Sehati TeleCTG’s CEO & Co-Founder, Abraham Auzan
As a goal-oriented and kindhearted individual, Abraham aspires to build the foundation for the future of Indonesia. Delivering quality and affordable maternal healthcare to ensure both mother and child are in tip-top condition has been a rewarding journey for Abraham. Upon understanding the needs of his target group, he developed an application-based portable CTG (cardiotocography) to monitor fetal well-being.
TeleCTG comprises 3 components, TeleCube, CTG Probe and the Abdomen Belt. Despite the small size of the devices, it’s capabilities should not be underestimated for it can detect risk factors, ensuring the suppression of maternal mortality, low birth weight and stunted growth. Saving the precious lives of both mother and child is imperative to Abraham, driving him to constantly innovate and improve the quality of maternal healthcare in remote villages.
In order to provide a platform with well-rounded care, Abraham integrated the Sehati Bidan (Midwive) mobile application and TeleCTG, which has been a game-changer for midwives in remote villages. Critical data can be assessed by doctors in the heart of Indonesia, providing accurate diagnostics and interpretation.
The Journey of Sehati-TeleCTG
After graduating with a Bachelor of Information Technology and System from Monash University Malaysia in 2009, he pursued a career in British Telecom (BT). As part of the research and development team, he primarily specialises in human sensing. The sensor was developed to be part of a smart home as it recognises behavioural changes in humans. During his time in BT, he acquired an extensive amount of knowledge in Human Sensing.
As an inquisitive individual who strives to continuously learn, he pursued a Master of International Business and applied his knowledge on Fostrom and Zettastrom, a digital transformation company. Being a Business Development Manager allowed him to aid big corporations.
Back in 2015, the path of Sehati-TeleCTG was paved when fate brought Abraham and his business partners, Dr Ari Waluyo and Anda Sapardan together. Going back 25 years in time, Dr Waluyo Sapardan Senior (Anda’s father) assisted Abraham’s mother during his birth. As an Ob-gyn with vast experiences in guiding midwives in remote areas, Dr. Ari Waluyo’s first-hand encounters when providing maternal healthcare posed many challenges, given the lack of advanced healthcare devices.
With Abraham, Anda Sapardan and Dr Ari Waluyo being driven to revolutionize maternal healthcare, the TeleCTG sensor was tailored to meet the needs of mothers in remote villages. Utilised by midwives, TeleCTG monitors fetal wellbeing, fetal heart rate and contractions of the mother. Quality healthcare can thus be received without travelling far to the city to seek proper health checks.
In 2017, “Sehati Ibu”, a mobile application was launched as a platform to educate expecting moms and monitor their pregnancy. As a startup with great speed and desire to constantly improve their innovations, various prototypes of TeleCTG were developed and in 2018, the Sehati Bidan (Midwives) mobile application was launched, connecting the data retrieved from TeleCTG.
Insights on running a meaningful startup
Given Indonesia’s large population, Abraham shared that this factor is ideal for generating high traction as a startup, something investors focus on. Given that governments and large corporations face challenges in tackling healthcare-related problems in Indonesia, particularly in remote areas, Sehati-TeleCTG steps in to solve pressing issues.
Being in the healthcare industry is more than just business to Abraham, and he believes it’s about giving a helping hand and building a compassionate community. The nature of these innovations gave Abraham opportunities to improve the quality of life of expectant mothers in remote areas, enabling him to contribute greatly to society.
With over 400,000 midwives located in all parts of Indonesia, Abraham’s mission is to build an ecosystem where midwives can collaborate and deliver affordable healthcare via digitization. He emphasised that networking with large pharmaceutical companies is essential for it will decrease marketing costs for Sehati-TeleCTG. As more discounts can be given for mothers in remote villages, this aligns with Abraham’s objective to offer quality healthcare at a low cost.
As he continues to grow his startup, one mantra that he fondly shared is that when one helps others, help will return in various forms. In a convoluted marketplace, Abraham shared that Galen Growth acted as a pillar of support for Sehati-TeleCTG.
“Galen Growth is a very important part of the industry. As a startup in Indonesia, we have great offerings to big healthcare companies. Most large healthcare companies in Indonesia consists of company representatives who’s primarily in charge of the marketing strategies or supply chain. Most of the decision-makers in large companies for innovation are headquartered in Europe or in the US. It’s good to connect with Galen Growth so we have the chance to collaborate with the R&D team in the headquarters.”
Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic
As the majority of Sehati-TeleCTG’s team do not reside in Jakarta, but in Central and West Java, beginning operations is deemed challenging. With landlords not permitting citizens from other regions to stay in their property, having the full team is not feasible presently. To keep the momentum and the spirits of his team members high, daily meetings and bi-weekly town halls are conducted.
The company saw an increase in workload since the start of the crisis and a day in the life of Abraham comprises of multiple meetings on Zoom or Google Hangouts. Despite the overwhelming meetings, Abraham is one who cherishes time spent nurturing relationships and takes a breather by calling loved ones and reconnecting with ex-colleagues overseas.
During this crisis, Abraham took time off to reflect on his past decisions. This resulted in his shift in mindset from wants to needs. One example he shared is that he learnt to appreciate the simpler things such as making a cup of coffee at home instead of buying it from a cafe during the lockdown. This shift in mindset facilitated product development as Abraham reevaluated the want to collaborate with an AI company specialising in automated diagnostics. Upon reflection, he came to the conclusion that it was essential to focus on what the market needs, not wants.
Given the high contagion effect of the coronavirus, expectant mothers in large cities shun away from hospitals in fear of contracting the disease. Initially focusing on mothers in remote areas, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mothers from big cities adopting Sehati-TeleCTG solutions. The statistics Abraham shared were astounding, as pre-COVID saw 300 patients per midwife. During COVID-19, this figure skyrocketed to 1000 patients per midwife.
With insurance and pharmaceutical companies recognising that Sehati-TeleCTG has wide and digital access to their market, opportunities to collaborate has risen. Recognising that a traditional business model hinders conventional sales during a pandemic, directly assessing their market through digital means has been the way forward.
Abraham believes that this pandemic has changed society behaviorally, for many have been increasingly health-conscious and aware of their hygiene. The future of HealthTech is promising, and Abraham is looking forward to what it entails. Moving forward, he is determined to be future-ready and develop products fit for market needs.
About the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort
The Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort is the only acceleration programme built to scale digital health startups to be the next generation powering healthcare innovation in the New Normal in Asia. In 2020, Galen Growth is working with 25 HealthTech startups which will benefit from Galen Growth’s long-established and unmatched curated community of investors, corporate leaders and innovation teams and other essential stakeholders through our proven multi-channel tools. For more information, visit Galen Growth’s HealthTech Cohort webpage or read this article on the launch of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort.
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