The World Health Organization requires a pathologist
to spend 20 minutes examining a blood smear on a slide under a microscope before ruling out malaria if no parasites are seen. You can imagine how fatigue, an urge to get home, or some other distraction can disrupt that requirement – and the consequences of the disruption. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone concerned if the spotting of parasites could be automated? That’s the sort of thing healthcare AI
Today SigTuple, which uses computer vision and artificial intelligence for diagnosis, announced series A funding of $5.8 million. This is the largest investment in a healthcare AI
start-up out of India.
The pieces of the puzzle
The first piece of the puzzle is to digitise the slides. For this, SigTuple
attached mechanical components and a smartphone to a regular microscope. The smartphone does an auto-scan of the slides.
engine then takes over, learning to classify and tag the visual data. The fact that it can not only churn out results, but also support it with visual evidence makes it easily verifiable, points out CEO Rohit Kumar Pandey.
Pilot programs in hospitals
has tied up with partner hospitals and diagnostic labs for a supply of visual data to feed its AI
engine. It has also been running pilot programs in 17 medical institutions.
An early experiment was with a panel of pathologists who
agreed to try out the product. A comparison of results – such as the haemoglobin count – found the AI
count was nearly identical with those of traditional, more time-consuming methods.
This is an excerpt from an article published on TechInAsia. You can read the full story here