Two Indian Start-ups Backed by DBT-BIRAC Honoured with World Bank Group Awards

The World Bank Group and the Consumer Technology Association have recognised two DBT-BIRAC-supported firms with the Global Women's Health Tech Awards, which honours inventive start-ups that use technology to promote women's health and safety in emerging countries.

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

According to the World Bank, this year's awards featured more than 70 enterprises from 35 countries, who submitted their radical innovations in three categories: women's safety and security, general women's and adolescent health, and reproductive health and pregnancy.

NIRAMAI Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd, a winner of the BIRAC Women in Entrepreneurial Research Award 2019, was chosen for its novel software-based medical device that detects early-stage breast cancer and breast densities in women of all ages in a simple and private manner, addressing a critical unmet need in cancer screening.

The created solution is a low-cost, automated, precise, painless, radiation-free, contactless, and portable cancer screening equipment with no known negative effects.

Thermalytix, a machine learning and artificial intelligence-based computer diagnostic engine, employs artificial intelligence algorithms to evaluate thermal pictures and create a statistical report for breast health and possible anomalies.

Through the startup's partnerships with more than 30 hospitals and diagnostic centres throughout India, more than 45,000 women have been tested.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Science and Technology, “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.”

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

Fetal Lite is more accurate, reliable, and user-friendly than standard doppler-based devices because it incorporates next-generation ECG signal processing. It has received CE approval in Europe and has undergone two clinical investigations with over 60 patients with positive results, as well as a demonstration in more than 30 hospitals. The device may be used for both active and remote monitoring in hospitals and at home.

The release further said, “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.”

NIRAMAI Founder Geeta Manjunath stated, “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.”

Nitesh Jangir, Co-Founder of Inn Accel, said, “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.”

Rajesh Gokhale, DBT Secretary, stated, "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."