June 9, 2023 - 1:37 pm

Startup Spotlight: Noora Health

By 20Fathoms

In this monthly series, get to know who is building companies in Northern Michigan and what advice they have for those just getting started.

This month, we talked to Edith Elliott, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Noora Health.

Pictured: Edith Elliott and Alam Shahed, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs

What problem does your organization solve? How?

There is a power imbalance in our global healthcare system where those who care most for patients — their loved ones — are left out of patient healing. Families and patients often leave healthcare facilities anxious, confused, and ill-equipped to care for their loved ones, leading to preventable complications and, in some cases, death.

Noora Health aims to improve health outcomes and strengthen health systems by equipping patients and their loved ones with essential caregiving skills. Working across 400+ health facilities in India and Bangladesh and rapidly growing, we use our flagship caregiver education and training curriculum, the Care Companion Program (CCP), to turn hospital hallways and waiting rooms into classrooms. Alongside trained health care staff facilitators, we deliver fit-for-purpose, high-quality training on post-surgical, post-delivery, and general care, then follows up with families at home using mobile messaging technologies. 

To date, Noora Health’s programs have reached nearly 3 million patients and caregivers in South and Southeast Asia.

Tell us about a recent “win” or milestone for your organization.

In India, eight states have adopted our program into their health systems. In Bangladesh, our government partners have agreed to scale the program to facilities across the entire country. In Indonesia, we have laid the groundwork for expansion, garnering early buy-in from government partners with an agreement signed to work in Pamekasan, East Java, and have been establishing many contacts as we complete our local entity registration. Finally, in an exciting update, we recently learned that the TB family caregiver model was named by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, as one of five key initiatives to end TB in India, setting the program up for national level scale.

In 2022, Noora Health was named a TED Audacious Project grantee and recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Innovation. Featuring Edith Elliott and Shahed Alam, our Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Noora Health’s mission took the spotlight at TED 2022 and was also featured in a 2022 Skoll video.

What piece of advice would you offer other entrepreneurs?

Design and build with and for your key stakeholders. Don’t assume you know what’s best. Hold yourself accountable to this, always: listen, learn, implement, repeat. 

Trust is your most valuable asset and currency, especially early on. Trust yourself. Trust your own leadership style and know it will evolve over time. Focus on building trust among your community, partners, and team by being authentic and collaborative – competitiveness, while tempting, doesn’t always win in the end. 

Your team is everything. Without a strong team that reflects your organization’s values, right from the start, scale won’t happen. Find the right people. It will take time, but it’s worth it. Take care of yourself, and take care of your team.

How has being a member of 20Fathoms helped your business?

It has been wonderful to be part of a community of people Up North who are changing the ecosystem. All of our work is focused outside of the US…nevermind Traverse City. Being part of 20Fathoms has helped me gain and strengthen connection to this beautiful place. 

How can someone learn more about your organization?

Check out our website, follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) and read our 2022 Annual Report

Nurse Gayathri delivers a Care Companion Program (CCP) session at the Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences in Karnataka.