Unfortunately, every year India witnesses 40% of all its newborns dying. 33% of all newborn deaths are caused by neonatal infections. A Lancet study claims that 17 babies in a group of 100 get infected with a deadly blood bacterial infection of the blood called Neonatal Sepsis. That is 17,000 children get infected in a group of 1,00,000. Here the fatality rate is as high as 25% to 65%.
These deaths can easily be prevented with sound medical infrastructure. The lack of decent healthcare facilities in rural areas causes the spread of this infection, particularly in the low-income and marginalised sections of India.
To address this issue, Kalluri Rao and Hyma Goparaju founded Avyantra in 2017. They took the challenge of creating an innovative solution to bridge the gap of accessibility and affordability in the healthcare sector. The former comes from an IT background with 500 plus hours of clinical immersion. The latter comes from a marketing domain and later pursued her PhD.
Their first product, PreSco or Predictive Scoring Application, uses machine learning algorithms to analyse and provide assessment for Neonatal Sepsis in newborns. This cloud-based application was possible with the help of the UNICEF Innovation Fund. It is a non-invasive tech that can check and assess babies rapidly.
Their second product, Periton Safe, tries to solve India’s shortage of having only 1.3 nephrologists for every million citizens. As the availability of nephrologists is around 1600 only. The number of people that can operate dialysis is even less. Periton Safe is automated and cost-effective dialysis that can monitor patients continuously and remotely.
Avyantra is looking forward to collaborating with the government and other rural volunteers like ASHA. Its past collaborators have been IIM Calcutta, Villgro, International Institute of Innovation and Technology (Hyderabad), BioNEST (University of Hyderabad) and UNICEF.
The only cause behind the deaths of newborns is the lack of medical infrastructure available for rural India. Will the joint effort from all collaborators be able to help Avyantra achieve its rural penetration and make it able to reduce newborn deaths in India?