Fitterfly, a Mumbai based health startup founded in 2016 offers guidance on nutrition, stress, sleep, exercise and other factors to help people better manage lifestyle diseases, including obesity, PCOS and diabetes.
Due to stressful lifestyle and bad eating habits diseases like diabetes are growing in India and it’s a matter of concern. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2020, India was home to over 77 million diabetes patients.
Dr Arbinder Singal, an entrepreneur and surgeon explains that people who have been diagnosed with diabetes need extreme care and handholding to cure or to control diabetes. Not only with medicine and treatment they need help with staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and working on controlling or reversing it.
In 2016 Dr Arbinder, Shailesh Gupta, and Jayesh Sawant launched digital therapeutics startup Fitterfly to help people and understand the reason behind increasing cases of diabetes and blood pressure levels so that they can provide a solution to it.
The startup claims to offer 360-degree guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, and other factors, which affect health outcomes.
At that time he came to know the power of digital and got the exposure of internet and digital businesses and the thought of how healthcare can take benefits of digitization with the help of technologies.
The team first launched a telemedicine startup MediAngels, which later got acquired by 1mg. Then in 2016 they launched Fitterfly to cater to the wellness of children.
Dr Arbinder says, “The pivot of the business came when I got prediabetes. I realised the players in the market came up with diabetes monitoring, tracking and solution, not many were helping in finding out the cause of increasing sugar levels and how to maintain it through nutrition and exercise. ”
Following this, the startup remodeled to offer personalized digital therapeutics programmes to manage several health conditions, including diabetes, PCOS/PCOD, obesity, pregnancy, and child wellness.
Managing lifestyle diseases
The co-founder says Fitterfly complements the treatment provided by doctors. The startup is focused in subscription-based programmes and also offers personalized guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress, weight, and sleep management.
Its core product Diabefly is a three-month-long programme that uses Ambulatory Glucose Monitoring technology to monitor the fluctuating glucose levels, and correlates it with food habits, exercise, and gives a detailed analysis on how to control the disease.
“At the beginning of the programme, users wear a small glucose monitoring device, which takes readings every 15 minutes for 14 days. The sticker-like device with a micro-needle goes inside the skin, and people are completely free to do daily activities with it. The device tracks over 1,300 blood sugar levels, and the data is available to users via the mobile app,” Dr Arbinder says.
The data collected is used to analyse how a person’s food habits, sleep patterns, or exercise habits are affecting their glucose levels.
To control the diabetes and assist them, the users are assigned three coaches -nutritionist, psychologist, and physiotherapist.
In fact, Fitterfly is also focussing on helping diabetes patients who are recovering from COVID-19 to manage their glucose, stress, and pressure levels.
Besides this, the Mumbai startup also introduced several three-month-long programmes, including PregStar to manage pregnancy, HealPCOS to help manage PCOS/PCOD, Reset23 to help people struggling with weight loss, and GoodStart to ensure child wellness.
Business and more
The startup operates on a subscription-based model for patients. In fact, Fitterfly also works in partnership with almost 200 doctors who prescribe the programmes to their patients. It also works with pharma partners and corporate insurance companies.
The co-founder explained that the prices of the programmes might differ depending on the needs of the patients. However, the price ranges somewhere between Rs 1,000-4,000 per month.
At present, Dr Arbinder reveals that the startup has over 10,000 users across its programme. Last month, Fitterfly raised $3.1 million (Rs 22.3 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Fireside Ventures.
Speaking about future plans, he adds that the startup is looking to expand its digital therapeutics portfolio and develop smart health tracking tools.
According to Allied Market Research, the global digital therapeutics market is expected to reach $13.80 billion by 2027. The report also reveals that India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.1 percent, registering the highest growth in the Asia-Pacific digital therapeutics market.
Dr Arbinder says Fitterfly competes with other notable players in the market, including Wellthy Therapeutics, Twin Health, and HealthifyMe, among others.