Vision in your hands!
Digital healthcare is the latest thing entrepreneurs in India seem to be leaning towards. Yo! Vizag meets a start-up that is changing the face of Indian healthcare, one app at a time.
A biomedical engineer by profession, Udaya Yayati wanted to find solutions for the limitations and difficulties the healthcare market faced; despite the major advances in medical sciences. The area he wanted to work on was ophthalmology. After three years of consultations, tying up with researchers and high-end medical establishments, his company Kalpah has created an app that can detect the onset of glaucoma.
Working for prominent healthcare institutes in Germany and Finland provided Udaya the experience and medical research contacts he required. Kalpah is now tied up with analysts in India, Brussels and Germany for developing retinal algorithms and to get a better understanding of the priorities that need to be addressed. The research is conceptual, but Kalpah serves to be a platform that brings an abstract idea to prototype and later, offer it to the society at an affordable price.
“We think the eye is the future of biomedical engineering. With an image of the retina there are possibilities of being able to determine what affects the body!”
In addition to Udaya; the core members of the team include Sachin who handles design and marketing, a professor who doubles as a mentor, a PhD student converting retinal algorithms into computational data, two programmers, and four doctors – one each from ESI, AIMS, Medanta and one with a private practice. Their first task was to collaborate with a university in Vijayawada for research on Diabetic Retinopathy. Crores of people in India, who are affected by the disease, fail to recognise the symptoms. It is most often mistaken to be an alteration in eyesight and if left untreated, it can result in the loss of eyesight. Kalpah’s app is created such that any paramedic from even the remotest government vision centres in rural areas can use it to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy and suggest appropriate treatment.
The same applies for the app that detects glaucoma. Kalpah has much more lined up, with their research indicating that the eye is a window to all diseases. There is even the possibility of detecting stroke and onset of HIV through the retina. They are presently working on a digital pathology app and on an app for the Finnish government to detect ear infections. Udaya and his team believe the eye to be the future of biomedical engineering. There are plans to launch Kalpah Cloud by 2017, which will help them realise their vision of imaging the retina to determine what affects the body. With their sights set high, we at Yo! wish them the best with their endeavours.