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Business News/ Companies / People/  Lupin Digital wants to grow 10 times taking care of India's hearts
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Lupin Digital wants to grow 10 times taking care of India's hearts

The company combines technology with human intervention for better outcomes and plans to increase the number of prescribing cardiologists to achieve its goal.

Sidharth Srinivasan, Lupin Digital Health CEO.Premium
Sidharth Srinivasan, Lupin Digital Health CEO.

New Delhi: Lupin Digital Health (LDH), a digital therapeutics platform for cardiac rehabilitation, plans to increase its customer base 10 times over the next year, as it expand its presence by entering new cities and onboards new hospitals, Sidharth Srinivasan, CEO of Lupin Digital Health told Mint in an interview.

The company has 5,000 paying patients and is confident of achieving it with the help of an augmented programme prescribing cardiologists as it prepares to expand its affiliation with 75 more hospitals spanning 35-40 cities across the country.

“Post the trial phase for the platform—where we were able to prove in an Indian context that using digital therapeutics, patients can have much better outcomes even despite having serious cardiac issues—and within nine months, we have onboarded around 5,000 paying patients with over 2,000 patients in the trial period," added Srinivasan. “

The main  source of acquiring patients for the company remains through references provided by cardiologists to the programme. “We currently have 700 prescribing cardiologists and in the next year, we expect to have 1,500-2,000 prescribing cardiologists with us. Once we get there, we can increase the number of paying patients from 5,000 to 10 times that, in just one year because the problem is not the supply of patients. The problem is acceptance of doctors and acceptance of patients, so, that’s where our focus lies," he added.

The company, through its digital clinic, combines the human intervention of clinicians with technology, thereby enabling easy monitoring and improving treatment adherence. For this, it also provides consultations with medical doctors, cardio therapists, nutritionists, yoga and meditation experts, and ayurvedic doctors among others.

LDH, he said, is currently not focusing on breaking even, but rather on increasing its patient base. “We are a contribution margin positive business meaning we don’t lose money on every sale, but we have to cover our fixed costs which gets covered by the scale. So, the more patients we add, we will be able to cover the fixed costs," Srinivasan added. Lupin, the parent company, has already invested around 100 crore and plans to further infuse a similar amount in the next fiscal.

There has been a staggering 12.5% increase in heart attack cases in 2022 alone, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The NCRB's latest data on 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India' report, indicates that 32,457 individuals died due to heart attacks in 2022, a significant leap from the 28,413 deaths recorded in the preceding year. For context, the NCRB defines sudden death as—an unexpected death that is instantaneous or occurs within minutes from any cause other than violence.

Accordingly, Srinivasan says, India has more than 30 crore heart patients, and every year there are about eight to 10 lakh patients who are having an angioplasty, “so the potential is huge, but what will drive the adoption (of the programme) is by making it more accessible and affordable, which means adding more cardiologists," he continued.

The company will make this treatment more accessible through its expansion plans and is in conversation with a top insurance company to cover the programme under their coverage. Lupin Digital also plans to create a programme for basic hypertension, diabetes, stress, and other comorbidities to help prevent the condition from developing in the first place. The company will expand its presence from the current 20 cities, a mix of metropolises and other lower-tier cities, to 35-40 cities over the next year and to increase affiliation with 75 more hospitals from 25.

To make treatment more affordable, the company on International Women’s Day is providing an 87% discount on its ‘First step’ starter pack. The 45-day starter pack which is available for 1,500-2,000, depending on particular indications, will be available for women at 199 throughout the month to create awareness that women are more susceptible to heart diseases. The other full programme pack will continue to be available in the range of 6,000 to 15,000.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Naman Suri
Naman is a skilled business journalist who excels in breaking down complex financial details. He specializes in the corporate sector, providing thorough coverage of the pharmaceutical industry, the dynamic field of sports business, and the fascinating area of white-collar crime. Naman has a knack for making sense of numbers and presenting them in an understandable way.
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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 07:05 PM IST
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