Married doctors who met at Bristol while studying medicine launch business to remedy health inequality in South Asia
Press release issued: 31 August 2022
Doctors Sumitra Kafle and Navdeep Nath who met while studying medicine at the University of Bristol have introduced a business to advance primary care in Nepal.
The couple formed Upacare Health to offer a 21st-century solution for the underdeveloped primary healthcare systems of many developing nations. Their aim is to pioneer in Nepal and then expand to other South Asian countries where there are similar healthcare infrastructure. UpaCare Health is a pioneering digitally orientated primary Care clinic that will leverage AI to improve health outcomes and manage patient data.
Dr Nath said: “We both really valued our lives and careers in the UK, but we have always been passionate about making disruptive social impact.”
“Primary care, an integral part of community health, hinges on continued health promotion, chronic disease prevention, lifestyle management and holistic care. Unfortunately, in Nepal and other South Asian communities, this subset of medicine remains an afterthought with minimal infrastructure.”
Dr Nath enrolled in the Medicine and Surgery undergraduate programme at the Bristol Medical School in 2009. It was while studying, that he met his future wife, Dr Kafle, who’d started the same degree course in 2007.
Dr Nath said: “We had initially told our families that we met in class, but we actually met on the medics bar crawl on the Triangle in 2010.”
The couple fell in love and were able to support each other through their demanding schedules as Dr Kafle, also former president of the University’s Asian Society from 2009—2010, eventually, moved into Anaesthesia and Intensive Care training, whilst Dr Nath decided to commence Core Medical training.
The pair married in the summer of 2016 in Tivoli, just outside Rome and in 2019 they welcomed their son. The family were working and living in Manchester but have now settled in Kathmandu to oversee the launch of UpaCare Heath.
“Having lived in Nepal previously, I have witnessed first-hand the detrimental impact poor primary health care infrastructure has at both the individual and population level,” explained Dr Kafle. “Having learned from the UK's well developed primary healthcare framework, we wanted to offer a tailored healthcare service that is relevant and necessary in today's "connected" cultural landscape, where half of the Nepalese population carry an internet-enabled smartphone in their pockets.”
Dr Kafle added: “When Nav and I met first at the University of Bristol, we were only 22 and still navigating adulthood. We have supported each other through Medical School, junior doctor years, becoming new parents and now in our new roles as a CEO and Chief Medical Officer at UpaCare Health. Co-founding this company has not been without its challenges, however, we are both passionate about making meaningful social impact in Nepal and the rest of South Asia. We are settling into our new lives and roles in Kathmandu and are looking forward to what the future holds.”
The UK registered company is a hybrid physical and digital primary care service, providing tailored lifestyle recommendations, preventative healthcare advice and chronic disease management; acting as life partner in health and wellbeing.
UpaCare Health has recently partnered with Fusemachines Inc, a leading AI talent company quartered in New York. UpaCare Health’s AI powered digital platform will include features that help patients and healthcare providers connect with each other, while providing an effective way to collect and manage patient data. In addition to electronic health records management, the platform will facilitate personalised holistic care, cross-collaboration across health care providers, automated health visits, prescription planning and more.