In 2021, Priyadarshi Mahapatra quit his job at Google to launch CureBay, a healthcare startup to bring affordable care to people living in Odisha’s remote villages.

During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, he struggled to get the necessary treatment for his wife. This is when he realised the gap between rural and urban healthcare systems.

He also observed that rural residents often depend on unqualified ‘quacks’, primary healthcare centres without doctors, or pharmacists who give them medicines without any prescription.

“These citizens know these are not the right options, yet they prefer these because they want to avoid travel to far-off district hospitals for primary care,” says the 50-year-old.

Now, his startup is serving as a bridge between highly-qualified doctors and patients in rural areas by arranging on-the-spot video calls.

Priyadarshi has also set up e-clinics, which are small size physical health centres designed for assistant healthcare.

Rural residents walk into these centres, where healthcare professionals conduct preclinical screening to check blood pressure, blood glucose levels, ECG, etc.

He has also established a network of 20 physical clinics across nine districts including Cuttack, Puri, Jajpur, Khurda, Sonepur, and Dhenkanal.

So far, Priyadarshi’s brainchild has managed to help more than 15,000 patients in rural Odisha. He charges Rs 100 as a consultation fee per patient.

The engineer mentions that he did not become a doctor like his mother but is happy to have started the health tech startup using his tech background.