The government of India’s technology development board (TDB) has shortlisted six startups that have developed solutions to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic for a working capital grant. The nodal agency working under the department of science and technology (DST) has selected these startups for developing solutions such as facial recognition systems, 3D printing, medical devices and diagnostic kits.
These startups were shortlisted as part of the challenged launched by the DST in March 2020. As part of the programme, TDB is providing soft loans to startups to help them scale and market their products.
The board is also connecting startups with technological experts who are helping them in making their products market-ready. While TDB is not facilitating any marketing opportunities to the selected startups at the moment, founders say that the accreditation from it has already helped them in scaling their business.
The Startups Selected By Technology Development Board
Bengaluru-based Cocoslabs Innovation Solutions Private Limited is the maker of Pixuate, a low-cost solution to identify persons with higher body temperature in a crowded area.
Speaking to Inc42, cofounder Akshata Kari said that the facial recognition and thermal detection software can be used at gates where many people enter at a single time. “Business parks, hospitals, and railway stations can deploy the system to measure body temperatures,” she added.
Pixuate alerts authorities when it detects someone with unusually high body temperature to take appropriate action. Kari said that the startup is using artificial intelligence (AI) software for real-time detections using video analytics platform.
Kari also revealed the startup has secured a soft loan from TDB which is a part of the ongoing funding round.
Delhi-based Advance Mechanical Services is working on an infrared thermography-based temperature scanner that can scan the body temperatures of many people in one go. The startup is also working on rapid measurement and real-time decision-making tool by using an uncooled microbolometer or thermal sensor and video analytics platform. Advance Mechanical Services claims that the technology has been developed indigenously using AI and industrial internet-of-things.
Coimbatore-based Iatome Electric has been selected by TDB for its battery-powered portable X-ray machines with digital display. Founder Biju Nathan said that these low-cost X-ray machines can be set up in each ward instead of one at a hospital.
These X-ray machines have a digital display and is said to be standalone medical radiography equipment which is suitable for ICU and isolation wards. The machine can be taken near to the patient’s bed as the device is portable, thereby reducing the exposure of infection to the medical staff involved in the process. The battery back-up option comes handy for a wireless workflow and continuous operation without power mains.
- Thincr Technologies India
For the manufacturing of more secure facial masks, TBD has shortlisted Pune-based Thincr Technologies India. The startup is coating and 3D-printing anti-viral agents on the masks as a preventive measure against Covid-19.
Thincr is applying a sodium olefin sulfonate-based mixture, a soap forming agent which can keep masks sanitised. When it comes in contact with viruses, the chemical disrupts the outer membrane of the virus and makes it ineffective. The ingredients used are said to be stable at room temperature and are widely used in cosmetics.
New Delhi-based Medzome Life Sciencez has been selected for developing fluorescence-based rapid Covid-19 detection kit. Medzome is already a manufacturer of rapid diagnostic kits for malaria, dengue and typhoid.
The startup is looking to deploy the kits for commercial use in the next two or three months. The diagnostic kits developed by Medzome are said to be more sensitive and are expected to provide quantitative results in coming times as the number of cases spike across the country.
Pune-based MyLab is credited to be the first startup to develop an indigenous Covid-19 testing kit manufacturer of India. MyLab secured INR 1 Cr from the ACT grant and the group is also helping the company solve supply-chain issues.
Founded in 2016, MyLab has created a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kit which is manufactured domestically, has a local supply chain and is approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The kit developed by the company is said to be cheaper than international counterparts.