The critical industry that has been massively impacted by the pandemic is the healthcare sector; however, AI’s involvement has helped the industry weather the pandemic storm. The AI applications by companies bring back patients’ lives from the edge and improve diagnostics and treatment and help healthcare providers make informed decisions quickly. One such application has been developed by Hospido, India’s first holistic cancer care platform with which cancer patients can get the right treatment advice from India’s best cancer doctors, without visiting hospitals amid pandemic.
The pandemic lockdown has forced many people, including cancer patients, to avoid hospitals and discontinue their treatment due to coronavirus risk. And this is what triggered Karan Chopra, the founder of Hospido to bring out quality healthcare to these cancer patients through telemedicine and satellite treatments centres for providing the right treatment at the right time. In this article, Analytics India Magazine, got in touch with him to understand how this startup revolutionised cancer carer amid pandemic.
Transforming Cancer Care Amid Pandemic
According to Chopra, Hospido currently runs its satellite centres in five cities. Its online platform has so far helped many cancer patients from unreachable cities like Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir. To facilitate this, the startup has developed an AI-enabled chatbot called Cancer Dost, where patients can learn more about their cancer and the treatment course, free of cost. “With the bilingual option, Hindi and English, the chatbot manages to help patients from the length and breadth of this country,” said Chopra.
Developed by the engineers at Hospido with the support of leading oncologists and following the international guidelines, this unbiased, advanced technology tool provides patients with the right guidance required for cancer treatment. It also gives doctors direction to consult and the right hospitals to visit amid the lockdown.
Additionally, the startup is also working on a remote ICU and AI-based chemotherapy monitoring tool to ensure patients get the right treatment at their local hospitals.
The chatbot — Cancer Dost, also connects the patients with leading cancer specialists from top hospitals of the country, via tele-consulting and in-person appointments. “We ensure a 12-hour turnaround upon receiving the patient request, and the appointments with these top doctors are on a priority basis,” added Chopra.
Further to this, Hospido has also opened cancer treatment centres in the country’s tier-2 cities intending to decentralise healthcare and make quality cancer treatment more accessible. These centres have been established as per international standards and are run by medical staff trained under India’s leading oncologists. Adding to this, Chopra stated, “We are also providing services including home care, diagnostic testing, diet planning and counselling support to the patients to help them in their entire journey of battling with cancer.”
Cancer Dost uses an online interface in the form of a chatbot to capture the user’s input, which is then sent to the RESTful API based application, which runs on the company’s server. The server runs the proprietary recommendation algorithm, which is optimised to search through our proprietary knowledge data-bank created by leading oncologists. Once a match is found, the AI-based algorithm provides the most relevant information matching the patient’s condition. This information is then provided to the user through the same chatbot in simple language to help them make the right treatment decisions in consultation with their treating doctor.
The chatbot, Cancer Dost, has an easy user interface that asks four essential data points — organ affected; treatment taken, either none, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation; stage of disease; and patient fitness condition, i.e. active, weak or bedridden, to provide the resulting outcome.
“Our engineers created this proprietary knowledge data-bank with the support of leading oncologists and as per international guidelines,” said Chopra, while speaking about the technology behind. “The platform provides output in terms of specialists to be consulted — medicine, radiologist, surgical oncologist, with recommended treatments, like surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, supportive care, and recommended diagnostic tests.”
The AI-enabled chatbot also provides expert oncologists review and a treatment plan from experts on submitting the medical reports.
The developers of the company currently leverage Angular, Laravel, MySQL, Bootstrap for developing the application. Besides, they also use a host of cloud SaaS like CRM, patient tracking, etc., to power the business.
The founder launched this startup amid COVID, seeing the challenges faced by cancer patients who have been struggling to visit hospitals for their daily check-up. Thus, Chopra strongly believes that COVID pandemic positively impacted digital health. At present, the startup is self-funded, and their revenues are helping them sustain amid this turbulent time.
Competing with local healthcare delivery providers like hospitals and clinics and online service providers like Onco.com and Practo, Hospido aims to replicate the oncology playbook and expand to other areas of care, in the next five years.
“India is facing a crunch of specialist doctors, with most of them clustered around the top ten cities. We are going to take digital health far and wide and make access available across the country,” concluded Chopra.