Although cancer diagnostic field is evolving rapidly, the diagnosticians aren’t able to keep up with the demand. But Nidhi Mathur and Geetha Manjunath, the co-founders of the health startup Niramai, feel that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can save a lot of time and give accurate results for cancer diagnosis.
Niramai is using big data analysis, thermal image processing, etc. to detect cancer tumors and has an effective screening tool, which can detect any cell abnormalities on your skin. In the last year itself, Niramai raised around a million dollars in seed funding, which was used to find alternatives for mammography and make inroads in breast cancer treatment.
Although it might not be anytime soon that hospitals will integrate their IT systems with AI for breast cancer diagnosis, but this technology is certainly beneficial for a country like India, where the doctor-patient ratio is quite low. The AI breast cancer screening tool could be a huge asset in detecting the disease quickly and saving more lives. Currently, Niramai is in contact with hospitals of 3 Indian states and hopes to expand their operation to countries like Singapore, the US, and Japan, etc.
What exactly makes their tool effective and desirable? Well, according to surveys, it has been found that the rate of women suffering from breast cancer in India is 25.8 per 100,000 women, which is quite high. Due to the lack of proper diagnosis, around 76,000 women will die of cancer by 2020. And the worst part is that there was a low survival rate among the 61% of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010-2014. But Niramai’s AI technology can greatly help in reducing these numbers as they can diagnose breast cancer quickly in a painless and radiation-free session.
One of the best features of this technology is that it is contact-free so women who are shy of the human contact and usually avoid diagnosis will also be comfortable with this screening tool. Another amazing feature of this tool is that it is comparatively cheaper than a digital mammography. It costs about $22 for a test which will encourage more women to take the test, and the cost will further reduce as more people start using it.
Well, this does sound like the kind of evolution that we need in the health sector. Niramai is doing a commendable job in saving people’s lives.