How 29-year-old Akshaya Shanmugam made it to 'Forbes 30 under 30' list

15th Dec 2017
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29-year-old Akshaya Shanmugam, hailing from Chennai, recently found a place in the 'Forbes 30 under 30' list of entrepreneurs and innovators corresponding to the healthcare sector. Her company, Lumme Inc., has produced an innovative device that helps people against addictive behaviour, and it was made after putting machine learning, behavioural psychology and wearable technology together. This device makes a prediction of a potential relapse when it senses the movements and actions of a person who smokes.

Image source: India.com

According to a report by Times of India, Akshaya said,

"Our platform automatically detects addictive behaviour, predicts indulgence in addictive behaviour, and prevents it by delivering clinically validated interventions. It also helps individuals gain better insights into their daily life and helps them understand the why, how, and what surrounding their lifestyle choices."

After finishing her schooling at the Chettinad Vidyashram in Chennai, Akshaya did her engineering at Sundararajan Engineering College, followed by higher studies in the US. In the year 2009, when Akshaya was doing her PhD, she was working on the development of systems that assess and monitor health. During this time is when she met Abhinav Parate, who was also working on a wearables-related thesis. With his help and a little assistance from her professors, she started up her company 'Lumme' with an objective to attempt and solve addiction.

Smokers wear smart watches through their routine and this device observes and analyses their behaviour as they smoke on a given day. It predicts when the smoker is going to start lighting another cigarette and an alert is sent six minutes before the act.

A Forbes profile of hers says that Akshaya has raised $1.7 million in non-dilutive funding for Lumme, from National Institute of Health.

According to a Financial Express report, Akshaya is also the recipient of the Hluchyj fellowship, Special Tang award, David Wolf prize, Glass family demonstration award. She has also garnered business scholar award, the Eugene M. Isenberg scholar award for two consecutive years.

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