Two Indian startups supported by DBT win World Bank Group awards

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Two startups supported by DBT-BIRAC have received the World Bank Group and the Consumer Technology Association's Global Women's Health Tech Awards, which recognises innovative startups that leverage technology to improve women's health and safety in emerging markets.

The two startups supported by the Department of Biotechnology's Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (DBT-BIRAC) are NIRAMAI Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd. and Inn Accel Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

As per a statement by the World Bank, this year the Awards attracted more than 70 companies from 35 countries, which submitted their innovative products and services under three categories: reproductive health and pregnancy, general women's and adolescent health, and women safety and security.

NIRAMAI Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd, a recipient of BIRAC's Women in Entrepreneurial Research Award 2019, was selected for its novel software-based medical device that in a simple and private way on women of all age groups, detects early-stage breast cancer and breast densities addressing a critical unmet need in cancer screening.

The solution developed is a low-cost, accurate, automated, portable, contactless, radiation-free and painless cancer screening tool with no known side effects.

The core innovation is a machine learning and AI-based computer diagnostic engine called Thermalytix that uses artificial intelligence algorithms to interpret thermal images and generates a quantitative report for breast health and likely abnormalities.

So far, more than 45,000 women have been screened through the startup's tie-ups with more than 30 hospitals and diagnostic centres across India.

"The product can help two billion women in the world to regularly screen for cancer and can potentially save 90,000 lives every year in India alone," said a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Inn Accel Technologies Pvt Ltd., a recipient of DBT and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's (BMGF) Grand Challenges Exploration--India 2019, was adjudged a winner of the Global Women's Health Tech Awards for Fetal Lite, a next-generation, AI-powered fetal heart rate (FHR) monitor based on fetal ECG signal extraction technology for mothers in labour or post 37 weeks of gestation.

Fetal Lite has next-gen ECG signal processing and is more accurate, reliable and easier to use than the conventional doppler-based devices. It is European CE certified and has completed two clinical trials of 60 plus patients with excellent results and completed the demo in 30 plus Hospitals. The device can be used for both active and remote monitoring in the in-hospital and in-home settings.

"So far the device has helped doctors to monitor 5,000 cases, including in tribal areas, and has the potential to save 1.2 million lives per year across the world," the release added.

"We are pleased to receive this recognition from the World Bank. It's a validation of the applicability of our Indian innovation to the world," said Geeta Manjunath, Founder, NIRAMAI.

"The support from BIRAC has been crucial for our journey of idea to benefitting the patients with European regulatory approval. It is not just funding but mentoring and handholding that has helped us mitigate risks," said Nitesh Jangir, Co-Founder, Inn Accel.

DBT Secretary, Rajesh Gokhale, said, "I am delighted to hear about this global recognition to two of the startups supported by the department. As a funding agency, these success stories are a validation about the impact we have created by nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem for solving the pressing challenges being faced by humanity."

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