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Breast cancer is one of the largest cancer killers in women in India. We lose about half a million women every year to this malady. Survival rates are particularly low in India and other developing countries, due to lack of awareness and limited access to health facilities. Early detection is key to increasing survival rates, improving treatment efficacy and reducing treatment costs.
Niramai, a health tech startup based in Bengaluru, has developed a solution for detecting breast cancer at an early stage. NIRAMAI Thermalytix™, a novel computer-aided diagnostic engine, helps identify cancerous and pre-cancerous patients in an affordable, accessible and effective manner. The solution offers several key advantages. It is non-contact, non-invasive, low-cost, portable and can be used to detect breast cancer in women of all ages. The tool does not require expert skills to operate the system and can enable large-scale rural screening. The core of Niramai software consists of novel computer algorithms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms have now matured and unleashed a new era of innovation creating deep real-life impact. AI has been used in all application domains so far and already started making in-roads into healthcare. In fact, applications which don’t use analytics and AI will become obsolete very shortly. Experts predict that AI will reach a mode of singularity in 2029 where machines will perform better than humans in decision-making. “AI-based tools are very useful in a country like India where there is an acute shortage of skilled medical professionals. Using AI and machine learning at its core, Niramai makes cancer diagnosis objective, simpler and more effective for radiologists to make clinical decisions objectively with the help of technology” said Dr. Geetha Manjunath, CEO & CTO, Niramai.
Niramai has published multiple clinical trials in international conferences and been able to showcase results with high accuracy levels, to drive clinical and regulatory acceptance. The unique patented test can now be availed by women in 10 cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Mysore, Dehradun, and Vadodara. Niramai conducts group screening programs in corporate and academic institutions to enable women to benefit from the test at their workplace or at home. In addition, the company partners with NGOs, cancer societies, and government bodies, to conduct large scale camps in rural areas under its charter of community social responsibility.
It is an exciting time for people working in artificial intelligence for healthcare – as it offers an opportunity to apply technology to drive meaningful healthcare solutions with strong social impact.