Founder Spotlight: Rajib Das of Evexius, Combining High Tech and High Touch Model Towards an Accessible and Evidence-Based Healthcare System
by Gianna Abao
Many have been separated from their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical visits or care by family members are usually limited due to exceptional circumstances and travel restrictions. Many are afraid for their own safety and for their families. Hence, one of the most vulnerable groups during this time is the elderly. Not only are they separated from their families, but they also have no one to care for them in the comfort of their homes.
To adapt to this, several medical practitioners altered their way of providing care to patients. Some companies are innovating to accommodate the needs of their patients, especially vulnerable groups like the elderly. That’s how Evexius, a company that provides an accessible and evidence-based healthcare system, aims to fill in the gap. Below Rajib Das of Evexius explains to us their company’s high tech and high touch model that helps their elderly patients live longer and fuller lives.
Can you tell a brief background of yourself?
I’m Rajib and I spent 20 years in the healthcare industry, working for large multinationals, mainly the medical devices industry and medtech industry in South Asia. I’ve worked in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. I then left my job in 2018 and became the founder and CEO of Evexius Private Limited, where we focus on providing comprehensive care to the senior citizens here in India.
We've witnessed the rapid growth of health tech and access to healthcare this year, can you share with us a brief history of Evexius? How did you come up with the idea?
In India, you will see the rapid growth in home healthcare as well as telehealth since last year. If you take a closer look at our history, my team and I all came from the medical technology background. We have seen how difficult it is to navigate the complex healthcare system here in India, specifically for the elderly. This happens when they live on their own in cases where their children are not able to stay with them due to their professional commitments. Issues like their health is only a small part of the problem. They also have emotional needs, holistic wellness, and in some cases, emergency responses that need to be met.
Generally, we assist them to navigate the complexities of the hospital system that plays a very important part, since we’ve had the same personal experience. We’ve witnessed episodes that happened in our own families, where we saw our relatives and their kids struggling to navigate the system. That is where the idea came into our minds to serve the elderly parents in their golden years - to provide them with a single point of contact, which is a great human touch.
We use human touch with technology support to deliver our services, where we take care of their health, wellness and the activity and provide them with emergency response planning and hospital navigation. We assist them during their disease condition, and then create the entire ecosystem back at home when they get discharged after their episode.
How has the pandemic affected or shifted your business so far?
As I told you, health, wellness and social needs are aspects that require to be addressed simultaneously. You can't address one and leave the other, because overall wellness plays an important part for someone's health condition, right? Emotional connection, emotional needs, and social engagement are something that impacts mental health and physical health. Before the pandemic, we had a complete hands-on model, which was a high touch model where everything was delivered in-person.
After the pandemic, we quickly realized that even the elderly are adapting to technology. They are more open towards taking care of their daily activities. They are also more concerned about building their immunity and maintaining social engagements while they’re unable to meet friends, neighbors and relatives. That is why we created a model which is a mix of high touch and high tech where we brought in telehealth and the concept remains the same.
We’ve implemented evidence-based healthcare by providing video consultations. Additionally, we improvised our technology platform, mobile app, and data collection to connect them to the right physician. The whole story of creating that trust, bond and familiarity continues where we remain as the proxy child for them. It's a mix of high tech and high touch, which we adopted as our business model. Actually, the elderly are already adapting and are open to our business model. If you look at the younger elders in the age group of 65 to 75 years of age, they are adapting to technology faster.
During this time of uncertainty, can you share how Evexius managed to cater to the needs of your clients?
In India, there are service providers who provide different kinds of services and not comprehensive solutions. One has to figure out different kinds of service providers. For example, if you need an ambulance, you have to call an ambulance and the long list goes on. For elderly people, coordinating these different types of services is extremely difficult. Their children are also unable to travel back to India. You can't expect them to have a list of things hanging on the wall and whenever they need something, they do it for themselves.
In our case, the home health Sherpa or care manager all came from the medical background. They previously worked in the Indian army background and served as nurses. They are the single point of contact for all these elderly parents. They also stay connected to their children. Whatever their needs are, they can call up their respective sherpa to ask for assistance.
Our doctors, care managers, and wellness counselors all come from a pool of 100 members and they don’t change. That is where the trust and familiarity comes in. The doctors know their patients’ history, medical condition, and the disease state of the member. They connect with the sherpa and the sherpa can connect them over a video call with the doctor. The process continues where the doctor gives a prescription, and the sherpa can facilitate the delivery of the drugs to their home. They can also monitor the health goals and progress of their patients through regular care calls.
Similarly, if they have mental health concerns that need to be addressed, we connect them over a video with our wellness counselors where their diet, nutrition, and their daily activities can be monitored. That is where we have created the harmony and synchrony between the service providers and members with the help of our home health sherpa. This is something which brings that peace of mind to their children, since we have a single point of contact which is the home health sherpa to whom they can reach out for everything.
The most important part is that we are a mix of high touch and high tech. We collect a tremendous amount of data including their health records, diagnostic data, and vital data, which allows us to create their composite health scores. We have data of our patients’ health scores, wellness scores and their social scores. These composite scores are created on a monthly basis that allow us to monitor the progression of the disease. That is where you can avoid/delay emergencies. If an emergency happens, however, you are in a far better position to manage it. That's how we bring value to our members and their children.
What is your outlook for telehealth or health tech in the next few years?
In the next few years, technology is going to transform lives. There is no doubt about that. In our current customer base, we are serving elder care. However, elders in India are categorized into three segments. One is younger elders who are aged 60 to 70 years old. The next age bracket would fall under 70 to 80 years of age. The last age bracket would be more than 80 years old.
In India, the life expectancy is also increasing with the introduction of newer technologies. Contemporary innovations are coming and people are becoming more aware. There are concerns about awareness in India since we are a vast country. There are still concerns in the spread and access to healthcare for people living in rural areas or are a part of tier two and tier three cities. Without a doubt, technology can connect them to the right position, doctors, and services.
Providing a comprehensive and evidence-based healthcare to patients is something that is going to help people live a longer and fuller life. Evexius is focused on that direction, because that's where the future is. We create that awareness and access. Affordability will come at a much later stage when they come to the hospital or they come for some high-end treatments at home.
Please tell us about your plans and targets in 2021. Do you have plans to raise funds as many other tech companies do?
Yes, we are currently doing this now that the pandemic is getting under control. The vaccines are coming in place and life is becoming normal. This is the time where we are completely focusing on scaling up our business. Our short term goal is by 2023, we’ll have 11,000 members on our platform. We’re targeting to serve 11,000 elders by 2023. By 2025, we have a vision of serving 25,000 members.
We want to expand to 20 cities in India with the high touch model. For younger elders, older elders, and PAN (presence across nation) India, we want to expand our footsteps with the telehealth model. The younger elders and older elders are quickly adapting to technology. That is where we want to create that awareness. What differentiates us from other models is that our composite health score is a marker of our patients’ mental, physical and social health. That is where we want to drive the elders towards living a more joyful and healthy life. That is how we want their children to have more peace of mind while they are away from their parents.
How would you describe Evexius in one sentence?
We are a healthcare concierge organization that takes care of the elderly parents, helping them live longer and fuller lives.
Would you want to add anything more about Evexius that our readers would want to know or the investors?
This is the time where we are completely focused on scale, growth, and we want to reach out to more elders. Our main priority would be to invest in market development, market penetration, technology, and patent some of our key solutions. Over a period of time, the data we generate will also get monetized. In India, we do not have long-term and long digital data. We want to fill in that gap and that is where we look at Evexius as the future of our company.
Click here to learn more about Evexius.