Fight Against Cancer: Meet Some Indian Startups On This Journey
It is more optimistic to see the cancer survivorship statistics where it is reported that more than 18 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2022.
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India is one of the few countries afflicted by an agonizing increase in cancer-related catastrophe, with reportedly about 71% of deaths being in the age group of 30-69 years. While surfing through the recent statistics on cancer accountants as part of the World Cancer Day research, it is highly devastating to see that, in a report by the Indian Council for Medical Research on the 'Burden of Cancers in India' stated that the number of Indians suffering from cancer is projected to increase to 29.8 million in 2025 from 26.7 million in 2021. According to the report, the highest incidence last year was in the North (2,408 patients per 100,000) and the Northeast (2,177 per 100,000).
It is also estimated that there are 2.25 million cases of cancer in India every year, which doubles every 10 years. Three quarters of these cancers are detected in the late stages and mortality rates are devastatingly high because of lack of access to standardized cancer care.
But on a positive note, in countries where health systems are strong, survival rates of many types of cancers are high with early detection, quality treatment and post-cure treatments. It is even more optimistic to see the cancer survivorship statistics where it is reported that more than 18 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2022.
Considering the diagnosis and treatment cost unaffordability, recently, a parliamentary panel has reportedly asked the Centre to provide free cancer treatment to middle-class households through a government-funded health insurance scheme and to cap cancer diagnostics and treatment services in government and private hospitals. The parliamentary standing committee on health has also called on the government to take steps to strengthen radiotherapy facilities in the country.
Here, we will look at some Indian startups working at different fronts to make cancer diagnosis, treatments and post-care easy, accessible and convenient.
Karkinos Healthcare Technologies Kerala Private Limited: A purpose driven technology-led oncology platform, is focused on designing and delivering bespoke solutions for cancer care. The company, led by a blend of globally acclaimed medical professionals and technologists, is on a mission to create 'cancer centers without walls' with a primary aim of addressing the accessibility or affordability gaps in cancer care. The fundamental principle of Karkinos health is democratization of cancer care in a participatory fashion with existing health providers, researchers and technologists.Karkinos Healthcare was founded by R Venkataramanan in 2021.
NIRAMAI: Bengaluru-based healthcare startup NIRAMAI or Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence has developed an early breast cancer detection technology that is radiation-free and non-invasive. The solution is based on thermal imaging and is portable, accurate, and can be used for women of all ages. Founded in 2016 by Geetha Manjunath, the company works with NGOs and government bodies for breast cancer screening-related programs.In an enterprise solution, it provides management solution for diagnostics centers and hospitals, working on a revenue share basis where Niramai receives the payment as and when Thermalytix is used for breast cancer screening.
Cancer Moonshot: It is an AI-based software that produces innovative AI-based personalized treatment decisions software with evidence. It can ingest cancer diagnostic conditions and produce personalized cancer treatment reports for treating a cancer patient for better outcomes for various cancer types. The Bangalore-based startup was founded in 2017 to conquer cancer by providing accurate diagnosis, personalized treatments and proper prognosis decisions.
Invictus Oncology: Founded in 2011 by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar and Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta, Invictus Oncology is a biotechnology company pioneering exciting new types of cancer solutions, particularly focused at present on Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). The company aims to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to research, with the ultimate goal of a paradigm shift in cancer care and also develops therapeutics for cancer treatment.
PredOmix: This is an innovation-driven company that aims to pioneer in the field of health tech. We integrate multi-dimensional approaches and leverage the power of artificial intelligence, to develop new technologies in the fields of preventive healthcare and early-stage disease diagnosis. Recently, in January 24, 2023, the startup has launched one-of-its-kind innovative cancer detection blood test, OncoVeryx-F which is capable of detecting early-stage cancers in women with 98% accuracy.
HCAH Oncology Rehabilitation : HCAH is India's trusted out-of-hospital care partner offering care, specialized therapy, recovery, and rehabilitation services. Founded by Vivek Srivastava, HCAH is a Delhi NCR based health-tech company having presence in 70 cities across the country. Oncology Rehabilitation is a specialized recovery program for individuals who have undergone medical treatment or major surgery for gastrointestinal, abdominal and other cancers. HCAH services for cancer rehabilitation focus on giving the patient a chance to live life normally again and deal with the complications and the depressive aftermath of the dreadful diagnosis. They provide rehabilitation and support services for those patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy as a part of their treatment. HCAH understands the side effects of these treatments and provides the patient with effective pain management and psychological support which is of paramount importance to them during this difficult time.