Dvara Health Finance joins the ACT For Health collective

Across urban and rural adult populations in India, there is a substantial prevalence of health concerns such as diabetes, prediabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. While a national program for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has been rolled out nationwide, it faces challenges stemming from inadequate funding and staffing. Despite the presence of 1.2 lakh Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) and 25,000 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) serving 72% of the rural population, a quarter of these facilities lack sufficient care providers, leaving space for informal providers to fill the gap. Additionally, a shortage of specialist doctors in around 85% of Community Health Centers (CHCs) exacerbates the situation. Furthermore, while approximately 70% of the population is covered by public or private health insurance, Out of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) remains notably high at nearly 50%, driving an estimated 6 crore Indians into poverty annually.

To address these pressing challenges, a multi-pronged approach is required, blending innovation in both healthcare and financial products. A key strategy involves leveraging CHWs empowered by a protocolized tech platform, thus enabling scalability and effectiveness. The transition from Fee-for-Service to Fee-for-Value models serves to place user needs at the forefront, emphasising preventive care. To that end, ACT For Health has welcomed Dvara Health Finance to its portfolio, with the shared objective of addressing critical gaps within the primary care continuum. The grant seeks to transition from the prevailing fee-for-service model to a more effective fee-for-value model, facilitated by the utilisation of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and technology at scale.

ACT and Dvara’s NEEM program presents a distinctive combination of health and finance offerings to tackle the above-mentioned issues. The success of initial pilots in Maharashtra, spanning over 6 months and covering 1,000+ families, underscores the urgency of this initiative and through our collaboration, the aim is to increase the reach to 10,000 families.

This collaboration will also include an experiment with returnable grants, where grant funds circulate for a specified period, aligned with mutually agreed-upon goals. The expectation from this collaboration is that it will reshape the landscape of primary health care delivery, paving the way for enhanced accessibility, improved outcomes, and financial resilience!

ACT For Health welcomes C3 Medtech to its portfolio

India faces a daunting healthcare challenge with an estimated 270 million people experiencing vision loss. Among them, 9.2 million individuals are burdened with irreversible blindness and shockingly, 90% of these cases are preventable. The lack of access to quality eye care, especially in rural areas, has exacerbated this crisis, leaving millions without the opportunity to see the world around them. This has huge implications on quality of life and the overall economy of the country.

We strongly believe that there is a pressing need for Point-of-Care (PoC) devices in peripheral settings that can be easily operated by any frontline health worker with minimal training. That’s why we have decided to support C3 Medtech’s eye screening solutions to help bridge the gap on quality ophthalmology care for underserved communities and facilitate wider adoption of the solution in primary care settings. C3 Medtech’s solution plays a crucial role in the early screening of conditions such as cataract, corneal opacity, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, which are the major causes of blindness in India. By doing so, it significantly contributes to the fight against preventable blindness.

Traditionally, both slit lamps (used for anterior eye inspection) and fundus devices (used for retinal examination) have been bulky and expensive, requiring trained ophthalmologists to operate. However, C3 Medtech has developed a portable slit lamp and a fundus imaging device, which are powerful eye screening solutions that empower primary care settings to conduct efficient screenings, facilitating early detection and timely treatment for various eye conditions. The best part is that these innovative devices can be easily attached to smartphones, allowing healthcare providers to capture high-quality eye images and receive remote consultations from qualified ophthalmologists.

They are simple to operate with minimal training, making them ideal for use in primary care settings in remote regions. They effectively address the challenges faced in reaching underserved communities and offer a cost-effective solution for resource-constrained environments, where access to advanced eye care technology has historically been limited.

ACT For Health will support the deployment of 30 sets of C3 Medtech eye screening devices within our implementation partner network and charitable institutes operating in low resource settings. Our support will help them in getting real life market feedback and pathways to scale in peripheral settings and we’re excited to collaborate with them on enabling better access to quality yet affordable ophthalmology care!

Cancrie joins the ACT For Environment portfolio

Cancrie aims to impact the battery industry by significantly enhancing battery performance, reducing waste, and extending their lifespan. By using agri-waste as an input, Cancrie has created advanced-grade high-purity nano carbons which are used as an additive on battery electrode plates to increase the battery cycle life by more than 50% and enhance energy efficiency by 40%. This leads to faster charging, reduced electricity wastage, and better utilisation of active materials. Their innovative breakthrough not only benefits the end consumers and battery manufacturers economically but also creates a positive environmental impact.

One of the key advantages of Cancrie’s solution is its versatility across multiple battery chemistries. With their materials showing promise, Cancrie has already gained traction in the market, working with notable clients such as Luminous, Laurus, Future Energy and Exide. Their initial target market of $1.6 billion comprises the lead-acid segment, where they are already conducting paid pilots. Eventually, the company has larger plans to expand their solution to other battery chemistries, including lithium-ion, supercapacitors, Na-ion, and Flow batteries for which they already have proof of concepts ready. This opens up a world of exciting possibilities for Cancrie’s future as well as the resulting climate impact.

Cancrie distinguishes itself through its commitment to environmental sustainability. By extending the lifespan of batteries, Cancrie significantly reduces the need for extracting raw materials and the environmentally damaging practice of mining. Furthermore, Cancrie’s production process is far more energy-efficient compared to other carbon grades, resulting in a significantly lower carbon footprint. Their process emits 85 times less GHG than graphene and 35,000 times less than carbon nanotubes, two most advanced grades of carbon.

With support provided by ACT For Environment, Cancrie plans to increase its production capacity threefolds, helping them achieve their commercialization goals. The funding received will also enable Cancrie to conduct trials on advanced-grade lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries, further validating the performance of their materials. These milestones are projected to result in a saving of approximately 630 tonnes of CO2e and 200 tonnes of agricultural waste, making a tangible impact on environmental conservation in the next two years.

We are excited to welcome Cancrie into the ACT For Environment portfolio and witness their journey of improving the performance and lifespan of batteries in a wide range of applications. We believe that Cancrie has the potential to be a major player in the battery industry, and we are excited to support their mission to make batteries more sustainable and efficient.

ACT Capital Foundation For Social Impact is a not-for-profit company incorporated and registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. All donations made to ACT Capital Foundation are eligible for income tax deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

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