India faces a huge dual disease burden – lifestyle diseases like diabetes, infertility, heart ailments etc. common in the metros and cities, as well as the traditional communicable diseases like Dengue and Malaria majorly affecting the rural areas. While the characteristics of these diseases are vastly different, the key element of the solution is common to both of them – the need of portable diagnostic devices; for regular monitoring in the case of lifestyle diseases and mass screening in the case of communicable diseases.
However, existing diagnostic device technology available in India, like a glucometer, either allows a single test on one portable device or several complicated steps in the lab before testing. But, a recent report by Dr. Satish Dubey, professor at IIT Delhi has uncovered a portable diagnostic device that can read dozens of diagnostic test strips with a 99.12% correlation when compared to lab grade scanners.
The tested diagnostic device developed by Bangalore based medical diagnostic firm, Inito has achieved the performance of a Rs.3 Lakhs costing bulky lab reader in a Rs. 3000 device that is small and portable. This discovery opens up realms of opportunities in the space of medical diagnostics as it allows access to medical diagnostic labs right in people’s home. Smartphone ownership in India is growing rapidly and now anyone with a smartphone can monitor there body using a few simple steps.
The report highlights that this inexpensive portable device uses a patent-pending imaging technology called ‘flat lens’ that allows a single portable device paired with a smartphone to conduct dozens of diagnostic tests with the same device. The invention of a ubiquitous platform that enables testing of a variety of tests at low costs, in the comfort of home is path-breaking.
The first test that Inito has launched is a Fertility Monitor targeted at couples trying to have a baby. Tests for Diabetes, Thyroid and Vitamin D tests will soon be added to the device. Addition of more tests takes just an App update and ordering the strips for the user. Third party strips can also be added to the Inito platform by just an App upgrade.
For measuring the performance of the Inito device, measurements using strips of Estrogen and Luteinizing Hormone were taken and measured in both lab grade readers and the Inito Device. The researchers then found that there is a 99.12% correlation between the Inito Device and the Qiagen ESE Quant lab reader. Additionally, the company had validated the device using 360 urine samples collected from 50 women from Bangalore in urban and sub-urban areas across 3 months.
Dr. Satish Dubey, Instrument Design Centre, IIT Delhi said, “It was observed that the measurements from the Inito device have a very high correlation with that of the Qiagen reader irrespective of the mobile phone used. This makes the Inito Device a reliable tool for portable diagnostics.”
Varun AV, co-founder of Inito said “Reliability is one of the most important attributes of a medical device. Achieving the performance of strip readers that is 100 times more expensive and 10x bulkier in a small and portable form factor like Inito is a proof of the cutting edge technology that Inito has built.”
The device is priced at Rs 3,195 and can be purchased on Inito’s website or on Amazon. It will soon be available in pharmacies. So far, the company has four patents pending in its name in six geographies including US, European Union, Japan, India, Russia, and China. It has also bagged the three prestigious design awards – CII Design Award, India Design Mark and Japanese Good Design Award.