Published: 22nd April 2019
This app makes it easier for doctors to find the right team to develop new inventions in healthcare
HiiH is a social media platform designed exclusively for those who would like to invent for healthcare in our country. We spoke to the founder to find out how it works
It is difficult for doctors to find the right team members — engineers, designers, business experts — who can work as partners to develop new inventions. An attempt to solve this problem led to the development of a unique app called Healthcare Innovation for Indian Healthcare (HiiiH) that helps doctors connect with the ecosystem around them so that they can invent and take their ideas all the way to commercialisation. Founded by Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi and Ripunjay Chachan, the app lets the user find a team member or offer his or her services to teams in any capacity by filling out a detailed form that captures time commitment, expectations, background, location, and experience. Upon searching, if the requirements match, then the closest user available through geo-tagging will appear in the results. Started in 2018, so far HiiH connects over 200 Indian healthcare startups and more than 100 doctors, who are keen to develop new technologies. We spoke to the founder of the app to know more. Here's what transpired:
How did you come up with the idea of setting up this one-of-kind start-up?
As a doctor-innovator myself, only seven out of my 18 inventions have been commercialised. The sole reason for the 11 to fail is because of poor team selection and disintegration. I wrote a book called Inventing Medical Devices, a perspective from India to share my failures and their reasons. Doctors started to write to me expressing they have great ideas but no way to help them take it forward. As these requests started crossing over 100 per month, I thought there is a need for a platform that enables this.
What is the HiiH app all about?
The app is a social media platform designed exclusively for those who would like to invent for healthcare in our country. It has a search feature that allows one to search for any part-time or full-time team members in their vicinity or city of interest. It also provides the financial and time expectations of the team member in the search result. Those who would like to connect can make their introduction after they find what they require. The app also allows the purchase of services that can help accelerate the development and commercialisation process. It provides updates on healthcare innovations and a platform to chat and network. Last but not least, there is a start-up companies database that users can browse through to connect with start-ups across the country. The HiiH app is free of charge. Additional services may be purchased within the app. It is available and compatible both on iOS and Android devices.
How hard is it for doctors to find the right team members who can work as partners to develop new inventions?
Out of the current database of 209 healthcare start-up companies in India, only nine companies have doctor co-founders. On the other hand if we look at scientific publications where doctors have made novel techniques to improve their work, it is much higher. But hardly any of these innovations reach the patients on a wider scale. It may be safe to assume that one out of 100 doctors innovate in their clinical practices and one in many thousands is able to bring their idea to reality and make it reach the end user successfully.
A screenshot from the app
How is this app going to help doctors?
Healthcare inventions take three to five years, a team of three to six cross-disciplinary professionals and an investment of at least Rs 1-2 crores. This is practically impossible for a single doctor to execute. Therefore, for a doctor with an idea that needs to be connected with people and resources in order for them to take those to reality, this app bridges the evident gap and provides the network.
How would the app verify the credibility of the people who are showing up in the closest vicinity?
The on-boarding process is cumbersome to ensure only interested people register. Our internal team contacts all those who are registered to verify the authenticity and help in improving the quality of the profile.