Screening Cancer through AI
A country of more than 1.37 billion people and a technology powerhouse, India still imports close to 70 percent of its medical devices. An Artificial Intelligence powered medical technology company has its eyes set on changing that.
Aindra Systems have a goal: to democratise access to quality healthcare using innovative medical technologies by making it accessible and affordable at scale. Incubated at the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre, a leading bio-cluster with state-of-the-art incubation infrastructure, Aindra is an AI-driven company. Their primary focus is to create novel solutions for combating fatal conditions. They have devised an AI-powered, computational pathology platform which can be deployed at in point-of-care settings, using evidence-based testing.
Adarsh Natarajan, an IIM Bangalore graduate, founded Aindra in late 2012 with a vision to use deep technology to solve healthcare problems, which the company has been working towards since inception.
What makes Aindra stand out among their peers is their focus on women’s health in India. Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in India, resulting in more than 74,000 deaths in a year. CervAstra, their intelligent screening system developed to detect cervical cancer, will allow women to get screened at their local clinic and walk right out with their report in hand.
“The colossal mortality rate of cervical cancer, a condition that can be avoided if diagnosed early on, is what led us to develop CervAstra,” says Natarajan.
A high number of fatalities can be avoided simply by putting smarter cancer detection technology at point-of-care centres. With the deployment of CervAstra, women can head over to their local clinics or primary healthcare centres and get screened for cervical cancer with a standard PAP smear sample.
Since the entire screening and reporting occurs at the point-of-care centre, this affordable and accessible technology has wide-ranging applications especially for rural areas and developing countries like India, where instances of cervical cancer are higher in villages. Aindra has been the recipient of many Indian and international awards and sponsorships, including the RICH Cancer Innovation Award from the Government of Telangana, the IGNITE programme at Cambridge University, UK and Slush 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. Aindra was also recognised at the Bengaluru Tech Summit in 2018.
Aindra’s larger vision is to transform healthcare accessibility by leveraging the power of computational pathology. They soon plan to extend their AI platform to help with the treatment of oral cancer, prostate cancer, blood cancer, and even malaria.