Interview: Yash Sehgal, COO & Co-Founder of BeatO

Yash Sehgal, Coo & Co-Founder of BeatO

An interview with Yash Sehgal, COO & Co-Founder of BeatO, Diabetes Management Health Care App

Welcome to an insightful interview with Yash Sehgal, the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of BeatO, a pioneering diabetes management healthcare platform.

With his expertise and dedication, Yash has been instrumental in revolutionizing diabetes care, offering innovative solutions to empower individuals with the tools they need for effective self-management.

Can you elaborate on BeatO’s mission to revolutionize diabetes care in India and how the platform utilizes technology to achieve this goal?

Yash Sehgal: BeatO is a digital app-based platform that provides clinically proven, comprehensive diabetes care programs to prevent, control & reverse diabetes under the guidance of experts.

BeatO’s ecosystem includes its innovative smartphone-connected glucometers that work in unison with the BeatO app to provide personalized insights and 24X7 access to an experienced team of medical experts – health coaches, nutritionists, and top doctors.

BeatO promotes self-monitoring of blood glucose levels on its app through its low-cost ‘Made in India’ glucometer that can convert any smartphone into a blood sugar testing device. It encourages connected monitoring to grow as a habit amongst its users.

BeatO has the best-in-class engagement levels with users of nearly 6 minutes a day and empowers users in self-management by providing them with data-driven actionable insights & personalized educational content.

Furthermore, BeatO’s propriety Diabetes Care Programs are evidence-based programs that are led by doctors and supported by multi-disciplinary teams to help users control, manage, and reverse their diabetes.

It is continuous digital care delivered through a mobile healthcare app that aids in metabolic control and better adherence, leading to positive health outcomes. The results of these programs have been published by top institutions such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA) & Advanced Technologies and Treatment for Diabetes (ATTD).

BeatO also provides a complete one-stop solution for all daily diabetes essentials such as medicines, lab tests, diabetes-friendly foods & products. Today, BeatO has 3 million users on its app and platform and 7,50,000+ members across connected devices. It is the largest provider of digital diabetes solutions in the world.

⁠How does BeatO’s ecosystem, including the app and smart glucometers, provide personalized care insights and access to medical experts to help individuals manage their diabetes effectively?

Yash Sehgal: BeatO Diabetes Care program is centered on the premise that chronic lifestyle disease management needs the active involvement of a medical professional, a lifestyle coach, and the patient. It aims to control, manage, and reverse diabetes effectively by providing a comprehensive ecosystem through its app, which works in tandem with the following:

1) Smart glucometer – to encourage regular self-monitoring of blood glucose. Healthcare support teams access the readings to provide expert and personalized guidance.

2) Lifestyle/ Health Coach consultations –dedicated services of a health coach who guides the patient on nutritional choices and diet control, workout regimens and monitors the patient virtually at regular intervals.

3) Medical advice from specialists – The patient can consult a diabetologist who understands the patient’s history, prepares a customized treatment plan for the patient and prescribes medications.

Since the services are rendered virtually, BeatO has been able to bring efficiencies of scale to the program and made a meaningful impact in a country where the per capita income is one of the lowest in the world.

People with diabetes can get the benefits of this low-cost digital solution from the comfort of their homes, which ensures accessibility, continuity of care, and adherence to treatment protocols.

⁠BeatO’s clinically proven approach has shown significant reductions in HbA1c levels. What key strategies or features contribute to these impressive health outcomes?

Yash Sehgal: BeatO is using a digital-first approach to ensure diabetes care is affordable and accessible to all Indians. The solution combines remote monitoring (via a smart and low-cost connected glucometer) and a full-stack digital care ecosystem (including care programs, doctor consults, coaching, medications, etc.) to enable holistic management of diabetes.

BeatO’s Care Programs have 95% adherence from patients who are able to maintain continuity of care and, as a result, achieve the best possible health outcomes.

A clinical study of Care Program subscribers was published in Diabetes, A Journal of the American Diabetes Association, in which a positive change in blood glucose control was observed, with a mean decrease in Fasting Blood Glucose by 38 mg/dL (p <0.0001), Post and Pre Prandial Blood Glucose by 37 mg/dL (p <0.0001) and HbA1c (average blood glucose) reduction of 2.16% (p < 0.0001) at the end of 3 months.

Each 1% reduction of HbA1c is associated with a decrease in risk of 21% for any end point related to diabetes, such as complications to kidneys, eyes, heart and foot amputations. Thus, the BeatO Care Program is able to reduce the risk of complications in patients by nearly 50%.

⁠Could you discuss the significance of BeatO receiving the National Startup Award from the government of India and being recognized by BBC World News for its contributions to diabetes care in India?

Yash Sehgal: It was an honour to receive the National Startup Award in Healthcare from Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji and to be recognized on an international media platform like the BBC World News for our work.

BeatO has provided solutions for the major hurdles and challenges faced in diabetes care nationwide through technology, making diabetes care both accessible and affordable. BeatO has addressed each of these critical areas that have historically impeded Indians from getting proper and timely healthcare:

Lack of monitoring – It is estimated that nearly 57% of adults with diabetes are undiagnosed in India, pointing towards the lack of screening and monitoring.

With a low-cost and easy solution of a smartphone-connected glucometer, BeatO encourages self-monitoring. 55% of BeatO users are first-time users of glucometers who use the app and the BeatO glucometer for regular monitoring to manage their condition better.

Lack of specialists – In India beyond tier 2, only 5% of specialists are available for chronic disease management. This creates a huge imbalance in the doctor-to-patient ratio.

Through its virtual consultation platform, BeatO is bridging this gap. 60% of BeatO users are from beyond the metros and tier 1 cities. BeatO services this vast tier 2 and beyond population through its team of doctors and diabetes educators.

Low adherence and gaps in continuity of care – Due to the long-term nature of the condition of diabetes and the costs incurred for its regular management, there is low adherence to medical advice and for taking medications among patients.

Lack of constant support, accessibility to doctors and lack of awareness are other factors that lead to gaps in the continuity of care. These factors lead to patients developing diabetes-related complications, which increases the burden of treatment costs.

BeatO’s low-cost Diabetes Care Program has been designed to solve all these problems. The constant support of a diabetes educator/ nutritionist, regular doctor consultations, and medicines included in this program make diabetes an affordable treatment for management and control. 

High HbA1c levels – In India, the average HbA1c of people with diabetes is 8.5%, which is alarmingly high. BeatO has shown through published clinical studies that its Diabetes Care Program has reduced HbA1c by 2.16% in its users.

Other studies have shown that each 1% reduction of HbA1c was associated with a decrease in risk of 21% for any end point related to diabetes, such as complications to kidneys, eyes, heart and foot amputations. Thus, BeatO’s Diabetes Care Programs can reduce the risk of complications by nearly 50% in individuals with diabetes.

⁠As the COO, how do you ensure the seamless integration of technology, healthcare expertise, and business operations within BeatO to deliver comprehensive diabetes care programs to users nationwide?

Yash Sehgal: Handling business operations to deliver comprehensive diabetes care programs nationwide involves several key strategies:

1. User-Centric Approach: We place the needs of users at the forefront of product development and service delivery. Gather insights through user research, feedback, and data analysis to understand their preferences, challenges, and requirements.

Utilize this information to tailor diabetes care programs that meet the diverse needs of users nationwide. The development of our comprehensive care programs is a perfect example of this.

2. Investment in Technology: Continuously invest in technology infrastructure, such as our own mobile app, data analytics platforms and telemedicine solutions. These technologies enable remote patient monitoring, personalized care delivery, data-driven insights, and seamless communication between our healthcare providers and users.

3. Cross-Functional Collaboration: We encourage and foster collaboration between different teams covering technology, healthcare, business, etc., to ensure that each department understands its role and importance in delivering comprehensive diabetes care. This collaboration has facilitated innovation and ensures alignment across teams.

Sometimes, the best solutions come from teams that have successfully implemented similar solutions for different problems but are not directly impacted by the current situation!

4. Operational Excellence: We work to implement efficient and scalable operational processes to streamline the delivery of diabetes care programs. This includes optimizing supply chain management, logistics, customer support, and administrative functions to enhance the overall user experience and maximize operational efficiency.

5. Regulatory Compliance: Stay abreast of regulatory requirements and industry standards related to healthcare, data privacy, and technology is essential in our line of work. Our teams work hard to ensure we safeguard user data, protect privacy, and maintain the trust of users nationwide.

6. Continuous Improvement: We are only as good as what we deliver today and cannot rest on our laurels. We foster a culture of continuous improvement by regularly evaluating performance, soliciting feedback from users and stakeholders, and implementing iterative changes based on insights and lessons learned.

This iterative approach enables BeatO to adapt to evolving user needs, market dynamics, and technological advancements to deliver best-in-class diabetes care programs nationwide.

Yash Sehgal’s visionary leadership at BeatO exemplifies a commitment to transforming diabetes management through technology and personalized care. His passion for improving health outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for those living with diabetes serves as an inspiration to all.

As BeatO continues to innovate and expand its reach, Yash’s invaluable insights and dedication are sure to drive positive change in the healthcare landscape.

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