Canada-based Figure 1, a free photo-sharing application that allows healthcare professionals to share and discuss cases for quick and better treatment, has launched operations in India. The app, which is called the ‘Instagram of healthcare professionals’, aims to bridge the urban-rural divide in the healthcare sector in the country with the use of digitisation.
“With smartphones being so prevalent in India, we think there's a huge opportunity for all of the 800,000 physicians, and 1.5 million nurses, midwives, and medical students in the country to join our app,” said Gregory Levey, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Figure 1. “We think that health care professionals around the world could learn from the unique challenges that their Indian counterparts face and vice-versa,” he said.
Over the past two weeks, Figure 1 teams have spent time in Mumbai and Delhi, meeting doctors at large hospitals, other health care professionals, as well as medical students. The company is optimistic and is in talks for collaborating with hospital chains and doctors in India.
Figure 1 was founded in January 2013 by two Canada-based health care professionals, Gregory Levey and Joshua Landy. The first version of the app was launched in May 2013 and in June 2014, Figure 1 raised series-A funding in a round led by Union Square Ventures, the early investors in Twitter, Tumblr, Etsy and Kickstarter. The app is available both on Google Play Store and iOS platforms.
The idea to develop the app came from after Landy, a critical care physician, often worked 24-hour shifts in the intensive care unit (ICU) where he encountered cases that he felt other doctors could learn from.
Medicine being a field that is ever-evolving and has the challenge of every new case being unique from the earlier ones, he thought this would be of big help to doctors.
With Figure 1, health care professionals and medical students across the world have an organised platform where they can share images and details of various cases they encounter in their daily lives at hospitals. Levey said the start-up had received positive responses from physicians all over the world.
On the product front, Figure 1 tries to be mobile-focused and takes inspiration more from consumer-facing tech products than from health information technology. This means, it strives to pay a lot of attention to user experience. “We are focused on helping health care professionals in their workflow, rather than adding new tasks in their already busy days,” said Levey.
Currently, the app is focused on international expansion. “Just a few months ago, Figure 1 was available only in six countries. Now it's available in more than 40,” Levey added.