Hyderabad-based NemoCare aims to curb infant mortality with smart monitoring deviceLibza Mannan
With an aim to transform neonatal and maternal care, the healthcare startup has built an infant monitoring system, NemoCare smart baby monitor. The device tracks vital parameters for early detection of Apnea and Hypothermia in newborns, helping doctors and parents take precautionary measures.
The brand is also the winner of Start TLV 2017 India chapter. The competition received over 127 entries from across the country and five women-led tech startups made it to the finals on July 24, 2017 in New Delhi. Winner Pratyusha Pareddy, Co-founder of NemoCare, will take part in an intense five-day startup ‘boost-camp’, which will convene in Tel Aviv, Israel, in September 2017.
In India, approximately 3.6 million premature babies are born every year and are susceptible to Apnea and Hypothermia, the two most common causes for mortality and morbidity in neonates. A lot of these deaths are preventable by timely intervention, with the help of accurate and efficient monitoring systems.
Pratyusha is on a mission to curb this issue with NemoCare Smart Baby Monitor, a connected low-cost smart wearable that uses a unique combination of medical grade sensors to continuously monitor all the vitals of the newborns.
A vision to transform neonatal care
Launched in January this year, the genesis of NemoCare lies in a fellowship programme, which Pratyusha and her Co-founder, Manoj Sanker undertook at the Centre for Health Care Entrepreneurship (CfHCE), an IIT Hyderabad initiative to promote innovations in the health care systems. With clinical immersion being a part of the programme, the duo had spent a lot of time in Telangana hospitals, making them aware of the gap in resources available for nurses and doctors especially in neonatal care.
After spinning out the idea, Pratyusha and Manoj worked closely with healthcare stakeholders, designing and developing the prototype andpartnering with key players for piloting the device.
Using a proprietary deep learning algorithm, the device maps the vital parameters to detect distress conditions including Apnea and Hypothermia. With an aim to minimise the burgeoning load on nurses to physically monitor the newborns and provide quality neonatal care, the system can be connected to a platform that collects the data and relays it to a nursing station, where nurses can centrally monitor multiple babies through a single interface. When a distress condition is detected, the device sends out an audio visual alarm to the nursing station, allowing timely medical intervention.
The intelligent platform helps users collect, store, visualise and analyse the data generated, aimed at creating a paradigm shift in clinical diagnostics and preventive care through a data driven approach.
Embedded with technology
Right from design, device components to functioning, NemoCare smart baby monitor is a device, which has technology embedded to its core and is backed by a team of user experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers, software programmers and embedded engineers. Aiming to marry technology with public health, NemoCare is committed to tackle feedback loop that extends from the early stages of technology development to clinical field studies.
'The brand’s core R&D team has a strong focus on creating innovative solutions and building new technologies,” she adds.
Focused on building a less skill intensive device, NemoCare smart baby monitor can be scaled up with software over air updates to track a particular disease, sending out timely updates and reports. The device also provides a stimulation in the form of a haptic vibration on the baby’s foot as a first step towards distress management, when an apneic episode is detected, helping doctors in such time-bound emergencies.
The smart baby monitor, which was recently unveiled at a conference in IIT Hyderabad, is aimed for market launch by early 2019. The product will be available on NemoCare’s website and on all major e-commerce platforms. The brand has successfully conducted its first set of clinical trials at a private hospital in Hyderabad and plans to carry out its next study soon. With an aim to diversify its product offerings, NemoCare is also working on some innovative products for maternal care.
The brand has received a seed grant from the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship , IIT Hyderabad, for sustaining the initial operations.
"We have also raised some angel investment that will help us sustain our operations till we complete our clinical trials. Post this phase we are looking to raise funds from VCs to scale up and build strategic collaborations." she adds.
For NemoCare smart baby monitor, the primary source of generating revenue, Pratyusha highlights, is from the sale of the sensor module and the device’s recurring revenue would come from the sale of the consumable adhesive patch - into which the sensor module is mounted to snugly fit on the baby’s foot.