Qure.ai: (X-)Ray of Hope
In early March, Prashant Warier quickly realised the loopholes that existed in the global health care infrastructure. Like most health-tech startups, Qure.ai also repurposed its chest X-ray solution, qXR, to help triage for Covid-19 and monitor its progression. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to interpret chest X-rays within seconds. Warier, who is CEO and founder, says, “We have a database of 2.5 million chest X-rays that has been used to train our ML algorithms.” The solution has been deployed in over 40 sites, across 30 countries.
Qure.ai—a grantee of India Health Fund, an organisation seeded by Tata Trusts to identify and support breakthrough innovations—is in talks with several global organisations and governments to use its technology to ramp up Covid-19 testing. So far, qXR has been deployed in 40 hospitals in South Asia, Europe and North America, and has processed 5,000 suspected Covid-19 cases per week.
Taking the solution a step further, Warier and his team introduced products catering specifically to health care workers. “For instance,” says Warier, “we launched qTrack, a disease management platform that allows health care workers to go door-to-door with just a smartphone to identify cases. It helps in location tagging for door-to-door screenings and hotspot mapping. It has the capability to take a picture of an analogue chest X-ray film and get qXR results on it.”
Additionally, the company also launched qScout—an AI-powered virtual care platform that helps with contact monitoring, triaging, daily remote followups and incidence geomapping—while being compliant with social distancing regulations.
Post-pandemic, Warier is confident the company will continue to thrive given that qXR can find 29 detections on the chest X-ray, including multiple ones with the lungs, pleura, heart, bones and the diaphragm. “Apart from detection, since our technology can quantify progression of diseases accurately, we see it being used to decide treatment pathways in the future,” he adds.
Recently, Qure.ai tied up with AstraZeneca to use qXR to improve early-stage detection of lung cancer to reduce mortality rates and improve patient outcomes in AstraZeneca’s emerging markets, including Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Although X-rays can be performed in primary health care centres, it is their interpretation that requires significant skill and experience. Lack of expertise in this can lead to missed or delayed diagnosis. Warier says, “qXR can aid clinicians in picking up minuscule nodules which may be missed even by experts. Such aids in early detection can have considerable long-term benefits for medical professionals in their efforts to tackle lung cancer.”
Invento Robotics: Bots As Docs
When Balaji Vishwanathan started getting inquiries about robots fighting the pandemic, he knew it was time to go back to the drawing board. By late-January 2020, his team started working on a prototype. Mitra, Invento’s flagship robot that was earlier used in hotels and banks, explains Vishwanathan, “was modified to collect patient details, check temperatures and set up video calls with doctors, thus minimising contact with health care workers”. The pilot took place in early April at Fortis Hospital in Bengaluru.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
‘The Middle Class Buys Dreams. The Businessman Sells Unrealistic Ones'
Anand Kumar starts the interview by setting the context. “Let’s get the math right,” says the mathematician.
The Home School of Thought
Concerns over a monotonous, formal education system coupled with edtech’s innovative approaches bolster the homeschooling proposition. But is India ready for it?
The Big Small Question
As Byju’s and Unacademy grow at breakneck speed, what will it take for smaller edtech players to survive?
Beating Bharat's Edtech Blues
On the other side of the billion-dollar edtech boom are children who have been unable to access the most basic forms of online education, and people who have been trying to bridge the digital divide
Handa's New Funda: From Academy to Unacademy
How IITian Ravi Handa scaled up his seven-year-old online venture for MBA preparation, and eventually sold it to an edtech major
Six (and more) Degrees of Fakery
How inaction against the rash of fake universities across the country may be incentivising the mushrooming of more such institutions
Meet The Headmasters
Sequoia Capital has bet big on edtech, with over a dozen investments, including in industry giants Byju’s and Unacademy
A Billion-Dollar Dream For Freshworks
Girish Mathrubootham is taking a cue from the rapid growth of Silicon Valley software startups to reach scale and velocity
Changing How Small-Town India Shops
CityMall founders Angad Kikla and Naisheel Verdhan are building a network of micro-entrepreneurs through their app in smaller cities
Liberal Arts: A Road Less Travelled
Colleges offering these courses in India have begun to gain ground, but for them to truly shine on the global map, they must be cognisant of the country’s culture and challenges
How to Re-Create the First Intercontinental Weapon
DIY-history columnist William Gurstelle gives bygone weapons a modern spin.
Meet America's Most Prolific Inventor
The work and ideas of Lowell Wood, America's most prolific inventor.
Robots Vs Coronavirus
When Invento Robotics first started out, their Mitra Robots didn’t find any favour with hospitals. But ever since COVID-19 hit Indian shores, the same naysayers have turned into fans
10 inventos que salieron mal
Unos de entrada fuero un exitazo, pero luego se comprobaron sus efectos adversos y cayeron en el descrédito y el olvido. Otros enseñaron sus inconvenientes desde el primer momento, y unos más llegarían a causar la muerte de sus inventores.
Desde una piedra pulida hasta los más evolucionados lentes, estas piezas de cristal han permitido a la humanidad mirar el mundo con mayor nitidez.