As an innovative technology, Artificial Intelligence is proving its ground as a potential tool to tackle various challenges in today’s healthcare vertical. The core mathematics used by AI algorithms has now matured and the accuracy levels of automated decision making has reached the threshold of acceptance, and in some cases even has surpassed or countered the human decision making. This has unleashed a new era of innovation creating real-life impact. This is leading to AI making real impact in various areas, with healthcare being the most important and impactful space.
Breast cancer has become the talk of the town due to the rising mortality and incidence rate, especially amongst the young female population. There are quite a few challenges in the diagnosis of breast cancer in young women. Special consideration must be given to the woman’s safety from radiation and body image issues.
In light of this situation, Niramai Health Analytix has come up with a novel AI based solution to detect early stage breast cancer in a completely safe and privacy aware manner. It is a health technology startup offering cancer diagnosis solution to Hospitals and Diagnostic centers, as well as a low cost cancer screening solution to improve rural healthcare solutions through Government and Non- Profit Organizations.
With a vision to incorporate its test as a standard preventive screening tool into the clinical practice across the country, Niramai has introduced a new technique called Thermalytix™. It is a novel computer-aided diagnosis solution to identify cancer and pre-cancerous patients in an affordable, accessible, and effective way. The company’s solution is a non-contact, non-invasive, low cost, portable solution for detecting breast cancer for women of all ages. The tool does not require expert skills to operate the system and can enable large scale rural screening; making breast cancer detection accessible to every woman. The core of Niramai’s software consists of novel computer algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning over thermal images.
Competent Women with a Vision
Established in July 2016 by two women Co-founders, Dr. Geetha Manjunath and Ms. Nidhi Mathur with diverse expertise, Niramai has achieved a lot in a very short span.
Geetha, who is the CEO and CTO at Niramai, holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from IISc and has led large teams to deliver innovative solutions in Hewlett Packard Labs and Xerox Research. She has over 25 years of research expertise in the IT industry and has several patents, publications, national, and international recognitions to her credit.
Nidhi on the other hand plays the role of COO and CFO at Niramai. She is an MBA from IIMB with specialization in strategy and marketing, and has expertise in commercializing new-to-the-world innovations. This remarkable duo have helped in developing Niramai to a position of strength and achieved excellence for the company.
Since its inception, for the past two years Niramai has focused on protecting IP, launching the product, establishing clinical validity, and establishing centers across three states. The key and one-of-its-kind benefits of these solutions are:
- Unique screening experience: Its breast screening test that is radiation free, non-contact, painless and is completely privacy-aware. During the test, no one touches, compresses, or even sees the women being screened.
- Age-agnostic: Breast cancer incidences among young women are on a rise and traditional methods remain ill-suited for preventive screening for young women. Niramai test works on women of all age group, not just above 45 years of age. The lesser known fact is that breast cancer can also happen to men, and its test is also suitable for screening men.
- Safe: This test is completely safe and can be taken as often as needed without any side effects.
- Affordable: This test used off-the-shelf thermal sensors. Since the capex for that equipment is less than one tenth of mammography, it makes the solution more affordable and accessible.
- Accurate: Niramai test has shown good accuracy of detecting breast abnormality in women of all age groups.
“AI/Deep Learning Technologies are definitely useful in a country like India where there is a shortage of skilled medical professionals and increasing pressure of healthcare delivery system.” asserts Geetha. “Niramai makes cancer diagnosis objective, simpler and effective for Radiologists by helping them make more reliable clinical decisions with the help of technology.”
Future Plans of Niramai
Niramai is working towards increasing the awareness about its solution among women population as well as practitioners. It is partnering with leading medical specialists to create additional proofs of the efficacy of the solution and establish the complete workflow to recommend how this solution can be an integral part of health services delivery.
Niramai is also looking at extending the application of the innovation to areas other than breast cancer screening. With efforts like that, we will gradually move the solution towards being the standard modality accepted by a wider section of medical community.