Interview with Atman Jadon, Director of Superceuticals, a health-tech start-up

Atman Jadon

An exclusive interview with Atman Jadon, Director of Superceuticals, a health-tech start-up recognized by DPIIT, a game-changing innovation in Indian healthcare.

In the realm of groundbreaking innovations in Indian healthcare, Superceuticals has emerged as a beacon of transformative health-tech solutions. As the Director of this forward-thinking start-up, Atman Jadon has been instrumental in guiding the company towards its recognition by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Superceuticals has not only garnered attention but has also carved a niche for itself with its pioneering contributions to the health-tech sector.

In this interview, we delve into the visionary leadership and game-changing innovations that have positioned Superceuticals at the forefront of India’s healthcare revolution.

Can you share the inspiration behind the establishment of Superceuticals and the vision that propelled you to venture into the health-tech sector?

Atman Jadon: The genesis of Superceuticals finds its roots in a profound commitment to address a pressing social issue rather than a mere entrepreneurial pursuit. The inception of our journey coincided with our active involvement in several non-governmental organizations, where our core team engaged in diverse projects, particularly in underdeveloped rural regions, including healthcare initiatives.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we were deeply immersed in organizing health camps, awareness sessions, and self-help group development activities. Our experiences in these endeavors unveiled a stark disparity between the healthcare services available in these areas and those in metropolitan cities, such as Delhi, just 60-70 kilometers away. This realization served as the catalyst for our transformative vision.

Witnessing the palpable difference in healthcare accessibility between the capital and its proximate rural areas ignited our determination to bridge this gap. It became evident that a small geographical distance could significantly impact the quality of healthcare, prompting us to contemplate innovative solutions. Thus, our journey began as a social initiative aimed at enhancing healthcare infrastructure and facilities in these underserved regions.

In the initial stages, our focus centered on providing basic consultation and diagnostic facilities at the Panchayat level. This altruistic endeavor gradually evolved into a commercially viable project, culminating in the development of SC-AN.

This technological innovation marked a transition from conventional wet chemistry to efficient as electrical impedance, amperometry, voltammetry, cell counting, photometry, and immunological reactions with fluorescence assay., ensuring faster results, increased automation, and reduced reliance on human expertise—especially crucial in areas where technical manpower is scarce.

The overarching vision of Superceuticals remains rooted in uplifting these underserved regions. Our goal is to alleviate the healthcare burden on residents, enhance the quality of life, and minimize the strain on healthcare facilities in metropolitan areas catering to these regions.

Through this journey, we aspire not only to provide essential services but also to contribute to a lasting positive impact on the overall well-being of communities in need.

How does Superceuticals leverage technology to address challenges in the healthcare sector, and what sets your solutions apart in the competitive landscape?

Atman Jadon: Superceuticals strategically utilizes cutting-edge technology to surmount challenges in the healthcare sector, with its flagship product, SC-AN, standing as a pioneering biomedical and biophysical analysis system.

Unlike mere devices or standalone software, SC-AN represents a comprehensive ecosystem that seamlessly integrates every facet of a treatment plan, medical consultation, and prescription management into a singular, patient-centric platform.

In the context of conventional healthcare advancements, the industry has primarily focused on benefitting care providers, such as doctors, technicians, and nurses, or on enhancing diagnostic facilities within the healthcare institutions themselves.

Notably, the only major advancement for patients in the last 25 years has been the convenience of blood sample collection from their homes, and even this service is limited to specific urban areas, leaving a vast population underserved.

Superceuticals differentiates itself by fostering a paradigm shift toward a completely patient-centric system. In traditional healthcare workflows, a patient would visit a doctor, undergo a preliminary examination, and subsequently receive a lab order for diagnostic tests.

The ensuing process involves sample collection, transportation to a lab, a waiting period of 24 to 48 hours for report generation, and further appointments with the doctor for consultation and prescription. The actual treatment commences only after this prolonged timeframe, which, optimistically, takes 48 hours in metropolitan settings and significantly longer in underdeveloped areas, particularly within government healthcare institutions.

The inefficiencies and delays inherent in this conventional system place undue stress on already ailing patients and incur substantial time and financial costs, including logistics. Superceuticals, through the transformative capabilities of SC-AN, revolutionizes diagnostic procedures.

Instead of relying solely on traditional wet chemistry methods that demand extensive sample processing and specialized training for lab personnel, we employ a diverse array of applications encompassing wet chemistry, dry chemistry, and bolstered by an AI-based algorithm to enhance accuracy.

Crucially, our approach eliminates the need for cold chain logistics, as samples are processed on-site – then and there, providing immediate results and considerable time and cost savings for patients. Furthermore, our commitment to enhancing the overall patient experience extends beyond diagnostics.

We offer a suite of mobile apps and record maintenance tools, ensuring seamless healthcare interactions and mitigating any potential time lags or complications faced by patients. In essence, Superceuticals stands at the forefront of healthcare innovation, transcending traditional norms to deliver unparalleled efficiency, accessibility, and patient-centric care.

Being recognized by the DPIIT is a significant achievement. How has this recognition impacted Superceuticals’ growth and its ability to contribute to the healthcare ecosystem?

Atman Jadon: Being acknowledged by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) marks a momentous achievement for Superceuticals. This recognition has significantly propelled our growth, particularly by opening doors to various government schemes, initiatives, hackathons, and collaborations with leading incubators.

The startup tag bestowed upon us has proven instrumental, affording us opportunities to showcase our innovations at trade shows and exhibitions. Notably, the DPIIT recognition has enabled us to participate in these events at a subsidized cost, facilitating our engagement in both domestic and international exhibitions.

This support has played a pivotal role in amplifying our visibility, fostering industry connections, and showcasing our contributions to the healthcare ecosystem.

In the rapidly evolving health-tech landscape, innovation is key. Can you highlight some of the groundbreaking technologies or solutions developed by Superceuticals and the problems they aim to solve?

Atman Jadon: In the dynamic landscape of health technology, innovation stands as a crucial driver of progress. Superceuticals has spearheaded groundbreaking solutions to address pressing issues in healthcare, particularly within the diagnostic segment.

Traditionally, well-known names like Dr. Lalpath Labs, Polis, Lupin, Thyrocare, and SRL dominate discussions on diagnosis, primarily concentrated in metropolitan areas. These labs flourish in urban centers due to the abundant logistics, skilled staff, and supporting infrastructure, prerequisites for their operations.

However, this concentration in metropolitan areas poses a challenge for underdeveloped regions where such resources are scarce. Superceuticals recognized this gap and introduced SC-AN, a revolutionary technology that eliminates the need for extensive cold chain logistics and intricate sample handling processes.

Unlike conventional labs, SC-AN relies on dry chemistry for a range of tests essential for assessing a patient’s condition. By requiring only a small whole blood sample, SC-AN achieves over 95% accuracy, comparable to major labs.

The major hurdle in India’s healthcare landscape lies in the stark disparity between healthcare infrastructure in metropolitan areas and the lack thereof in underdeveloped regions. The proliferation of healthcare resources in metros contrasts sharply with the scarcity in remote areas, hindering the establishment of efficient healthcare systems.

SC-AN addresses this issue by minimizing reliance on trained manpower, logistics, and medical availability, while maintaining a high level of accuracy through advanced algorithms and photosensitive immunochemistry.

In contrast to the prevalent trend of medical tourism, where substantial annual spending occurs, especially from tier three cities and rural India, SC-AN presents a transformative solution. Marginalized communities in underdeveloped areas spend significant amounts on basic healthcare due to the absence of quality infrastructure.

SC-AN’s presence offers a reliable, 24/7 accessible solution, connecting individuals in these areas with top-quality doctors, medical investigations, and swift treatment plans.

This paradigm shift, as evidenced by a recent NSSO study indicating an annual expenditure of over 20,000 crores on domestic medical tourism, with 80% originating from tier three cities, highlights the transformative potential of SC-AN.

In essence, SC-AN emerges as a catalyst for change in the Indian healthcare landscape, bridging the gap between healthcare haves and have-nots. Its constant availability and commitment to quality medical services have the potential to uplift the healthcare infrastructure, general medical capabilities, and overall lifestyle of those residing in underdeveloped areas—a population often overlooked in the pursuit of comprehensive healthcare solutions.

Every journey comes with its set of challenges. What are some of the notable challenges Superceuticals faced in the development and commercialization of its technological solutions, and what valuable lessons were learned along the way?

Atman Jadon: Embarking on the journey of developing and commercializing technological solutions, Superceuticals encountered its share of challenges that demanded proactive resolution. The intricacies of the medical device industry, particularly the transition from research and development to commercialization, presented a formidable hurdle.

Commercializing a product responsible for conducting investigations on actual humans, forming the basis for treatment plans, proved to be exceptionally challenging due  certification process, rigorous studies that are requisite and acceptance.

The diagnostic sector, in particular, posed unique difficulties, given the entrenched presence of longstanding private players. The primary challenge lay in gaining the trust of stakeholders, as certifications alone were insufficient.

Despite possessing all the necessary certifications for both the Indian and international markets, establishing credibility among consumers and the broader public demanded additional efforts.

To address this trust deficit and counter the hesitancy associated with newcomers in the device and healthcare segments, Superceuticals strategically employed buzz creation. Allocating resources to showcase the efficacy of our system through tests and demonstrations became pivotal in generating trust among the medical fraternity and end-users.

Another significant challenge surfaced during the commercialization phase, where financial constraints became apparent. The medical industry, with its intense competition, demanded substantial resources to not only enter the market but also to sustain operations. While Superceuticals is evolving its business model to navigate this challenge, the reality remains that initial financial viability is crucial for sustained business operations.

In essence, the journey taught us the importance of not only securing certifications but also actively engaging in trust-building measures. The ability to navigate financial challenges while transitioning from the research phase to commercialization remains a critical aspect of sustaining and growing our presence in the competitive landscape of the medical device industry.

Collaboration often drives innovation. Could you shed light on any strategic collaborations or partnerships Superceuticals has engaged in to enhance its impact in the healthcare industry?

Atman Jadon: Throughout our journey, strategic collaborations have played a pivotal role in amplifying Superceuticals’ impact in the healthcare industry. Incubated at IIT Delhi, we forged valuable partnerships with fellow startups within the ecosystem.

These collaborations not only facilitated a synergy of expertise but also significantly accelerated our time to market. Recognizing that each entity has a unique role to play, we leveraged shared developments to integrate seamlessly into a unified system, emphasizing the power of collaboration in achieving success.

A noteworthy collaboration has been with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) , which has proactively contributed to fortifying the startup ecosystem and fostering stronger ties between startups and the government. The DoT’s support has been instrumental in establishing our initial foothold in the government sector, showcasing the importance of governmental backing in our trajectory.

Additionally, our incubation at CDOT (Center for Development of Telematics) has been invaluable. CDOT not only provided guidance but also facilitated the testing of our flagship product, SC-AN, in 5G networks, positioning it as a groundbreaking 5G use case. This strategic alliance aligns with our commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

Our vision centers around creating the most patient-centric healthcare infrastructure, and these collaborations have played a crucial role in advancing this mission.

As we continue on our innovation journey, we remain open to collaborations and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to contribute unique and impactful solutions to the healthcare industry that set new standards in patient care.

How does Superceuticals ensure a user-centric approach in the development and implementation of its health-tech solutions, considering the diverse needs of both healthcare providers and end-users?

Atman Jadon: Superceuticals places a paramount focus on user-centricity, particularly patient-centricity, driving our approach to development and the incorporation of new features into our health-tech solutions. Before delving into any new feature or functionality, our initial consideration revolves around its impact on the user experience.

Our team comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds, including the medical field and those with experience in social ventures, providing a foundational filter for ideas and features based on real-world needs, especially in rural areas.

The second layer of our user-centric approach involves alpha testing for these features. Prior to development, we engage in a think-tank evaluation to assess how the proposed changes would impact user experience, ensuring seamless functionality across multiple vernacular languages. This proactive step is integral to preventing any negative impact on the actual users of our application or technology.

Once development is complete and the feature is integrated into our system, a critical task lies in user education. To address this challenge, we employ various means. In rural areas where users may not be well-versed in technology, we organize awareness programs, produce informative videos, and conduct meetings with local representatives who can effectively explain how to use the technology and the benefits it brings.

For users within the medical fraternity, the information is readily available within the app, acknowledging their familiarity and proficiency with technology, allowing them to directly access the relevant literature.

This comprehensive approach ensures that our health-tech solutions are not only technologically robust but also user-friendly, accessible, and tailored to meet the diverse needs of both healthcare providers and end-users.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in the health-tech space, what advice would you offer based on your experience in founding and leading Superceuticals?

Atman Jadon: For aspiring health tech entrepreneurs, my advice based on our journey with Superceuticals is simple, that is, to have a clear mission and a vision for changing the status quo. If you are genuinely passionate about making a difference, overcoming obstacles becomes part of the process.

Expect roadblocks, but face them with courage and perseverance. Your commitment to innovation and a resilient mindset will be your greatest assets on the path to success.

At the helm of Superceuticals, Atman Jadon’s insights and leadership underscore the remarkable strides made by the health-tech start-up in reshaping the Indian healthcare landscape. Recognized by DPIIT, Superceuticals stands as a testament to the power of innovation and its potential to revolutionize traditional industries.

As we conclude this interview, we are left with a profound appreciation for the dynamic leadership that Atman Jadon brings to the table and the promising future that Superceuticals holds in contributing to the advancement of healthcare in India.

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