In 2005, Dr. Manoj Menon was having a health assessment when it occurred to him how much time the whole process was taking – a whole day, in fact.
“I spent the entire day there, and after that, I got the result (the) next day,” Menon, chief information officer of UAE-based wellness company Spotcheck, remembered. He wondered why a health check took so long, and realised that something needed to be done.
“We need to have (a) solution which is … immediate,” he said. Patients needed to be able to know their state of health at their fingertips, rather than spending endless hours at a clinic and potentially losing a day’s work as a result.
And that, said Menon, is “where the thought process kicked in”. The challenge was to create a health screening device that would give instant results with minimal time spent.
At Spotcheck’s Go Screen kiosk, the user is seated and screened for 30 parameters, including body composition, stress indicators and vascular health, according to the company website. The process takes under eight minutes.
“The Spotcheck screening process is designed keeping the users in mind. It’s non-invasive and accurate. The method of assessing body composition is based on the principles of light absorption, reflectance, and near-infrared spectroscopy,” Menon told TradeArabia News Service in November 2018.
“This approach differs very significantly from the bio-electrical impedance (BIA) analysis, mostly used by competing service providers. BIA accuracy rate reduces significantly with common factors like time of the last food intake, last consumption of alcohol, hydration level during the assessment, last workout time and women’s menstrual cycle,” he was quoted as saying.
The results can then be synced and archived on Spotcheck’s ENHAPP, a wellness platform accessible from any device which provides users with a workout library, bespoke meal recommendations and connections to lifestyle coaches and healthcare providers.
Menon was emphatic that Dubai was the right place to launch the innovation.
“It’s a given that Dubai is a place where any new innovation is accepted with open arms, and that’s where we thought it’s the right place to start rather than anywhere else,” he said.
The company has received plenty of government support, he added. “Our first customer was Dubai Health Authority, which shows how (the) government is promoting us … there is a separate occupational health clinic which has been created in one of the primary health centres which is using our kiosk, and the entire screening is happening through that.”
According to Menon, the biggest challenge is getting the average consumer to understand and accept the product.
“The challenging part is how people accept it. They are not so very clear about it. It’s taking time.”
Looking ahead, the company hopes that the kiosk will eventually be seen as a “health ATM”.
“As of now, this is more of a screening device. We will be moving towards a diagnosis device,” he explained. The vision is to enable hospitals and healthcare providers to have a close relationship with their patients through such a device, said Menon.
Targeting corporations as well as individuals, the company states on its website that its “digital solutions help companies design and run risk-effective and engaging employee wellness programmes, partner with relevant third-party insurance players and network with hospitals and healthcare service providers.
“Our patented on-the-spot and non-invasive health assessment product and innovative platform-based end-to-end solutions help ensure lower medicare costs, healthier organisations and more engaged employees as well as happier and healthier communities,” the statement continues.
Menon’s advice for would-be entrepreneurs? That both self-belief and knowledge are essential to succeed.
“As an entrepreneur, you need to believe in what you’re doing and you also have to know what you’re doing. So it’s not about just the belief – of course you need to put an effort to do that. Whatever … you’re doing, the domain knowledge is a must.”