A desire to impact
Phase 1 of my entrepreneurial journey — A dream to impact millions of lives.
February 1, 2015, Frankfurt Airport. I turned 24 and was working with Altair Engineering as a software developer. At times, my manager used to throw me out in the market and would even let me sell the product I made — race car driving simulation software. As I was returning from the assignment, this birthday felt very different — I was all alone in radio silence. I decided to evaluate life on what I have done so far and this is what I concluded.
Innovative (Creativity) 4/5 — built 4 full scale formula one styled race cars, a cricket bat that reduces chances of getting out — caught behind, Race car driver software
Exciting 3.5/5 — Racing, Mountaineering, Bouldering, Skiing
Love 3.5/5 — Highly supportive family, friends and had a companion who supported me and whom I supported
Impact (specially on Indians)0/5 — Literally no one was impacted
Spirituality 0/5 — But I didn’t care about it that time
I told myself I have 6 more years of high energy life where I can still afford to fail. Raising a toast to myself with a glass of wine🍷, I decided to improve my impact score which was a big 0 at that time. I declared to Terminal 2 of Frankfurt Airport that I will achieve the impact and move the needle by the time I’m 30. I remember I got some looks from the co-passengers. 😆
At that time, I had no clue how I would do it. Over the next 2 months, I started going out, talking to people, observing gaps. I discussed my thoughts on this with some of my colleagues and Gaurav was immediately on-board. We moved -in together as housemates and after work discussed ideas and rate them on different scales — Impact (Pre-requisite), Market, Our Skills, Capital Required, Our Motivation
Then came this one idea while watching the Big Hero 6 — An AI that silently looks after your health and alerts you if there is something alarming. I remember Gaurav’s eyes not blinking for a long period of time. After deliberating a bit more, we identified we spend a large portion of our life sleeping, where we are still and body tell the true story of the health while we are away from external stressors. This perfectly aligned with one big gap in healthcare — health data sits in silos and actionable data is very rarely available in a continuum. Data will form the required base for predictive and preventive health alerts. We later called it Dozee.
The journey was not easy at all. To be frank, it was much harder than we ever anticipated. There were some personal hiccups too — I lost one arm in a pursuit to save my dog in a crocodile attack. We went through all kinds of financial hardships, I can’t count how many times I took loans from my friends and family (I hope they didn’t count either). We even went door to door to sell our innovation.
But, through it all, we believed in our mission and vision and just braced the mast all through the storm. Luckily, we got help from the right people at the right time. We eventually launched Dozee in the market in July 2019 and we started to see the impact it started having in people’s lives.
The first impact (April 13, 2017)
In our alpha testers cohort, we had Anjali 22-year-old student (name changed). Dozee alerted her about her abnormally rising respiration rate every day. After a conversation with our experts, Anjali’s family decided to get it checked with a doctor. She was diagnosed with an asymptomatic Tuberculosis infection. Anjali was not feeling weak or night fever or losing weight, generally how tuberculosis is detected. Anjali recovered from TB completely and went on to complete her master’s from IIT Bombay and joined an MNC in Bangalore. Detecting in the early stages ensured that her quality of life was not affected much.
This incident made us believe the true potential of the technology we had built and we started to hone the technology with even more rigor.
When COVID stuck us hard, India only had 1 lakh1L ICU beds for a 1.3 Bn population. At one point we were registering 100K new cases every day. At this time, we went ahead to do some product upgrades and developed the Dozee Pro that converted any bed into a step-down ICU in less than 2 min. It also provided a dashboard and alert engine for doctors and healthcare workers to keep a track of the health of thousands of patients from a safe distance. This helped over 14K+ COVID patients, saved 21K+ nursing hours and most importantly 250+ lives. Nurses could afford to sit for an instance and take care of patients without the PPE kit.
Some of our notable deployments were in Barah, IGMC & GMC in Nagpur, GMC Gardiroli, Victoria, Bowring, ESIC in Bengaluru, Chengalpattu Medical College. This helped over 14K+ COVID patients saving 21K+ nursing hours and most importantly 250+ lives.
When I was talking to the Medical Superintendent of Dozee powered hospital. He told how they got alerted once of a ventilator failure because Dozee alerted them of shortness of breath and falling saturation levels.
Post-COVID, many of them have now adopted Dozee for their critical patients of cardiac, neurology, nephrology, and pulmonology out-side ICU and continue to use Dozee to improve the patient outcomes. It is heartwarming to see a proactive care outlook coming to Indian Hospitals.
The best cake
I turned 30 today and received many wishes, cakes, sweets, and gifts but one stood out. It carried a message — Happy birthday from Reena & Ritu (Names changed)
I didn’t know who had sent me this until I got a message from Reena wishing me a Happy Birthday and that’s when it struck me who the cake was from. I remembered Reena, she had reached out to me on linked-in inquiring about Dozee, 6 months back for her 12-year-old daughter, Ritu. Ritu suffers from idiopathic epilepsy and doctors had no clue what causes it. I had told Reena that we have not tested Dozee for epilepsy or tremor detection but it can tell about the stability of sleep and vitals if it helps. The data can be useful for doctors to understand the trigger next time she has an episode.
Reena shares Ritu’s daily report with doctors and now the treatment is progressing well, there has been no incidence so far and we are hopeful. Reena told me how it is assuring for her to know that Ritu is doing well and now finally she can afford a good sleep.
Did we create an impact in 6 years?
It is still early days at Dozee but we get to now I get to hear impact stories like the above all the time. Regularly, we are getting to know stories like that of Pushpa — where an alert gave her what she wanted the most, more time with her mother. I think lift-off is the most difficult thing and now we are gaining momentum. So it’s only time before we realize the ultimate dream of impacting millions of lives!
To be followed by the aspirations for the next 5 years.