AarogyaAI makes precision diagnosis of AMR easy

Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Neelam Singh

In a world where antimicrobial resistance (AMR) looms as one of the greatest challenges to human health, AarogyaAI, a health tech start-up founded by two visionary women, stands at the forefront of this battle. With the potential to transform the way we approach AMR, its work offers new hope for the millions of people at risk of this growing global threat.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is rapidly becoming one of the most formidable health challenges of our time. The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites is rendering many frequently prescribed medications increasingly ineffective. This is leaving patients susceptible to life-threatening illnesses and fatalities. From urinary tract infections to malaria, the list of diseases and infections due to AMR continues to grow. This underscores the necessity for immediate and decisive measures to confront it.

Genesis of AarogyaAI

In 2019, Dr Praapti Jayaswal, Co-Founder & CEO and Avlokita Tiwari, Co-Founder & CTO, came together and founded AarogyaAI. It is a health tech start-up that integrates genomics and artificial intelligence (AI) for precision diagnosis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Its aim is to tackle the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and proactively stay ahead of superbugs.

Dr Praapti Jayaswal & Avlokita Tiwari

Dr Jayaswal gained firsthand knowledge of the difficulties of ICU infection control, which resulted in increased patient vulnerability to infections. This issue led to doctors overprescribing antibiotics, causing a gradual increase in cases of antimicrobial resistance. Dr Jayaswal gained a deeper knowledge of the complications of AMR during her postdoctoral research. Her research focused on tuberculosis and infectious disease prevention. It highlighted the necessity for a systematic approach and innovative technological solutions.

Avlokita, a bioinformatics researcher, was motivated by the enthusiasm of her colleagues towards infectious disease research. Her collaborations with them further piqued her interest in combating antimicrobial resistance through practical and effective technological solutions.

Avlokita says, “Our proprietary SaaS product, AAICare, is inspired by evolution and built on thousands of data points to help physicians make data-driven decisions and cure drug-resistant infections through precision medicine.” Their team comprises professionals from different disciplines and backgrounds, bringing diverse expertise to the table.

Tackling antimicrobial resistance

Discussing antimicrobial resistance, Dr Jayaswal says, “Globally, incidences of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) are constantly on the rise. It threatens our ability to effectively treat populations, burdening healthcare systems, and causing superbug infections untreatable with existing drugs.” She further adds, “By 2030, losses to world output due to untreated AMR infections will exceed $1 trillion annually and reach $2 trillion annually by 2050. Left untreated, it can be more dangerous than cancer is today. We use tech solutions to solve this mounting challenge of AMR.”

To combat such a dire situation, AarogyaAI developed AAICare and claims that it is equipped for:

  1. Pathogen Detection: It is a quantitative detection of pathogens that cover bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This approach entails identifying the presence or absence of all types of pathogens in a given sample. It involves determining their respective quantities as well.
  2. Comprehensive drug resistance analysis: Through its advanced predictive capabilities, AAICare enables the healthcare providers to prescribe drugs more effectively. This can improve treatment outcomes in cases of AMR. AAICare can predict antimicrobial resistance in different strains of the pathogen and analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and predict the possibility of resistance. This allows for more targeted treatment strategies.
  3. Infectious Disease Surveillance: Real-time updation of evolutionary patterns of pathogens towards pandemic preparedness. AarogyaAI uses AI and genomics to track the spread of AMR, allowing for early detection and prevention of outbreaks. By analysing genomic data, clinicians can identify the source of infections and track the spread of resistant strains.

Although it is in the pre-deployment phase, they claim to impact millions of lives once AAICare goes to market.

Investments and collaborations

AarogyaAI

The growth of any startup largely hinges on valuable investments and partnerships. Discussing such investments, Dr Jayaswal says, “We have been fortunate to have garnered support from renowned international organisations like Illumina for Start-Ups, Entrepreneur First, and Avaana Capital. With their assistance, we have been able to maintain our momentum in innovation as well as expansion.”

She informed that AarogyaAI was a part of the first-ever international group of genomics startups at Illumina Accelerator. It was also among the maiden cohort of 50 Indian entrepreneurs at Entrepreneur First. “We partnered with GE Healthcare as one of only six startups selected for the second cohort of GE Healthcare’s India Edison Accelerator Programme,” says Dr Jayaswal.

AarogyaAI received support from the Government of India and was recognised with the prestigious NITI Aayog Atal Innovation Mission grant for fostering innovation in Indian startups. Furthermore, their innovative ideas were encouraged and brought to realisation through grants like NIDHI Prayas and BIRAC Jan Care.

Embracing challenges

Discussing the hurdles in their journey, Avlokita says, “As entrepreneurs, we’ve found it hard to strike a balance between work and life.” The expansion of the company has presented it with several networking, fundraising, and client management opportunities. Nonetheless, the organisation is currently dealing with the challenges of optimising these opportunities while being present in different places at the same time.

The road ahead

AarogyaAI has ambitious plans to scale up its operations and expand its product offerings to cover all infectious pathogens and human genome analysis. The company intends to leverage its expertise and resources to enter the global market and make a significant impact in the healthcare industry. “Apart from developing and marketing our products, we also want to help other organisations to track pathogen evolution, thereby aiding in drug development,” says Avlokita.

With its strong commitment to innovation and collaboration, AarogyaAI is poised to make a significant contribution to the healthcare sector and create a better future for all.

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