Forbes 30 Under 30 honour for DigiSwasthya founder Sandeep

Sandeep Kumar, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar, is the founder of DigiSwasthya Foundation.

In international recognition for the indomitable spirit of Indian social workers and young entrepreneurs, a cancer survivor, Sandeep Kumar, who single-handedly created a network of tele-medicine centres for rural people has been selected for Forbes 30 Under 30, a prestigious recognition that celebrates the achievements of young individuals.

Sandeep Kumar, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar, is the founder of DigiSwasthya Foundation which has made it to the Social Impact Category of the American list that acknowledges 600 notable figures across various industries, with 30 individuals selected in each of 20 categories.

DigiSwasthya has served 54,333-plus underserved patients across rural and marginalized areas with 54,333-plus expert teleconsultations and 52,213-plus health check-ups through 5 telemedicine centres (across Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar) and 1,402-plus health camps.

Sandeep Kumar, a masters in social work and sociology, confirmed receiving the Forbes honour and said, “It is gratifying to see our work being recognised.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all my supporters, mentors, and well-wishers who have provided invaluable guidance and encouragement throughout my journey. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in my accomplishments,” said Sandeep Kumar, sharing his vision for expanding the services.

Talking about the prestigious recognition of Forbes 30 Under 30, he said, “I am thrilled to share this significant milestone with you all. It is a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of our team at DigiSwasthya Foundation.”

At a Digiswasthya centre, patients are greeted by a staff member who conducts basic health checks. Depending on their ailment, they are connected online to a general physician or a specialist. “We provide prescriptions and even offer medicine concessions and referrals to local pharmacies and diagnostic centres,” he said.

We have an ambitious dream of reaching every corner of India and establishing 100 telemedicine centres by 2027 by tapping into a network of retired doctors who offer free consultations, said Sandeep Kumar, whose selfless service has made him a role-model for many others.

“We aim to work with the government to leverage existing infrastructure and provide electronic health records to our patients. We have not been alone in this journey. Through support from Youth Co: Lab, an initiative co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation, we received invaluable mentorship and guidance to expand our impact, as well as a grant of 25,000 dollars,” he said.

“We hope to get more hands on deck – volunteers, donors, partners — and anyone who shares our vision of a healthier tomorrow. We want to prioritise preventive care, raise awareness, and support those battling diseases. Big dreams can help us reach our destinations. Together, let’s make healthcare a reality, for all of rural India,” said the cancer survivor.

Sandeep Kumar recalled how the idea of starting a tele-medical consultation centre struck him while saving lives during the pandemic and bridging the gap between patients and doctors.

The idea took an institutional shape when he launched a “phygital” – physical plus digital – teleconsultation platform named Digiswasthya in July 2020.

During its early days, Digiswasthya was shortlisted by Niti Ayog for incubation. “Our organisation was also awarded by the Ficci, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center,” said Sandeep Kumar.