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Niramai to target River Blindness; plans to develop AI based software


Niramai to target River Blindness; plans to develop AI based software

Niramai has developed a novel technique called Thermalytix, an automated diagnostic tool, which combines thermal imaging with artificial intelligence which is being used to detect early-stage breast cancer in many hospitals today.

Bengaluru: Artificial intelligence-based Indian health-tech company Niramai recently announced that it will develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based computer-aided software for controlling the spread of River Blindness. Niramai will leverage its innovative Thermalytix technology to detect the presence of live adult worms of Onchocerciasis which causes river blindness and significant disability.

Thermalytix is currently being applied to early-stage breast cancer detection. This innovative non-invasive detection method is expected to help assess the efficacy of new drugs being developed to control the disease by killing the adult worms, potentially accelerating the elimination of river blindness, which has today infects ~17 million people in Africa. This project has been made possible through support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Niramai has developed a novel technique called Thermalytix, an automated diagnostic tool, which combines thermal imaging with artificial intelligence which is being used to detect early-stage breast cancer in many hospitals today.

Commenting on the research project, Dr Geetha Manjunath, CEO & CTO, Niramai, said, “We are very excited to collaborate with Gates Foundation to extend the application of our innovative technique to areas other than breast cancer. Successful completion of this research project will demonstrate a breakthrough result of Thermalytix being a new way of sensing many abnormalities in the human body in a non-invasive, radiation-free and accurate way, even beyond cancer!”

A clinical expert collaborating with NIRAMAI, Professor Dr Christopher L King from The Centre for Global Health and Diseases, Cleveland, said, “Onchocerciasis, more commonly known as river blindness, is the world’s second leading infectious cause of blindness. NIRAMAI technology can be a valuable tool to detect infectious live worms in a non-invasive way and help with the global effort to eliminate this very disabling disease.”

About half a million people are blind or visually impaired due to the disease which is caused by a parasitic worm living under the skin in humans, spread by black fly bites.  In addition to blinding, onchocerciasis is a chronic systemic disease capable of causing extensive and disfiguring skin disease, chronic itching, musculoskeletal complaints, weight loss, alteration in host immune responses and possibly epilepsy and growth impairment.  Onchocerciasis can have a considerable impact on social relationships in poorest communities.  Therefore, its control and elimination have been a high priority. It has been categorized by Gates Foundation as one of the high-opportunity target diseases under the strategy to address NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases).

Past awardees of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant in India include Indian School of Business, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, Ratan Tata Trust, Dvara Research Foundation etc.

Also Read: Desi AI based health tech startup NIRAMAI raises Rs 42.6 Crore in Series A Funding

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Garima

Garima

Garima Joined Medical Dialogues as Desk Editor for Medical Dialogues in the year 2017. She covers all the Healthcare news in different categories. She is a graduate from Delhi University. She can be contacted at editorial@medicaldialogues.in Contact no. 011-43720751


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