In the April of 2015, a revolutionary idea that would immensely benefit the medical industry was seeded. Rohit Kumar, Tathagato Rai Dastidar, and Apurv Anand who were looking for a challenging problem to solve, stumbled on a niche in the medical industry that hadn’t been scratched yet. With enormous data that needs deciphering in the medical space constantly, the ingenious entrepreneurs found a way to decode the data with artificial intelligence (AI) using Machine Language (ML). ML is an algorithm that mimics, to a rudimentary level, the pattern recognition abilities of human beings by processing thousands of data points. Basically, SigTuple is a startup that uses AI to analyze medical images, scans and videos, and decodes them to provide accurate diagnosis of the problem. As this would reduce human workload, they showcased their results to a few doctors and hospitals and the feedback they got was overwhelming. This was the nourishment they needed for their seed to grow, and was also the birth of SigTuple.
All the solutions for various screening tests are powered by Manthana’s platform which hosts different AI models for different screening solutions.”
SigTuple’s home grown software, Manthana, is a continuous learning cloud based artificial intelligence platform that enables the entrepreneurs to ingest various kinds of data and annotate them. This allows the data scientists to train different AI modules for various solutions and validate them. Rohit says, “All the solutions for various screening tests are powered by Manthana’s platform which hosts different AI models for different screening solutions.”
Collecting data of common laboratory tests and assigning diagnostic comments to it, using Manthana, allows SigTuple to solve three main problems that exist in the medical world. Firstly, since the ratio between doctors and patients are disproportioned in the country, SigTuple is a catalyst for quicker diagnosis which saves a doctor’s time, enabling them to reach out to more patients. Secondly, analyzing medical data visually depends on various factors like skill-set, state of mind, etc, causing variations in the diagnosis. SigTuple simplifies this process with its humongous data base that will help medical professionals make quicker and more rational decisions. Thirdly, most of the medical advancements in hospitals require a change in hardware. SigTuple’s intangible cloud based software makes it easily feasible for hospitals to adopt it to their existing technology.
It was difficult to convince the hospitals and labs to provide data to us, which was a key ingredient for our products.”
Such a technologically advanced concept is prone to have some bumps on the road, and SigTuple certainly faced some hardships as well, particularly when it came to proving the concept to potential investors and hospitals. None of the founders of SigTuple had any experience in medicine or healthcare. Therefore, it wasn’t easy to convince investors when it came to funding. Moreover, very few B2B companies were getting funded in India, especially in the medical industry. Rohit says, “It was difficult to convince the hospitals and labs to provide data to us, which was a key ingredient for our products.”
From the very start of the venture, Rohit and his co-founders knew that they would need medical experts to go along with them on their entrepreneurial journey. So, even before starting the work, they on boarded a few veterans in the healthcare industry as advisors and mentors to their company. This proved to be a very strong force in validating their proof of concept to potential investors.
Today, they have big institutional investors like Accel Partners and IDG backing them up, along with some relatively new institutions as well. SigTuple now wants to push their screening solutions for better diagnosis to the market. Moving on from screening, diagnosis to prognosis and monitoring, is the plan of SigTuple in the near future. And, since the cloud based software is providing a silver lining for hospitals, doctors and labs all across the country, we believe that these bold entrepreneurs are going to reach their goal soon enough.