FOCUS ON AI IN HEALTHCARE IN INDIA - 3 (CONCLUSION)
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.