Companies & Sectors
Home healthcare firm raises $37.5 mn
South Asia's home healthcare pioneer Portea Medical on Sunday announced raising $37.5 million (Rs.247 crore) from venture funds to expand its reach across India and the region.
 
Venture capital firm Accel led the second round (series B) of funding, in which International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank group, Qualcomm Ventuires and Ventureast participated.
 
"The latest investment will be used to fuel our expansion from 24 cities across India and in other markets in the region, including Malaysia where we are providing healthcare services at home in four cities," the company said in a statement here.
 
Portea raised $9 million in the first round of funding from Accel, Qualcomm Ventures and Ventureast in December 2013.
 
"The fresh investment from marquee investors reflects our prospects of building a leading consumer healthcare brand in the region," said Portea chief executive Meena Ganesh.
 
The company plans to hire an additional 5,000 employees over the next 18 months, taking its headcount to 8,000 by 2016 in line with its growth plans across the region.
 
Portea's medical staff, including doctors and nurses visits about 60,000 patients a month in 24 cities across the country.
 
"Over the last 18 months, we served thousands of patients and helped their families deal with healthcare challenges by making primary care accessible and affordable," Ganesh said.
 
According to IFC's venture capital head in South Asia Pravan Malhotra, Portea's model of providing affordable and quality care for patients in their homes ensures that hospital infrastructure and beds can be utilised for critical cases and procedures.
 
Besides offering attendants and physiotherapists, the company provides lab samples and medical equipment on hire, bringing healthcare services to a patient's doorstep.
 
"As there is a huge need to offer an in-home healthcare option in India and other emerging markets, Portea's service improves outcomes by combining trained physicians and nurses with technology," said Accel India head Arnu Mathew.
 
The company has over 40 hospitals as partners and a network of referring physicians across the country.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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More Power to Your Device!
How to select a power-bank that would save your day
 
With speedier processors and more RAM (random access memory), mobile handsets are becoming faster every day. Although the new-generation hardware consumes less power, the battery, which allows the show to go on, is not getting smarter. So, you will find smartphone users searching for a charging point all the time. There is another option too. Use a power-bank to recharge your mobile devices. This comes handy, especially if you travel a lot and do not have time and opportunity to recharge your mobile device. 
 
A power-bank is a portable device that can supply power through USB (universal serial bus) using the stored energy of its built-in batteries. This is similar to an inverter we use at homes and offices as a backup for electricity disruptions. There are thousands of power-banks available in the market selling for a few bucks to some thousand rupees. So how can one choose a right power-bank?
 
First, check the capacity of the mobile battery, which is denoted in milliampere hour (mAh). So, if your device battery shows 2,300mAh, it means that it can hold that much energy charge. In this case, you need to buy a power-bank with minimum 2,300mAh so that it can provide at least one full recharge for your mobile device.
 
Second, check the battery output. It will be denoted on the battery in volts (V). Normally, it is below 5V or/and 2.0A. However, since most new mobile devices have adopted this as a standard, you need not worry too much about it even if your device shows numbers below this. 
 
Now, an important question: How many times do you want to recharge your device/s? If you are planning to recharge a single device, you can either go for a power-bank that would give you one or two full recharges. If you want to recharge more than one device, you need to take the cumulative energy value (total of battery capacity) of these devices and choose accordingly. However, ensure that the power-bank has additional charging cable and connecting points for simultaneous charging of your devices. 
 
Also, while deciding on the capacity of the power-bank, do consider the average health of the battery and conversion rate. Normally, both are considered at about 80% or 0.8 of the battery capacity. A simple formula thus would be:
 
Battery capacity/0.8 (average health)/0.8 (conversion rate) x n (the number of times you need to recharge the device). 
 
From this example, 2,300mAh/ 0.8/0.8 x 2=7,200 (rounded off). So for a device with a battery capacity of 2,300mAh, you need to have a power-bank of about 7,200mAh capacity for two full recharges.
 
Which brand should one buy? This is a complicated question because, until recently, there were hardly any standard brands in power-banks available in India. Although these power-banks are available at a throwaway price, I would not recommend these for two simple reasons. One, the after sales support; and, second, the quality of the power-bank, including the battery itself. Remember, dubious batteries tend to heat a lot and may cause explosion, in rare cases. 
 
While unbranded power-banks are available at cheap rates, known brands, like Sony, Samsung, Lenovo and Asus, command a higher price. The launch of power-bank from Mi has completely changed the scenario and several top brands are now selling power-banks at a reasonable price. For example, a 10,400mAh power-bank from Asus costs about Rs1,699 and Lenovo sells at around Rs2,297. At the same time, Mi sells the same capacity power-bank at just Rs999. Even Ambrane, PowerXcel also sell it at Rs999. 
 
When you buy a branded power-bank, you get peace of mind and some additional features like metal casing, smart-control and charging-discharging chips as well as protection from overcharging and over-discharge. I can say from personal experience that Mi power-bank is one of the best for regular usage. It has ample power (10,400mAh) and comes with an aluminium casing and smart-chips. If you want to buy some other brand, check, if it has similar features. 

 

User

COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

2 years ago

Before buying these power banks for the mobile, one has to see their changeability and durability.

Hypertension: Raising the Pressure
Medical students are being taught to rely on outdated, potentially dangerous drugs for treatment of hypertension
 
health, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, There is something called the joint national committee (JNC) on the prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure, or hypertension, in the United States. ‘JNC8’ means the report of the 8th committee—there have been seven previous ones. Experts brainstorm on meta-analyses of clinical researches and studies within a timeframe, review previous guidelines and make recommendations. JNC7 was published in 2003 and, so, everyone expected that, by 2010, JNC8 should be out. It was not to be. JNC8 got delayed for three years and came out with its guidelines only in December 2013. It recommended that patients, aged 60 years or older, start treatment if their systolic blood pressure is more than 150mmHg or diastolic blood pressure is less than 90mmHg (150/90mmHg, or just 150/90 in common parlance) and try to be within these thresholds. In patients aged 18-60 years, treatment initiation and goals should be 140/90. The same goals apply to patients with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
 
There was strong dissent from five panelists and that upset the whole drug lobby. If people are informed about the ‘normal’ BP measurements, Big Pharma will be the biggest loser as millions will need no drugs. When the JNC5 report came out, a similar noise was made, because JNC5—for the first time—recommended thiazide diuretics as the first choice drug. This was strongly resisted by the ‘thought leaders’ in the US who put forward their own guidelines. Most of them were later found to be on the payroll of Big Pharma. JNC8 committed a greater sin. They honestly reviewed the data and raised the levels for treatment by drugs. These higher levels will take millions of people out of the drug list, costing Big Pharma billions of dollars! How could that be? How can they sustain a loss? Even in JNC8, 25% of the committee members had industry connections; they were only allowed to give their opinions but not vote for the final recommendations. 
 
The drug industry did try its best to stop the report from coming out: it is a surprise that the report did come out in 2013. Now that the report is out and recommendations made, the industry is trying various tricks, using ‘important’ medical associations—like medical unions—to block it. 
 
The other day, I was lecturing to medical students in Pune. One student in the audience told me that they were told about the JNC8 recommendations but were told not to use that for their future practice and use JNC7 instead! 
 
JNC8, along with the famous MRC (medical research council) study of mild-moderate hypertension published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in 1985, makes an interesting study. What doctors read from journals becomes understandable if they have an elementary knowledge of statistics, as treatment depends on probabilistic factors. There exists what is called NNT or number needed to treat. The MRC study showed that, to save a probable one stroke in a group of 5,000 people in the next five years, one has to unnecessarily treat 850 otherwise healthy people with potentially dangerous anti-hypertensive drugs for five years; ADRs, adverse drug reactions, of these drugs could, by then, damage and/or kill 75 people!
 
Four randomised controlled trials published in 2012 showed no difference between the treated and untreated individuals in the incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, total cardiovascular (CV) events, and death. About 9% of patients treated with drugs discontinued treatment owing to adverse effects. Treating mild hypertension provides little prevention of CVD in the short term.
 
Dear readers, there is much more than what meets the eye in this profit-oriented sickness-care industry which considers its stakeholders and shareholders dearer than the life of poor patients. The last category is only a statistic for them.
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

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