Resolving fertility issues with data analytics!

Yes, you heard it right. The Innov4Sight, a startup based in Bengaluru is utilizing the cocktail of biotech, information technology and biomedical engineering to boost conception rate among women

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Bengaluru: Every startup has its own unique foundational story. However, this one has both the emotional as well as societal connect to it. The three experts in their own domains, Vijaygopal Rengarajan, Geetha Sanjay and Balachander Agoramurthy connected over LinkedIn for a few months before deciding to start-up Innov4Sight (I4S) during October 2014.

The motivation for taking a plunge towards entrepreneurship was deep-rooted in all three of them.

While Vijay had lost his aunt to Cancer in the month of January same year, Geetha had been in the Cancer care ecosystem wanting to make a difference in the otherwise non-innovative space. Similarly, Bala had been wanting to make a change in the healthcare industry and his drive was to prove that his personal condition of visual imparity due to Retinitis Pigmentosa wasn’t really a challenge for his perseverant and hardworking nature.

The co-founders decided to create a technology agnostic company focusing on significantly impacting clinical outcome. However, the precedence as a combination of information technology, biotechnology and biomedical engineering was unheard of and didn’t received much of an acceptance until two of the three technologies had reached commercialization stage.

The company has been able to lay a strong foundation for itself in just 2 and half years. At the moment, the leadership team at Innov4Sight comprises of 6 members with an average experience of 15 years across interdisciplinary areas of healthcare, genetic engineering, biotechnology, sales and entrepreneurship.

Innov4Sight-Leadership Team editedThe Founding Team: (Left middle-Right) Geetha Sanjay, CKO; Balachander, CTO and (extreme right) Vijaygopal R, CEO.

Tapping unimaginably huge fertility market

The wrong lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, fast food, soft drinks, inadequate sleep etc. have significantly damaged the reproductive system of over 27.5 million couples across India. Estimated 270,000 of these couples annually spend over INR 5400 crores with a disappointing success rate of under 20% creating emotional, physical and financial distress for those opting to seek assistance with little to no certainty.

Looking at this lesser addressed yet highly opportunity area, the Innov4Health created a suite of products and solutions to address the problem. One of the therapeutic solution developed at its biotech lab has resulted in a 72% success rate in conception rate as against the 18.4% Indian national average.

Products & Solutions

♦ Vyabl is a platform which serves as an ecosystem for fertility care from spreading awareness using questionnaire through diagnostics screening to facilitation of actual fertility procedures through aggregation service.

♦ ParSight is the clinical data analytics for oncology with clinical decision support, insights for pharma/CROs, marketplace for second opinion, clinical trial matching system etc.

♦ Others –Health IT Suite including HIS. RIS-PACS, LIS, & EHR for oncology

The company identified and operationalized BAPC led treatments for fertility and demonstrated significant improvement in conception rates. Currently it is working with over 20 fertility clinics across Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode and Pune by offering its therapeutic solutions. The company maintains that it has provided therapeutics to over 60 women having various infertility issues over the past few months and got an average success rate of ~72% which is too good.

“We’re working closely with select fertility clinics in our target region to transform them into centre of excellence using our process and product innovations,” says R Vijaygopal, Co-Founder and CEO while adding, “we also have been collaborating with leading IT, ITeS & other hi-stress industries to connect with their employees for comprehensive assessment of their holistic reproductive health.”

As of now, the company has limited its operations only to South and Western India. While it has been assisting over a dozen clinics in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to serve their patients better in a B2B model, the founders realized that scaling would largely depending on directly reaching out to the couples through a B2C platform. Thus, Vyabl came into being. Vyabl is currently in the alpha testing phase and the platform will be open to public by this month i.e. June 2017. During the next 18 months Vyabl will have 60 centres across India and 15 across ASEAN, MENA, UK and USA.

Elaborating on the decision to expand globally, Vijaygopal mentioned, “The scope for Vyabl is global. While India alone can give us commercial viability, the reason behind choosing to go global is driven by the need to have transfer of technology and practices from across the globe to all Vyabl centres. This will help us stay on the cutting edge delivering significantly higher clinical outcome for our customers in the process bringing certainty to fertility.”

Way forward

Founders say that the Innov4Sight has embarked on a journey to create a technology agnostic integrated healthcare ecosystem that will significantly impact clinical outcomes enabling wide adoption of evidence based medicine with a focus on fertility. Like Uber and AirBnB which control the local transport and hospitality industry respectively without owning a single car or hotel, they believe by 2021 their company too has the potential to be world’s largest healthcare provider without even owning any hospital. And this vision has a lot to do with the huge healthcare data which otherwise remains unused broadly in Indian settings.

Key Achievements of Innov4Health

  • Won 2nd prize at the HITCON ’17 Start-Up Capsule on 21st Jan’2017 awarded by Ahmedabad University

  • Received INR 50 lakh grant from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), under Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) Scheme.

  • Recognized as an Innovative Startup under StartUp India by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

  • Initiative of Transfer of Technology of 6 Medical Simulators Developed by Merkel Haptics (a Spin-off of IIT Madras).

  • A fast-growing repository of 300,000+ patient records helping in building the Clinical Decision Support System.

The company has seen a total of about USD 1.5 million in total investments including investments from the founders, angel investors and debt. Vijaygopal reveals that they are now looking at strategic investors who are passionate about healthcare. He explains in his concluding remarks, “We are in the middle of our pre-series A fund raise of about a million $. We finalized half that funding from a Kolkatta based family office which had recently ventured into wellness space in Mumbai. We are now looking at closing the round and are actively seeking for suitors.”

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