“Lifestyle diseases require continuous monitoring”

Bengaluru based medical diagnostic firm, Inito has developed a portable diagnostic device that can read dozens of diagnostic test strips with a 99.12% correlation when compared to lab grade scanners. In an exclusive interview with the BioVoice, Mr Aayush Rai, Co-Founder, Inito shared the details of his company and product pipeline besides his views on the medical diagnostics segment in India

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Aayush Rai, Co-Founder, Inito.

The tested diagnostic device developed by Bengaluru based medical diagnostic firm, Inito has achieved the performance of a Rs 3 lakh costing bulky lab reader in a Rs 3000 device that is small and portable. In an exclusive Chat with BioVoice, Mr Aayush Rai, Co-Founder, Inito answered few questions on the company’s vision, journey so far and much more. Read on:

What was the inspiration behind founding Inito? How has been the journey so far?

The co-founder of Inito, Varun AV and I both used to work at Siemens Research which is a giant in large laboratory diagnostic devices. However, we realized that as disease patterns in India are shifting to lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Fertility etc. which need continuous monitoring, there’s a growing need for continuous monitoring of health.

Hence, we started Inito as a home diagnostics company that allows people to monitor their body at home and achieve their health goals. The Inito platform is powered by our patent pending ‘Flat Lens’ technology that allows a user to test for Glucose, Thyroid, Cholesterol, Hormones, Vitamins, STD’s etc. – all on a single portable device using Inito’s app on their smartphones. Our first test is an ovulation tracker targeted at couples trying to conceive.

Why did you choose fertility as the first area of research and product development? What has been the response so far to the Fertility Monitor developed by Inito?

Fertility issue is a large and growing problem in India with 1 in every 6 couples having it. Even though India has 27.5 million couples with fertility problems, there is very little awareness and virtually no products in the market. An unserved large market with a young technologically savvy consumers (25-35 year olds) is why we chose fertility.

We have been growing at 30 percent every month since our official launch in December 2017.

What are the other areas that you are focussing currently? Please tell us about the product development pipeline and their expected launch?

We are focussing on other conditions that need continous monitoring. Test for Diabetes, Cholesterol and Vitamin D are in the pipeline over the next 6-8 months.

What are the latest trends in the technology adoption within the diagnostic segment? How big is the market in India?

Point of care diagnostics is going to be big in the diagnostic segment because of two primary reasons:

A large percentage of the population getting chronic conditions like Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Fertility Issues etc. for which going to the lab repeatedly is impractical and expensive. This is already evident for the huge rise in sales of glucometers and BP monitors.

Under the National Health Mission(NHM), States and the Center Governments are outsourcing diagnostic tests. Together, central and state governments would be outsourcing lab tests worth up to Rs 7000 crore ($1 billion) annually. The collection of these samples is spread over hundreds of towns and villages in every state making logistics of sample collection a big problem. Testing it right at the collection center will make the system much more efficient.

How do you look at the ‘Make in India’ policy? Has there been enough encouragement to the medical technology startups? What is needed?

With ‘Make in India’, the local manufacturing ecosystem of advanced products is improving significantly allowing us to manufacture in India itself.

It is important that we have a central regulatory body like FDA in the US which certifies all the medical products in the country. It will improve the quality of products in the country and help companies like us by weeding out sub-standard products and companies from the market.