hassle.
Dinesh Koka, the founder of Onward Health and the “dedicated son” mentioned above started working on the company in July 2016 and incorporated it a few months later in September. Prior to this, he had worked in the medical field for 15 years both in India and abroad. While the idea of creating an app like this germinated from him watching his mother struggle with PostOp care, it took shape and bloomed only after putting in the hard work and dedication of interviewing people who had undergone surgeries, understanding their psyche and pinpointing the loopholes in communication and information access. He then spoke to doctors from diverse specialities to further understand the issue. Research showed that the “PostOp Problem” was not unique to India, but prevalent worldwide. All this collected data helped him form the blueprint for his app.
Since then, Onward has won various accolades to itself.
In February 2017, it won the Healthcare Challenge at BioAsia 2017 held in Hyderabad and was also declared winner of the “Best Patient Experience” title at the Innovating Care Asia Pacific Awards. In 2018, the company was one of finalists of the Asia International Awards (AEA) held in Japan. Back home, it was declared winner of the Cancer Innovation Challenge by Research & Innovation Circle of Hyderabad and also the winner of HYSEA “Best Technology Innovation” award at HYSEA Tech conference.
The company expanded to building AI-based tools focused on Oncology via soft pivot about a year back.Currently, it is estimated that it is worth $4 billion in India and $150 million worldwide. It is a part of the DeepTech cohort at IIIT Hyderabad Incubator.
What started off as the simple desire of a son to ensure the speedy recovery and well being of his mother went on to change lives worldwide. Gandhiji once famously quoted,”Be the change you want to see in the world” . Koka’s example and the phenomenal success of Onward Health in improving the lives of people is indeed a manifestation of a similar noble ideology.