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Women in Cognitive Computing Industry

Women in Cognitive Computing Industry

Tuesday February 14, 2017,

8 min Read

Today the alchemy of tons of data, unprecedented computation power, and algorithms like deep learning are opening new frontiers across industries. What used to be science fiction has now slowly and steadily slipped into our lives without us even knowing it. Right from self-driving cars to chatbots, applications of cognitive computing have become an inherent part of our day to day life.

      “Computing is not about computers any more, it is about living - Nicholas Negroponte”

Cognitive Computing is changing how industries carry out business, in fact, it is becoming the new face of doing business. Nearly 140 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired since 2011 with over 40 acquisitions taking place in 2016 alone. And the overall cognitive computing market is expected to be worth USD 16.06 billion by 2022. This is an exponentially growing space with a plethora of possibilities.

AI and Healthcare

With the cusp of the next technological revolution, healthcare is likely to be the one market where artificial intelligence can truly have an impact that goes beyond convenience and will positively affect human lives by redesigning healthcare. 

“By 2025, AI systems could be involved in everything from population health management to      digital avatars capable of answering specific patient queries.” — Harpreet Singh Buttar, analyst at Frost & Sullivan.”

AI is transforming the healthcare industry by improving outcomes, changing the way doctors think about providing care, while also minimizing costs and delivering high standards of care to a greater number of patients. The opportunity isn’t just about making doctors and healthcare providers more efficient in their work; it’s about making the lives of the patients better and saving lives is the ultimate business model one can have.


With a motto of “data driven intelligence for healthcare”, SigTuple is working towards building intelligent cloud based solutions for medical data analysis,screening and diagnosis using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques.

“SigTuple is where AI meets MedTech meets Big Data”

SigTuple believes that unleashing the power of vast amounts of medical data can transform the way diagnosis works. Healthcare delivery can become faster,better and more accessible to all.

The company’s initial focus is on automated analysis of medical images. It’s first solution– Shonit™ (Sanskrit for blood) – is an automated analyzer for peripheral blood smear slides. Further it is also working on various other application areas of Pathology (Urine and Semen analysis), Ophthalmology (Retinal scan analysis) and Radiology (Chest X-Ray analysis). All these solutions are powered by a homegrown continuous learning AI platform - Manthana.

Stories, not Stats

Cognitive computing industry holds exciting paths to take. And combining them with the impact which healthcare can bring is beyond imagination. Celebrating women in the cognitive computing industry, we present stories of women at SigTuple in diverse roles.

Ayushi Thakur:

Since childhood I always had one dream, to be part of something big, something revolutionary. When I joined SigTuple, my mind was in a muddle. First day of job always creates some nervousness even for seasoned instructors and how could I have been any different. But I couldn't understand when my nervousness got transformed into fascination for the work being done in the company. I find myself in midst of young genius minds for whom it is all about data,model training,testing and it goes on and on. I wondered how my role was going to be tangled with the techies. But gradually I realized that there are two kinds of women in the cognitive computing industry, those who build the tech and those who help them drive the process for building tech. I work as a business operations executive in SigTuple and help the company with financial management,management of resources,goal setting,communications and the outlook of the company. Working here is helping me in becoming the best version of myself.

JHM Apoorva:

Having a curious mind since childhood, opting for engineering was a natural choice. Getting into IIT Roorkee opened a whole new set of opportunities. But it was during June 2013 floods in northern India that sparked my interest in machine learning when I built a classifier to identify flood prone areas. There has been no looking back since then as I further explored computer vision,deep learning fields essentially moving into being a part of this industry. Attending REDx MIT Media Labs workshop brought to light the impact AI could bring in healthcare sector and how the industry was going to be revolutionized in the coming years. Going down the road, SigTuple was the silver lining working at the intersection of AI and healthcare. Working as a computer scientist in the development of various solutions for pathology brings new challenges everyday. Right from developing solutions for different smears,different types of stains to estimating geometrical measurements of 3 dimensional objects from 2 dimensional images. It is important to get these metrics right but it is also equally important to keep the costs lower, that brings a new set of challenges and makes the work exciting. With an open and supportive culture here everyday brings new learnings, new perspectives pushing my boundaries and bringing the best out of me.

Top left to right: J H M Apoorva, Kumudini Kakwani, Bottom left to right: Ayushi Thakur, Madhumita Krishnaswamy, Nivedita Muthusubramanian

Top left to right: J H M Apoorva, Kumudini Kakwani, Bottom left to right: Ayushi Thakur, Madhumita Krishnaswamy, Nivedita Muthusubramanian

Kumudini Kakwani:

I have been interested in computer science as well as biology since high school. Although I never studied computer science in school I used to solve programming assignments for fun with my brother. I eventually decided to pursue computer science as a career. During my graduation days, I got interested in algorithms and machine learning. The idea of solving problems in healthcare domain with machine learning excited me which led me to join SigTuple. I joined SigTuple in it's early days and took on the responsibility of building and improving its core AI platform. I am enjoying every bit of working for a startup,learning and growing along the way.

Madhumita Krishnaswamy:

Medicine and health care has always been an industry that excites me. After several attempts of being a doctor, I landed up being a biomedical engineer. My experience has mostly been in the hospital industry as a biomedical engineer and handling Quality Management Systems, Regulatory Affairs. In my previous organization, I had limited responsibilities, it was a team of 5, where 2 of them were focused on process compliance and 2 on product compliance along with a manager. Working at SigTuple as Manager Quality, Compliance, and Regulatory Affairs, I am handling it all under one umbrella. It has been a very interesting and challenging role. Although it took a while to adjust to the new environment of tech enthusiasts around me who work on model training or writing code when I’m mostly engrossed with my standards and guidelines. QCRA is not a very technical role, but being among a bunch of young and energetic computer scientists boosts me to learn new technologies,innovations and keeps me going.

Nivedita Muthusubramanian:

Right from the days of slow dial-up broadband internet connection I have always been swayed by technology. Programming is one of the quickest ways to create and utilize the applications straight away in the real world. The happiness it brings when people use them and say that it made their lives easier is just priceless. When my father bought me a smartphone in my college a whole new world opened up for me as I started making apps for fun. Today I am proud that I have made a career out of it as a Computer Scientist at SigTuple. The fact that my work is aiding in making the medical diagnosis process easier, efficient and faster is what drives me to work everyday. It doesn’t feel like work when you’re working on something you’re passionate about and the deep satisfaction you get from building things from scratch is worth every bit of it.

The Road Ahead

We live in an amazing time where incredible technologies have been made such a staple of our lives that we rarely stop to consider it. We are just scratching the surface of this absolutely exciting space of cognitive computing. The challenges ahead are many, but the possibilities are absolutely endless.

Today globally women fill 49.6% of the work force, but as we look into India only 24.7% of workforce comprises of women. The stats are astonishing as we further look into cognitive computing industry. Women are at risk of losing out on tomorrow’s best job opportunities. As tech revolutionizes the world, women should not miss the chance to affect the massive economic and social changes this fourth industrial revolution will bring. After all, with great data comes great responsibility and we all should motivate more women to join the cognitive computing industry and to be an inherent part of the revolution.

Please write to [email protected] to let us know your thoughts, for opportunities or just to have a free side chat.