Next Wave in healthcare says predict, then prevent

16th March 2019
Next Wave in healthcare says predict, then prevent

New AI tools address vast amounts of patient data within seconds and may soon predict future ailments... and Indian startups are making it happen.
By Anand Parthasarathy
March 16 2019: Healthcare  is poised  at a crucial tipping point today. Thanks to technologies like AI, Machine Learning  and  -- new buzzword! -- Internet of Medical Things (IoMT),  vast amounts of  clinical data can now be gobbled up, digested and interpreted  within seconds.   
The patient's medical history, past and present lifestyle,  living environment, personal habits, present medication and genetics  can be  rapidly analysed to predict future ailments that could  conceivably lead to a life-threatening situation. This is where  predictive healthcare morphs into preventive healthcare.
 This  -- complemented by DNA testing -- is already being touted as the  next big technological advancement in healthcare. All this patient-centred data  will  go into one electronic window called Electronic Health Record (EHR), which may soon become a global standard:  Your EHR will be accessible where ever you go ensuring you receive  immediate care, anytime anywhere.
 Philips, a leader in healthcare technology  is touting another avatar of AI:  solutions that are secure, firmly grounded in scientific research, and validated in clinical practice. They call this combination of AI solutions and domain knowledge: adaptive intelligence. The company has  launched  a  global startup collaboration programme focused on the application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. One of the three centres  is Bangalore. The  India team screened more than 150 healthcare start-ups in the Asia-Pacific region  that had AI and radiology as part of their proposition and the most promising five start-ups  are being coached and facilitated today  from Philips Innovation Campus, Bangalore.
 In other ways too, India has become a fertile ground for startup innovators who are cannily marrying AI and medicine to provide new generation healthcare solutions.  Here are two promising new ventures:


 Tricog: Insta ECG
This startup  matches AI with human  experts to provide the fastest, most accurate diagnosis of an ECG.

Headed by cardiologist  Charit Bhograj, Tricog found a value proposition in  that ubiquitous diagnostic tool the Electro Cardio Graph or ECG.  The likelihood of surviving a heart attack is over 80% if action is taken within the first 2 hours. However, the average time between symptoms and treatment in India is over 6 hours. By simply reducing this, millions of lives can be saved every year.
While heart attacks can be detected by a quick ECG,  there are two constraints: First: most primary care clinics are not equipped with ECG machines. Second: Even where such machines are available, staff do  not receive sufficient training in ECG interpretation. This is where Tricog steps in --  by providing, the fast and accurate diagnosis of an ECG,  by combining AI  Technology  with human expertise.
Tricog ECG devices, strategically located at local clinics help doctors detect heart complications within minutes. The  devices are cloud-connected and accessed  by trained expert doctors. Within minutes of collecting the ECG results, the diagnosis is shared with both the patient and the doctor in real-time. 
SigTuple: Analysing visual medical data
An AI platform to rapidly analyse visual medical data
Bangalore-based SigTuple creates AI-based solutions to automate healthcare screening. It has built intelligent screening solutions to aid diagnosis through AI-powered analysis of visual medical data.  The start-up founded by Apurv Anand and Rohit Pandey in 2015, has created an AI platform, Manthana, which helps analyse visual medical data efficiently.  This analyses  blood, urine, semen etc --  and  chest X Rays.
Their USP is the speed with which this data is analysed... enabling doctors  to make a quick diagnosis in life threatening situations.  SigTuple was given the 'Judges' Choice' award at the Google's first Demo Day Asia programme held in Shanghai, late last year.