Inito: Building Next-gen Home Diagnostic Devices
By Ikyatha Yerasala
Inito’s award-winning Flat Lens technology is giving a new edge to home diagnostic devices, writes Ikyatha Yerasala.
With the advent of the smartphone era, the way healthcare functions has changed for the better and how. With smartphone-enabled technology being used extensively in various areas of healthcare, Inito, a Bengaluru-based technology startup aims to cater to people with relentless enthusiasm.
The brainchild of Aayush Rai and Varun AV, two IIT alumni, Inito was started with the aim of building the next generation of home diagnostic devices. While Aayush is an IIT Roorkee Alum who has represented India at NASA for Space Settlement Design and was founder of Robotics & Electronics Clubs at IIT-R, Varun AV is an IIT Madras alum and the recipient of the prestigious Inventor of the Year at Siemens with 25+ patent Applications.
Talking about how the idea of Inito was born, Aayush says, “We both worked at Siemens Research in Bengaluru. While working there, we realized that the disease patterns of the country are changing. Increasing urbanization, sedentary lifestyle and bad food habits are leading to a distressing amount of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, infertility, thyroid etc.” With these conditions requiring regular monitoring using diagnostic devices, and changing one’s medication and food and lifestyle habits to control them, Aayush and Varun got the idea of starting Inito, to create home diagnostic devices to monitor your body and use the data to achieve your health goals.
With Inito’s fertility monitor, women can track their fertile days in an easy manner. It’s a home diagnostic test that enables women to track their fertile days at home in an easy and convenient manner. The fertility test works by identifying up to 6 fertile days of a woman’s cycle. The device has been medically tested and the results were found to be comparable to those acquired with clinic-grade instrumentation which cost 100 times more and are 10 times bigger.
“Fertility is one of the least talked about issues in India. 1 out of every 6 couple faces fertility issues in the country and the problem is only growing exponentially. This made us develop a fertility test which is also the first test supported by our platform. The other home ovulation tests in the market are not accurate because they measure only one hormone and are confusing to read and interpret so doctors do not suggest people to use them. The standard protocol is women going to the lab to do a sequence of ultrasound scans called follicular scans to track ovulation. However, Inito Fertility Test measures both Estrogen & Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in urine and also understands cycle variations to give highly accurate results unique to every individual woman’s cycle and thus increases the chance of her getting pregnant naturally by 89 per cent,” reveals Aayush. The cost of the device with 10 strips is Rs 3,499 but it is available for a discounted price of Rs 2,999. Users can also buy extra pack of 10 strips at INR 899 only.
User-friendly and convenient
The core technology behind Inito is the Flat Lens that allows the camera of your smartphone to detect color changes on test strips very accurately and reliably which can then be mapped to the concentration of the biomarker. “The strip technology is very mature and reliable and currently labs use big, bulky and expensive readers to read them. The device is very easy to use. On the day you need to take a test, the App automatically sends a notification. The user then needs to dip the test strips in urine and inserts them into the reader. By reading the strip, the App gets the value of the hormones LH & E3G in urine, it looks at the trends of these over days to predict each women’s unique fertility rating. The algorithm is also intelligent to automatically adapt to the user’s cycles and works even if the cycles are irregular,” shares Aayush.
Other tests done by technology
Inito is backed by proprietary technology, FlatLens, that enables smartphones to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests like Diabetes, Cholesterol, Vitamins, Fertility, Infections, Thyroid etc at home using a single portable device. So far, the company has four patents pending in its name in six geographies including US, European Union, Japan, India, Russia and China.
“The differentiator for us lies in our patent pending technology that allows a single device to perform dozens of diagnostic tests. All the data is stored on the App and the cloud which allows monitoring of data trends. Our App also analyses data to suggest lifestyle changes that will help the user achieve his or her health goals,” adds Aayush.
Their team is a very multidisciplinary one consisting of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Biochemists, Software Engineers, Manufacturing Experts and Doctors. We also have a bunch of experts outside India to help us with specialised skills like Optical Manufacturing etc.
With Inito’s technology having won the CII Design Award, India Design Mark and the prestigious Japanese Good Design Award, what’s next for the startup? “We plan on expanding the suite of tests in fertility initially - ovulation confirmation, pregnancy confirmation etc. Post that, they we will launch tests for Diabetes, Thyroid and Vitamin D, which would help both younger and older generation to monitor their health.”