Startups bring the doctor and hospital home

Rupali Mukherjee, TNN | Jun 9, 2014, 07.24AM IST. From the Times of India.

Startups bring the doctor and hospital homeMUMBAI: Healthcare will now be made available right at your door step. Thanks to start-ups who are using disruptive technologies to pioneer a home-based medical care model to address healthcare needs at the comfort of homes, shifting from the traditional hospital-centric delivery platform. Companies have now evolved to provide not only basic healthcare, but also speciality care to those suffering with chronic diseases, and to a largely untapped elderly population at their homes.

Fuelled by the growing burden of chronic diseases in the country, rising demand for elderly care and post-surgery rehab services, companies like Portea Medical, Healthcare at Home, Medwell and India Home Health Care are focusing on a home-based healthcare delivery platform, by providing home visits from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and offer post-operative, palliative and ICU care.

Home healthcare, an established model in the US is pegged around $80 billion, while in India it is at a nascent stage, estimated around $3 billion, and growing rapidly. Globally, geriatric care accounts for 70% of home healthcare visits.

The potential for the business is huge given the rise in NRIs, nuclear families, an ageing population and those who are working away from home. The demographic target for these start-ups is thus wide, anyone suffering from a chronic disease or even with a basic healthcare issue, in the age group of 45 to 80 years, and older.

“We estimate that roughly 80% of the care that is currently given in the hospital can be delivered in the home setting, with the proper use of technology. Our biggest segments are geriatric care (elder care) and post-operative care (after hospital procedure care). Besides, we are evaluating to bring in personalized medical devices/wearables to India for personalized monitoring of patients at home”, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Portea Medical, K Ganesh told TOI.

The rates charged by these companies range from a single everyday service to long-term care packages, and prices vary between geographies and severity of the disease. The charges are anywhere from Rs 500 a visit for a small service like an injection administration or a wound dressing, Rs 700 – 1000 for a doctor visit, Rs 450 – 650 for a physiotherapist visit, to setting an ICU at home for Rs 7,500 a day which is almost 50% cost effective than the same service being charged in a corporate hospital, the firms claim. Certain firms like Portea and Medwell offer annual subscription packages of Rs 12,000-15,000 too.

Recently, others like CauseforSmile have come up to address the biggest worries of NRIs concerning parents — health, fitness, recreation, as well as social aspects.

Though Portea is focussing on mainly basic healthcare needs, others like Medwell Ventures and Burman family-promoted Health Care at Home will provide speciality home care to patients suffering from chronic ailments.

“Our focus is on providing home health for patients with chronic diseases, and thus supporting the continuum of care to those who generally have very high re-admission rates into hospitals. Some of these patients have ailments like heart failure, COPD, chronic arthritis, post operative surgical site wound management for chronic diabetic patients”, Vishal Bali chairman and co-founder Medwell Ventures said.

There is a huge potential for these kind services, experts say. “But the kind of model, market segment and quality of care on offer would be key to be successful in this space”, says Ajit Mahadevan leader life sciences at Ernst & Young.

Increasingly, mobile telephony, internet and telemedicine is paving the way for innovative treatment and healthcare models, but a majority of the population residing in towns and remote villages, does not have access to even basic medical care in the country.

What these start-ups seem to betting on is the abysmal doctor-patient ratio and low hospital bed density in the country. Besides, “by treating patients at their homes, hospitals can lower costs and become more efficient, and patients also benefit from better health outcomes because they are not exposed to hospital-borne infections”, says Zachary Jones, co-founder Portea Medical said.

For the full article go here.

(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Startups-bring-the-doctor-and-hospital-home/articleshow/36274016.cms)

Dignity Literary Event

The Chennai Chapter of Dignity Foundation, a non-profit organisation working for senior citizens (above 50), is organising the ‘Dignity Literary Event’ on June 14 from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The event will provide an opportunity to showcase their talents – poetry rendition, skit, music or any other form of creative expression. Anitha Ratnam, Ashoka Mithran, Kamali Sripal and Rajan are expected to provide guidance to the participants.

Venue: Utsava Hall, 38/51, 2nd Main Road, Raja Annamalaipuram (next to Billroth Hospital). For details, call 24330363 or 42316566.

May be it is not as bad as it seems

May be it is not as bad as it seemsThe two sisters came in looking for something for their dad. From their conversation with each other, one could make out that their dad was not keeping well, was stubborn and inflexible (like some seniors who have been fiercely independent all their lives are wont to be), but still very much loved.

The sisters, one resident and the other visiting, were carrying on a banter about the dad’s shenangans with a subtext of indulgent smiles, crinkled noses, shrugs and sighs. One could see that despite the obvious love and affection they had for their dad, their nerves were frayed and their patience was wearing thin.

As they were browsing, Mr. S came in. Mr. S is 70+ and an old customer. He had not visited since his mother had passed away a few months back. He looked a little thinner and a bit more harried. I enquired politely about how life was treating him. A casual question, but it must have been the key to the flood gates, for there was such an outpouring for the next few minutes.

Apparently, he had had a mild heart attack and had undergone an angioplasty since he last met us and was just recovering. As though that was not sufficiently taxing, his father-in-law had moved in with him as he had been recently diagnosed with some malignant form of cancer. The F-i-l was apparently largely confined to bed now and needed constant looking after – the usual diaper change and feed and all the other help in taking care of his daily living – not to mention sleepless nights and visits to the doctor involving interminable waiting times. Poor Mr. S, not only did he have to take care of himself, he had an even older man to look after. No wonder he looked harried. I could not do much more than mumble some inane platitudes about keeping up the spirit and how things will work out well in the end and so on. He sighed, bought some diapers for his father-in-law and left.

The two ladies who had fallen silent in Mr. S’s presence seemed to come out of a trance. “Wow! We are in a much better state than that poor man. We have no right to complain”, they said and left the store in a much better frame of mind.

I only hope they remind themselves of this every time things get more difficult. As for Mr. S, I can only wish him good health and the strength to endure and survive this trial too.

Report on workshop held on 8th May 2014

A Workshop on Retirement Communities sponsored by Harmony Eldercare Pvt. Ltd.  & Satvik Properties LLC was conducted by Old is Gold Store- a store for Senior Citizens on 8th of May 2014,  specifically for senior citizens to create more awareness about retirement communities, their pros and cons, and other associated topics.

While retirement communities are not new to developed nations, they are a relatively new concept to India. As a result neither the promoters nor the potential purchasers are aware of actually what support and services a retirement home should provide. This workshop was designed to dispel some of the myths and provide clear information on how to evaluate a retirement community.

The workshop held at Raga Sudha Hall, Mylapore was well attended with over 130 senior citizens turning up for the 3 hour workshop on a cloudy, pleasant afternoon. The workshop was kicked off by a welcome address by Jayashree KPDirector of Old is Gold Store.

This was followed by an introductory talk on retirement communities by Sanjay Dattatri, Director – Old is Gold Store. The participants were also given a copy of a detailed retirement community evaluation form for the use of senior citizens interested in moving into a retirement community. More copies of the evaluation form are available at Old is Gold Store.

The third session was a lively presentation on the benefits of reverse mortgage. Many senior citizens who has unsuccessfully tried applying for reverse mortgage demanded answers from Mr. B Prabhu, Deputy Manager of National Housing Bank who patiently answered all the questions and cleared many doubts. Of the many important points that Mr. Prabhu touched upon, one of the most important was about which banks to approach. Mr. Prabhu highlighted the fact that only Zonal offices have managers dedicated to reverse mortgage and for best results people should approach the zonal branches of nationalized banks (or branches with a Chief Manager or above).

Ms. Sabita Radhakrishna then addressed the audience and explained about Udhavi, the volunteer group that aims to provide companionship and support to senior citizens.

Finally, after a sumptuous snack break, the audience participated very vocally in the panel discussion and open house that was moderated by actor and TV presenter Ms. Shylaja Chetlur. The panelist, Raj Sitaraman, Director Marketing of Harmony eldercareMr. Hari S of Satvik Property ServicesMr. Prabhu of NHB and Sanjay Dattatri and KP Jayashree from Old is Gold Store, answered various questions posed by the audience.

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks.

The Non Resident Care Giver

The Non Resident Care GiverEvery family has one and if you’re not so lucky, several.  Who is a non resident care giver? Usually a blood relative, a sibling, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle living elsewhere could be Mylapore, Mumbai or Minnesota. Absence maketh the heart fonder and so after several promises they finally make good the threat of actually landing up to do their bit.

You are relieved since you have been the care giver working meticulously and now established a method to all the madness that very often comes with the territory of care giving.  It varies, but could include keeping your loved one clean, changing diapers, feeding, balancing the diet, managing a battery of drugs to be given, lifting, visits to the clinic, and the millions of details that you now do with ease. You actually look forward to the visit and then he /she comes, usually she and then after the hugs and shakes comes the emotional outburst which may include how weary you appear to be or better still on how the patient used to be and look at him / her today, holding hands and the warm words does flow  with the reassurance “I am here”, you feel relieved, in fact a little energised , and get carried away asking what he or she would prefer for lunch. An exotic dish that only you can cook up. “Don’t bother”, you have enough on your hands without cooking what I want or like, but then if you insist that “potato porial” that you make is absolutely “divine” always remember it and it makes my mouth water, just describing it”. Enough ammo to get you going to the kitchen and then you remember that you have run out of an ingredient required. You quickly order or ask someone to fetch or why not go across and pick it up.

It’s time to feed your loved one, so you go about the routine with the ease of someone who has been doing it for a while now, but then the visiting care giver has to do her/ his bit and depending on where he or she is from enquires politely if you are supplementing with Glucosamine, Chawanprash or Kashayam depending on where the relative is from Minnesota, Mumbai or Mylapore in that order.

After a lecture on range of miracle food supplements that vary in efficacy from preventing cancer to hair fall, you are left wondering why does anyone get cancer these days, perhaps just a lack of knowledge.

If the non resident care giver is from Mylapore you only need to think of tea time and the snacks needed and if it happens to be Mumbai or Minnesota then you very well need to plan dinner, accommodation, clean sheets,  soap in the bathroom, toilet paper, if need be.

At the end of the day the virtue of Skype starts dawning on you. As a care giver you could do with less advice, a smaller dose of expertise and you seem relieved when you hear the all too familiar “Take care, let me know any time and I will be there” and you are left with the comfort of fending for yourself with the limited expertise that you have gathered. God bless the non resident care giver.

First published in the Care3 caregiver newsletter.

Old is Gold in the news!

Old is Gold Store was covered by the Economic Times today.

Excerpts from the article:

“We don’t just see ourselves as product sellers, but solution providers. In this world of Amazon Flipkart and Snapdeal, there is still place for highly focused niche sites,” said Prithviraj Somdev, cofounder of Chennai-based OldIsGoldStore.com. Somadev, a University of Madras graduate, also co-founded office software development company Translogic Systems.

Set up in February last year by the 53-year-old , his wife Jayashree Somadev, 46, and friend Sanjay Dattatri, 45, the idea came from t…

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33947441.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

To read the online version, go here.

(https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/niche-online-portals-find-india-with-100-million-elderly-a-good-market/articleshow/33947441.cms)

 

Old is Gold Store covered in Outlook

A chair for my Paati

Old is Gold Store covered in Outlook

In an ageist world where toddlers, teens and adults dominate the consumer graph, a trio in Chennai are thinking about growing needs of the rapidly greying—and largely ign­ored—section of the population. Faced with parents suffering geriatric ailme­nts and few products to assist in their care, a trio of Chennaiites—Sanjay Dat­tatri and founder couple Jayashree and Prith­virajan—set up the Old is Gold store in Adyar, a Chennai suburb over a year ago. Since then, the store has been profitable, and plans are afoot to open another bra­nch in Chennai and stores across south India. “It’s a shame that we are the only store exclusively catering to the needs of senior citizens,” says Sanjay Dattatri.

The shop has been a boon to Eswari Sundaresan, 76, who found her back hurting from long hours of sitting, wat­ching TV or reading. A visit to Old is Gold got her a customised backrest cushion that she now props between the headboard and her back for support. Products like these pillows, designed for senior citizens, are a rarity in India, unlike in Europe and the US. “Disease and disability are two main concerns in old age. While healthcare is advanced in India, we are still lacking in products to help the elderly, and such stores are therefore vital,” says geriatrician V.S. Natarajan.

You can read more of it here. (https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/a-chair-for-my-paati/290784 )

Five Things That Healthcare Providers and Patients Should Question

Abstract

Since 2012, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has also been collaborating with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, joining its “Choosing Wisely” campaign on two separate lists of Five Things Healthcare Providers and Patients Should Question. The campaign is designed to engage healthcare organizations and professionals, individuals, and family caregivers in discussions about the safety and appropriateness of medical tests, medications, and procedures. Participating healthcare providers are asked to identify five things—tests, medications, or procedures—that appear to harm rather than help. Providers then share this information in a published article about these things on the ABIM campaign’s website (www.choosingwisely.org). The first AGS list was published in February 2013.

You can read the article in detail here.

(https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jgs.12770)

Over 75? Your pension may get door-delivered soon!

Your pension Sunil Kumar Jha, a 77-year-old retired central government employee, would heave a sigh of relief amid this scorching summer. Come April and he won’t need to visit his bank and stand in the long queue to draw his monthly pension. The State Bank of India has planned a welcome respite for the pensioners — aged 75 years or more — by delivering monthly their earnings at their doorsteps.

The country’s biggest bank will start this pilot project from April 1 in Kolkata. If successful, other public sector banks would follow suit, which would benefit thousands of aged and ailing pensioners all over the country.

On getting this news from TOI, Jha, who stays near Don Bosco, Park Circus, and takes a 15-minute walk to visit his branch once a month for his pension, said, “It is a great initiative.” Nearly 32,000 pensioners like Jha, who are on the wrong side of 75 in Bengal and have a pension account with SBI, can now opt for this service from April.

The unique scheme, named ‘SBI 75+’, is the brain child of SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattachrya. The chief general manager of SBI (Bengal circle), Sunil Srivastava, pointed out that this is for the first time any bank in the country has undertaken such an initiative of hand delivery of pension at the door steps of elderly people.

“The scheme would be rolled out across the country over a period of time if it is found feasible. We were working on it for a few months following instructions from our chairman. We found that a lot of pensioners are staying alone as their children are abroad for studies or work. It is really difficult for them to withdraw the pension. Their number is increasing rapidly. We have tried our best to lend our helping hand to them,” he said.

Nationally, the number of pensioners aged 75 years or more would be over five lakh for SBI alone. The total number of pensioners with SBI is over 36 lakh now. There are 2.39 lakh pensioners in Bengal who are SBI account holders. Around 14% of them are in the 75+ age bracket. “There are 17 pensioners in the 100+ age bracket as well,” added Srivastava.

Srivastava explained that SBI will publish a helpline number 9674711102 for enrolling into the scheme. Once enrolled, the bank will issue two photo identity cards for the pensioners. “One identity card will be with the customer and another with the branch. While delivering the pension, the identity cards will be exchanged. This will act as a safety net to the whole process. Our own employees will deliver the pension. We shall only charge Rs 50 for this service per transaction,” he added.

To read the original article, go here.

(https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/India-Business/Over-75-SBI-to-deliver-your-pension-at-home/articleshow/32878202.cms)

Free Hearing test for Old is Gold Store customers

Free Hearing test Hearing issues are often neglected.  And if not rectified in time, hearing problems can get worse, so much so that one might lose ones hearing completely.

We, at Old is Gold Store, understand the importance of preserving each of our faculties and senses.  To help our customers take the first step, we have arranged for free hearing test.  To avail this, please call us at 044 244 66244.