Myshkin Ingawale Fellow 2011
Living in: Mumbai — India
Venture: Biosense Technologies
Affordable medical technology to prevent anaemia related maternal and infant deaths
Operating in: Global
Impact Area: Nutrition, Public Health, Technology
"Researcher and Entrepreneur"
Describe yourself briefly.
I am co-founder of Biosense Technologies, a medical device startup focusing on point of care non-invasive diagnostics for the developing world. Biosense aims to provide usable, affordable, non-invasive anemia screening tools to empower global maternal and infant health programs.
In the past, I have worked at Mckinsey & Company as a business consultant. I have also been a researcher at MIT as part of the team that conceptualized and built the Copenhagen Wheel, demoed at the United Nations Climate Summit '09. I am an electrical engineer who likes to play with anything with wheels. I have a PhD from IIM-Calcutta, where, apart from studying balance sheets and suchlike, I tried to figure out, as part of my doctoral research, how Wikipedia works so darn well.
I am passionate about technology (preferably, with wheels!), startups (preferably, with an idea to change the world!) and football (specifically, Liverpool F.C).
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
Biosense is building technologies to eliminate maternal and infant deaths caused by anemia. Our business model is based on screening and monitoring of the population for anaemia for better diagnosis and treatment; We would be rolling out ToucHb a novel, non-invasive hemoglobin estimating device which can be used by governments and organizations in the present healthcare scenario.
Why is your team uniquely qualified to run this venture?
For those times we were on the down side of advantage, we relied and supported each other purely based on our courage. Complementary strengths, opposing views and a shared passion to design for impact are our strengths.
Our Team comprises of :
Aman Midha - is primarily responsible for the product design and usability. He has a masters in design from IIT-Delhi and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from NIT-Bhopal. He is also an Echoing Green Fellow 2010.
Dr. Abhishek Sen
Leads the technology development and research. He is a medical doctor from Nair Hospital Mumbai and a biomedical instrumentation engineer from IIT Bombay. He is also a fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle and an Echoing Green Fellow, 2010.
Dr.Yogesh Patil - heads the business development and clinical trials. He has business education from IIT-Bombay and an Internal Medicine Degree from Nair Hospital, Mumbai.
Abhiraman Viswambharan - handles the vendor development and public relations. He has earned a Bachelors in Computer Science from NIT-Bhopa
What is the urgent social or environmental need you're addressing?
Every minute a woman dies as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. Nearly 40% of maternal deaths are attributed to anaemia. Anaemia presents with symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue and low immunity to infections thus having serious economic and social consequences. Overall it affects the productivity of a geographical enclosure.
The WHO estimates the anaemic population to be 2Billion of which 50% is attributed to iron deficiency. Furthermore 71% of pre-school children and 49% of pregnant women are anaemic with 1million deaths due to anaemia every year. Current anaemia screening technologies are not very accurate, require laboratory facilities, have high recurrent costs, and necessitate a blood draw that many are unwilling because of the existing socio-cultural stigmas.
What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.
We ascertain a solution using our device ToucHb, a non-invasive, runs on battery and is an inexpensive technology to estimate haemoglobin (Hb). The device gives instant results, is portable and convenient even for a semi skilled health worker to take it to the doorsteps of the affected community.
Our business strategy is three pronged.
At the top level we have the public health infrastructure which includes the PHC's and Sub centres. We intend to reach here through the government and organisations like WHO and other NGO'S.
At the second level is the health clinics, general practitioners, hospitals etc where we plan to reach out by tying up with pharmaceutical companies and their distribution.
Finally is the home market where internet, advertisements, campaigns play a vital role.
Convince us it will work. What milestones have you achieved?
ToucHb has successfully finished pre-clinical trials and the device is currently in clinical studies at Nair Hospital ,Mumbai. So far, we have achieved excellent results which fall in par with the WHO color scale standards.
The previous two years of development had seen phases of failures, but the passion towards this social cause coupled with the undying zest in the team never shined down. This spirit of collectiveness has landed us in a position today where, we are getting ready and pacing ourselves towards the launch of our product, ToucHb.