How have the last 190 days been for you personally and professionally?
The last 190 days post COVID-19 have been very exciting. Unfortunately, in the beginning, it created fear among cancer patients regarding their cancer treatment. However, we realized that the fear stemmed from uncertainty due to unavailability of cancer experts and no proper easily accessible guidance on cancer treatment. To bridge the gap, we soon introduced several innovations like ZIOPAR (the World’s first Artificial Intelligence-based tool to generate directional Integrative Oncology treatment reports), CONNECT (India’s first online community dedicated to cancer warriors), weekly Healing Circle Talks, and other online awareness sessions. These innovations are all tech-based and have the potential to help millions of cancer patients by educating them and empowering them. to take control over their own treatment.
On a personal front, while our days and nights became more hectic in introducing better solutions for cancer patients, we still got to spend more time to reflect on ourselves and to strengthen ourselves.
How do Love Heals Cancer and Zenonco.io function?
Love Heals Cancer is a Section 80G registered NGO, while ZenOnco.io is a healthtech startup. Both organizations have a common mission to make quality Integrative Oncology cancer care accessible to all. Hence, there is a huge overlap in the workings of both Love Heals Cancer and ZenOnco.io. Through our team of in-house trained and dedicated doctors, we guide cancer patients on their treatment journey, which oncologist to meet, where to get diagnostic tests done and then explaining the reports, getting pharma drugs at a discount, helping with onco-nutrition counseling, and other complementary treatment.
What is ZIOPAR and CANNECT all about?
ZIOPAR and CANNECT are both innovations in the cancer care industry. ZIOPAR is the World’s First Artificial Intelligence-based tool to generate directional cancer treatment assessment reports free of cost to cancer patients on possible treatment options, covering both medical as well as complementary treatment approaches. CANNECT is India’s first online cancer community dedicated to connecting cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and other healthcare professionals to share their experiences and knowledge to inspire each other.
In ZIOPAR, cancer patients are required to provide six basic inputs that determine the output of the report (detailed up to 20-25 pages), with information on medical treatment options, diagnostic tests required, and complementary treatment approaches (including guidelines on nutrition, fitness, stress-management, and symptom management). ZIOPAR is based on standard protocols, guidelines and research by esteemed organizations in oncology, such as ESMO, SIO, NCCN, ASCO, and others. ZIOPAR has already benefitted 21,000+ cancer patients and caregivers across 16 countries by providing detailed directional cancer treatment assessment reports. ZIOPAR is free to use to empower and educate millions of cancer patients in knowing their possible treatment options, asking the right questions to their doctors, and being confident in their treatment.
You are the world’s first integrative oncology health platform. Please tell us how the idea germinated and how it is so helpful to mankind?
We started Love Heals Cancer and ZenOnco.io after we lost a family member to cancer. In his case, cancer metastasized from Stage 3 to Stage 4 while he was taking chemotherapy. We went to the US for clinical trials. There, we saw that Integrative Oncology was a common concept and it was used by many cancer patients to improve the clinical efficacy of their treatment and manage side effects as well. We lost Nitesh two years ago, but realized that it was important for us to spread the word on Integrative Oncology in India to benefit many other lakhs of cancer patients that are going through cancer. This is how we started Love Heals Cancer and ZenOnco.io. We found the purpose of our life: Help millions of cancer patients in their treatment journey.
Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. Integrative oncology aims to optimize health, quality of life, and clinical outcomes across the cancer care continuum and to empower people to prevent cancer and become active participants before, during, and beyond cancer treatment.
Please tell us about your achievements over the last 3 years.
Over the last three years, we have touched the lives of 40,000+ cancer patients, counseled 9,000+ cancer patients, and organized 200+ events and awareness sessions. We have introduced free tools like ZIOPAR and CANNECT to help millions of cancer patients through technology. For our contributions in Public Health, we have also been recognized as the 101 Most Fabulous Healthcare Leaders award at the World Health & Wellness Congress. More importantly, the biggest achievement is every time a cancer patients calls us to say or sends us a message saying that we have helped them in their cancer journey and improved their lives through our efforts.
You all have achieved a lot in giving back to mankind. What motivates you?
Our daily interaction with cancer patients is what keeps us motivated to give our best to help as many cancer patients as possible. Even if we are able to save one life, we have been able to make some difference in this world and can sleep with peace. When we see that a cancer patient needs our help even at say 4am in the morning, we give our everything to help them. Every life matters, and it is this blessing of cancer patients that keeps us motivated.
Please tell us about your plan of action for the near future? Are you all planning to expand?
We want to reach out to as many cancer patients as possible with the help of technology. We are connecting with doctors, labs, pharma companies, healers and integrative experts to bring all of them on one platform to be able to serve cancer patients better. We believe in a 720-degree care approach where we take care of the patient holistically, focusing on both the medical as well as complementary treatment. While we have been able to touch 40,000+ lives, it is still not enough given that there are around 25 lakh registered cancer patients in India. Hence, we want to expand enough that we are able to help each and every cancer patient, and are taking our steps to achieve this vision. After helping cancer patients in India, we also do want to move offshore to help patients there. It is a long journey ahead.
Lastly, how do you dabble with so many things and still you all achieve so much?
It is the constant motivation to help millions of cancer patients that keeps us going. There are times when we don’t get enough sleep or enough rest, when we skip our meals, but at the end of the day, when we get that one phone call or message that we have been helpful, we are happy and satisfied that our efforts for the day have been paid off. It is this love and blessing that helps us move towards our vision.