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Impact Interview: Parag Agarwal, Head of Partnerships and International at Doxper

Welcome to Global Good’s Impact Interview series, designed to tell the stories of the people and companies working to drive impact in society.

In this interview, we’ll hear from Parag Agwarwal at Doxper, a HealthTech scale-up in India helping hospitals and care providers to drive digitisation

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role?

I’m Parag Agarwal, and I look after partnerships and international business at Doxper. I’ve been with the company since its early days in 2017, working closely with the founding team. Doxper is an intuitive, AI-powered digital pen/paper solution for clinicians that digitises health records without any behaviour change or burnout.

How did your company come about and what was the motivation behind it?

Randeep, the co-founder and chief scientist came up with the idea first. It was early 2014 while he was working with SAP Labs and was also an adjunct faculty at ACTREC, an R&D department at Tata Memorial Centre, a hospital in Mumbai.

In the domain of precision medicine and oncology informatics, Randeep needed a lot of data to produce meaningful findings or to begin therapies for complex diseases like cancer. Healthcare data, digitised or structured, was nowhere to be found because everything was on paper.

Can you describe your mission and values?

Our mission is to enable the rapid, cost-effective digitisation of healthcare, to overcome prior data gaps, and to empower stakeholders to generate and benefit from usable data.

Today, we believe the most optimal input technology in the outpatient setting is pen and paper, especially in emerging markets where there is a high patient load and limited consultation time.

While we continue on this path and expand our market leadership in India, we are also developing a suite of multi-modal input technologies to cover requirements across the user behaviour spectrum – from hybrid models (part of the data is captured on paper, and the rest, such as Rx advice on tablet/phone/app) to developing best in class AI and NLP engines for medical handwriting recognition.

Our vision is a world where advancing human health is simpler and faster with pervasive digitisation.

What are some of the most pressing social issues that Doxper is working to address through its technology?

With our zero behaviour change approach to digitisation, we are generating real-world data currently missing in India and other developing economies. Today, we are helping doctors and hospitals digitise to improve their operational, clinical and patient engagement outcomes.

In public health, we are empowering health workers to collect data from remote locations seamlessly. With our growing network of doctors, our platform has the potential for real-time and accurate disease surveillance.

Ultimately, we believe insights from the rich, longitudinal and demographic-specific data generated will allow us to contribute to finding cures for cancer and other complex diseases.

How does your company measure the impact of its work in creating positive change?

We measure the adoption rate by clinicians (currently at 96% in hospitals) and the number of longitudinal health records we generate over time and on a monthly basis. We also track Net Promoter Score (NPS).

In your opinion, what impact will technology have in creating a better future?

Technology has a central and irreversible role in creating a better future as the rate of innovation will not slow down—regulations around safety and policies around equitable access need to catch up.

The current concerns and debate around the impact of AI across industries is a case in point. While the arms race to dominate continues to grab headlines, we need sensible, visionary folks to avoid the mistakes of the past, such as missing the boat on effective social media regulation, especially for teens, where suicide rates among teenage girls are closely correlated to have gone up in lockstep with social media rise since 2012.

What advice do you have for other companies looking to use tech for good and positively impact the world?

Never underestimate the importance of effective communication. This means investing in the right people (or outsourced) for branding, positioning, and even simplifying your technology’s messaging.

Impact starts with individual decision-makers getting convinced to take a bet on you. In a noisy attention economy, you need to start very early in your journey to learn the skills to pitch concisely.

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