Covid-19 second wave has jolted India very badly. The deadly virus is currently under control, but India was getting approximately 4 lakhs covid +ve cases and 10,000 deaths every day in its peak days. Despite all this, the recovery rate was also phenomenal.
This time, covid patients faced so many challenges during post-covid recovery including a deadly disease named black fungus or mucormycosis. If black fungus is not detected in the early stages, it may have serious outcomes like death, blindness, jaw damage, etc. DentalDost, a Pune-based startup, has launched its online app for consultation purposes to avoid such outcomes. If the startup observes mucormycosis-related symptoms, the DentalDost team refers the patient to the nearby surgeon or hospital for further treatment. This way, DentalDost has helped many black fungus patients before the disease became worst.
How DentalDost Works?
DentalDost has a team of 22 members. Among them, eight are full-time dentists and three comes under the category of consultant dentists. The remaining staffs are there to provide operational supports through the app. As per DentalDost claim, the startup is receiving eight suspected cases of mucormycosis every week.
The app asks the patients to upload oral images to detect the disease. Other than images, the app also asks few questions related to their health status. Finally, based on certain guidelines, the DentalDost app provides the final result.
Due to the instructions provided by the DentalDost app, patients are more aware of their mouth diseases. Talking about the same, DentalDost’s co-founder and Dentist Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali said:
“A lot of people are beginning to learn that they have a region called the dangerous triangle of the mouth. This refers to the area of the sinuses, openings, and hollow cavities and means that any infection in the mouth can spread very rapidly. One must carry out self-assessment of the mouth regularly.”
The DentalDost team operates from Pune. The online startup has 180 partners across India who provide dental services to patients after an online consultation.
Recently, one covid recovered patient contacted them through their helpline number. DentalDost investigated the case and found that he has signs of mucormycosis. The disease spreads very fast so without delay, the DentalDost team referred the patient to a nearby hospital. Due to instant action, he recovered very soon.
Talking about how DentalDost helped the patient, Bhanushali said:
“We could not waste a moment because this disease spreads fast. An appointment was booked with a surgeon in the area from where the person had contacted us. He was diagnosed with mucormycosis and treated. Only a bit of his palate was affected and he is now safe.”
Talking about mucormycosis and its surge during the pandemic, Bhanushali said:
“Mucormycosis used to be very rare, and among the elderly. Due to Covid-19, the numbers have jumped across the country. We are seeing seven to eight suspected cases every week through the DentalDost app.”
About DentalDost App
Initially, DentalDost started its journey as a dental health blog in 2018. Later, the startup added a helpline number on the blog. During the covid pandemic in 2020, DentalDost started receiving around 70 calls per day. DentalDost team launched the app in January 2021 after adding advanced features based on AI and ML.
DentalDost app has 67% accuracy in detecting mucormycosis disease. The online platform receives approximately 900 queries every day.
DentalDost app has complete procedures and instructions that allow a patient to do an initial checkup by himself or herself. If a patient suspects black fungus, then he/she can contact DentalDost doctors for further diagnosis.
The app, co-founded by Bhanushali and Rajat Kabade, has Machine Learning(ML) based features that make the initial investigation easy for the patients. The app helpline number is 24×7 available for the patients.