Diabetes is one of the major health concerns across the globe. Growing at a fast rate, this global epidemic is affecting a large chunk of the population across the globe. To fight the disease, in the form of treating it or diagnosing it at an early stage many global companies and startups across the world are now using artificial intelligence in assisting people with diabetes.
AI-based solutions and apps are the new trends that companies are embracing to ensure smooth diabetes care. Google, for instance, has developed an AI model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists.
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In this article, we bring a few Indian startups that are using artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud and emerging tech to bring about exceptional diabetes care.
The list is in alphabetical order.
Founded in 2015, Artelus is based out of Bengaluru, US and Dubai. Founded by Rajarajeshwari Kodhandapani along with tech veterans Vish Durga, Lalit Pant, and Pradeep Walia, Artelus builds advanced screening tools for doctors and hospitals to screen diseases such as diabetes, TB, breast cancer, lung cancer and others on the go.
Its deep learning and AI-based solution are helping people from going blind as it allows early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR), caused by Type II diabetes. It is often diagnosed at a later stage and in a majority of cases people do not even know that they are diabetic. DRISTi, its deep learning-based AI-powered algorithm software reads digital images to detect and identify early signs of DR during a simple eye check-up. It captures images of the patient’s retina using an autofocus camera which is diagnosed with AI-powered algorithm.
This AI-based based app has been helping diabetic patients since 2015. Having served over 50,000 customers in over 1500 cities since last year, it has been downloaded over 100,000 times on Play Store. The app is designed around the needs of an average Indian middle-class consumer who has diabetes.
It uses AI and data analytics to provide apt nutrition tools to help users identify foods that are healthy, the quantity of food and to identify the glycemic index of the patient, apart from managing diet by suggesting diabetic-friendly food and cereals. The app comes with glucometer which can be plugged into a smartphone to take the reading. The reading is then saved in the app and can be used for further guidance and intervention in case of an emergency. The app can be synced to various fitness trackers such as Fitbit and others.
Founded in 2017 by Dr Mausami Acharya, ChironX is working in the field of AI-powered medical diagnostics. It provides diagnostic software to detect complex diseases from medical images. It has currently been used to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and other retinal disorders using an image analysis technique.
It uses deep learning and AI in its software to analyse retinal fundus images in seconds. By annotating lesions and abnormalities, it assists doctors and even non-specialists to have a faster diagnosis with much more accuracy. It has a clinical sensitivity of more than 95% and the results are clinically and statistically validated. Some of the other diseases it can detect are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and more.
This AI-based startup works on lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. It was founded in 2012 by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy and has been incubated by Microsoft Accelerator. It boasts of AI-enabled nutrition coach Ria that converses with humans to help them with diabetes-related queries quite efficiently. Ria is a conversational AI-enabled nutritionist that combines the power of technology with real human services to deliver measurable impact.
Ria uses key learnings obtained from HealthifyMe’s 150 million tracked meals and more than 10 million message exchanges between coaches and clients to improve over time. It suggests the user of diabetes food plan to help them keep a check on the disease. HealthifyMe has over 200 experts and has seen a number of downloads from Play Store since its inception. The startup has been funded by investors such as IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital, and Blume Ventures.
This interesting startup was founded in 2016 in Chennai by biotech students Pranav Gangwal and his classmate, who were studying at IIT Madras. Their patented technology uses AI to predict and diagnose diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurological disorders through genomic data.
The use of artificial intelligence on genomic data is quite unique as it helps in a speedy diagnosis of disease with efficiency. They believed that one of the shortfalls of the current medical system is a delay in diagnosis which they are working to reduce drastically. They are doing away with the trial and error that comes into picture during diagnosis, which can be dreadful for diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Powered by artificial intelligence, the disease management platform by Wellthy is designed to help patients adopt a healthier lifestyle. Where the cost and care of many diseases are quite high, it is bringing affordable chronic disease management affordable. Wellthy plays the role of an on-demand nutritionist, educator, fitness coach and counsellor, enabling patients to develop the skills they need to prevent, manage and even reverse their chronic conditions. In early 2019, Cipla acquired 11.71 per cent stake in Wellthy.
Earlier even drug firm Roche had partnered with Wellthy to offer users of the Accu-Chek Active system, an artificial intelligence-based digital diabetes coaching solution. The startup believes that with their offering they can improve the quality of life for Indians with Type II diabetes.