After studying and working in the U.S. for eight years, Chinmoy Mishra, MBA’08, returned home to India in 2012 to address what he calls crucial public-health issues. The country is dealing with an epidemic of “lifestyle-related diseases,” he says, such as hypertension and diabetes.
Part of the problem, he believes, is a lack of preventive medicine. So Mishra launched AllizHealth, a software platform that helps users track, manage, and improve their health. It offers myriad features, from allowing users to digitize their health records to offering targeted wellness programs to sending appointment and medication reminders and more. A mobile app gives users easy access to the data.
The product identifies a person’s risk of disease using various medical models recommended by the World Health Organization, says Mishra. Based on years of population- and ethnicity-based research, these models provide ways to calculate individual risk for lifestyle-related diseases. AllizHealth also has a medical advisory panel, composed of physicians from the Mayo Clinic and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who help evaluate the models and validate recommendations produced by its risk-calculation engine. “Our system starts interacting with users in a personalized way based on risk,” Mishra says. “If I’m identified as high risk for diabetes, for example, I’ll get related health tips and reminders.”
Leveraging a background in health-care marketing and sales, Mishra formed the business with his sister, Rasmi Mishra, who holds a doctorate in neural networks. He also works alongside classmate and co-founder Dhairya Gupta, MBA’08. Lessons learned at Babson helped them launch the startup in a challenging market. “Preventive care is yet to be popular in a market that primarily operates as a curative care model,” Mishra says.
So far, though, AllizHealth is doing well. In 2013, it started with just four employees, breaking into the industry by working with schools to digitize students’ health data. This year, the 30-person company is projected to have 1 million users, and Mishra plans to expand to other countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. More than 40 companies in India now use AllizHealth as part of their health and wellness initiatives. Employers like the platform, says Mishra, because by improving the health of employees they also can improve productivity and reduce absenteeism. Companies can build targeted wellness programs, such as exercise or smoking cessation, based on AllizHealth data, he adds. “We were in the right place at the right time,” Mishra says. “Many insurance providers and corporations were looking for a platform like ours.”
While launching a startup is never simple, Mishra believes in his company’s mission and hopes the platform will empower users to manage their health. “The ability to have provided even a single individual with the help they needed,” he says, “makes up for all the startup struggles we have to go through.”—Kara Baskin