future startup logo

3 Healthcare Startups To Watch In 2019

Praava Health

  • Praava Health describes itself as “a network of Family Health Centers” and offers a combination of family doctors and diagnostics services in Dhaka. Founded by Sylvana Quader Sinha, Praava health started its full-fledged operation in February 2018 in Dhaka with one center in Banani. It has since expanded both as a team and as a business.
  • In an interview with FS in July 2018, Ms. Sylvana told us that Praava has “registered and served thousands of patients since its launch in 2018, and 60% of its visits are from repeat customers”. It has six labs that can do about 250-unique tests. It has built Bangladesh’s first PCR lab for molecular cancer diagnostics.
  • Praava also offers a handful of membership plans. It has annual membership plans ranging in price from BDT 4,500 to BDT 28,000.
  • In October 2018, it launched a home care plan under which Praava’s doctors and nurses visit patients at their home. Over the past year, it has also launched numerous other services.
  • Praava has the first-ever fully integrated hospital information system in Bangladesh. It means Praava keeps all medical records of a patient, which can be accessed by the patient anytime from anywhere using its mobile app.
  • Its lab is fully integrated with technology. As soon as a lab machine runs a test, the report automatically gets stored in its central system in the name of the patient. Once you are registered with Praava, you can connect your app with your Praava registration number and access your records online from anywhere. You can also make appointments and communicate with Praava in the app. The startup aims higher. Ms. Sylvana told FS that it plans to build about 30 facilities around Bangladesh over the next couple of years.

Read more on Prava:


  • Olwel connects doctors with patients who prefer to receive medical consultation at their home. The idea is to deliver quality healthcare service to patient’s doorstep with the help of technology.
  • Olwel has spent more than a year to build its healthcare delivery system. It has three types of in-house doctors: senior doctors, doctors who visit patients and doctors who answer queries and follow up with the patients after a visit.
  • It also runs a digital hospital where anyone can access its service through Olwel mobile app or using our website or just a phone call. The call center doctor first triages the patients, i.e., advise the emergency patient to go to the nearest relevant hospital as we do not have a well-equipped ambulance to treat the emergency patient at home. Otherwise, our central system chooses and dispatches the nearest registered and trained doctor to the patient’s place.
  • An Olwel doctor spends a minimum of 20 minutes with a patient, which is a minimum duration requirement. Olwel particularly emphasizes two things: collecting the complete medical history of the patient, and clearly explaining the situation and provide proper counseling to the patient.
  • After a doctor finishes seeing a patient and giving a prescription, he/she uploads the necessary documents electronically to our central system. Afterward, these prescriptions are again reviewed by senior doctors.
    Olwel maintains the medical history of all its patients. As for the medical data, it has not yet made it accessible to the patients. But it plans to do so over the time. At present, when a doctor accepts a request for a visit of an old patient, he/she also receives a copy of the patient’s previous history.
  • Currently, Olwel has 28 home visit doctors and 10 female doctors, who run its call center.
  • Doctors are paid based on the number of shifts they have worked in.
  • Olwel has partnered with Thyrocare Bangladesh, an Indian diagnostic centers chain having an operation in Bangladesh, for on-demand test and check-ups. It has also partnered with URAL EMS for on-demand ambulance service.
  • Patients can use Olwel App, Website or call directly to avail the service.

Read more on Olwel:

Telenor Health

  • Telenor Health provides health and well-being information, health insurance, and health consultation services to millions of people (Grameenphone subscribers in Bangladesh) over mobile phones. The startup aims to ensure quality health service at an affordable cost to the masses.
  • Telenor Health’s first product in Bangladesh is Tonic. Tonic Basic was launched in June 2016. The service was mostly fee. It was offering 3 services. (1) Tonic Jibon - a health-related content and information service for people to provide information which is medically proven. (2) Tonic Doctor: health consultation over the phone for a small fee, 5 taka per minute. Anyone who is a GP subscriber can get a consultation from a registered doctor twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week over the phone. (3) Tonic Cash and Tonic Discount - discount and cash offer to subscribers at different hospitals, pharmacies, and medical centers. However, it has since changed its product and service offerings
  • In 2018, Telenor Health launched a few paid products as well as added more services to its bundle. Its paid product covers higher cash coverage, doctor’s appointment, and many other features. In 2018, when first interviewed Telenor Health CEO Sajid Rahman for the second time, it had over 5 million users.
  • Telenor Health offers 3 main products under the following categories: Tonic Basic, Tonic Astha, and Tonic Shurokkha. All of these are available for individual users.
  • Tonic Basic is for free and other two, Tonic Astha and Shurokkha, are paid products.
  • It has also launched corporate packages. For corporates, it offers Tonic Astha and Tonic Shurokkha in a customized manner depending upon the requirement. It also offers a dashboard to corporate clients who can track the service used by the employees.
  • It has collaborated with several pharmacies and corporates to ramp up distribution.

Read more on Telenor Health:

Contribute: if you know any healthcare startup doing great work in Bangladesh, let us know at info@futurestartup.com

Cover photo: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

In-depth business & tech coverage from Dhaka

Stories exclusively available at FS

About FS

Contact Us