IHF on-boards AI-driven startups to strengthen India’s fight against infectious diseases

India Health Fund has announced the onboarding of two start-ups – AI-driven, TrakItNow Technologies and, affordable TB rapid testing creators, Stellar Diagnostics (SDIL) – to its portfolio of innovations

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New Delhi: In a bid to bolster India’s fight against infectious diseases, India Health Fund (IHF), a Tata Trusts initiative, has announced the onboarding of two start-ups – AI-driven, TrakItNow Technologies and, affordable TB rapid testing creators, Stellar Diagnostics (SDIL) – to its portfolio of innovations. IHF will support the development and deployment of affordable, breakthrough innovations, point-of-care health technologies, and digital innovations to prevent, control, and join hands to tackle infectious diseases.
With TrakItNow Technologies and Stellar Diagnostics, IHF continues to bridge the gap at various stages of innovation by validating, adapting existing solutions to support multi-disease platform innovations and deploying these to achieve patient outcomes.
Madhav Joshi, CEO, India Health Fund, said, “We are identifying and supporting breakthrough innovations like tech-enabled surveillance, diagnostics, and other point-of-care solutions that define the way forward in tackling infectious diseases. TrakItNow is an IoT and artificial intelligence-based solution in the development stage with immense potential to impact mosquito-borne diseases and Stellar Diagnostics is working on a first of its kind triaging molecular diagnostic tool for diagnosing Tuberculosis, the format of which can be used for other diseases when ready. We acknowledge the participation of all our partners who have played a critical role in evaluating and recommending such crucial innovations with potential for multiplex platform solutions.”
From augmenting national efforts to fight malaria and TB, IHF, in line with the objectives of the Government of India and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims to accelerate India’s progress towards the elimination of these infectious diseases. With its partners, IHF is also adapting existing solutions to battle COVID-19, and working towards faster integration of innovations into our healthcare systems to tackle TB, vector-borne and airborne diseases
TrakItNow Technologies’ disruptive smart mosquito surveillance and control system –Moskeet — uses Internet of Things (IOT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), automating the process, by providing real-time data with higher accuracy for effective control of mosquito-borne diseases, enabling a scientific and data-driven approach to mitigating infectious diseases. Mosquito control relies upon accurate estimates of the vector (mosquito) population to justify and implement timely vector-control responses to restrict disease transmission to humans. Currently, Moskeet is the only holistic and scalable solution of mosquito surveillance that operates autonomously and provides real-time data both by location and species.
Satish Cherukumalli, Co-Founder & CEO, TrakItNow, said, “Mosquito-borne diseases infect 4 crore people every year, and 95% of population in India resides in Malaria endemic areas. Moskeet platform collects real-time data and provides analytics for effective control of mosquito-populations, disease outbreak risk analysis and pesticide effectiveness.  IHF support helps to expand the solution capabilities to major medically relevant mosquito species in India covering diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya, filaria and Japanese Encephalitis”.
With IHF’s support, Stellar Diagnostics (SDIL) is developing a novel TB solution that allows rapid, affordable testing in 20 minutes. This antibody-based point-of-care TB screening test requires no laboratory infrastructure and minimal training of health care workers. IHF is facilitating the improvement in test accuracy, through field trials, in two phases necessary for regulatory approval, and establish the test as rapid and affordable — by adapting it to finger-prick blood testing.
Dr. Suman Laal, Chief Scientific Officer, SDIL, said, “IHF is supporting Stellar Diagnostics India in the development of an innovative, affordable, lateral-flow POC TB Triage test that detects antibodies to specific and sensitive peptides of TB. Implementation of the Triage test will enable TB Control programs to direct their limited resources towards providing increased access to accurate molecular diagnostic TB tests”.