Indian startup develops Covid 19 detecting mobile app, takes 5 minutes
A government supported IT company in Bengaluru has developed an application capable of capturing an individual’s vital health statistics through mobile phone to determine one’s propensity to Covid 19 infection and can potentially play a big role in early detection of disease and risk assessment of infected population, according to a ministry of science and technology.
The new technology based on medical screening has the potential to detect possible infection in an asymptomatic individual, helping in prioritising the conventional testing queue as well as in risk assessment of an asymptomatic individual to establish if he/she can become symptomatic apart from assistance in risk assessment of an asymptomatic individual for recovery.
The application, being developed by Bangalore based startup Acculi Labs, creates an individual’s Covid risk assessment profile called Lyfas Covid score. While AarogyaSetu works on the principle of contact tracing and requires an individual to feed symptoms, Lyfas is a “proper medical screening test” which purely depends upon test results.
Generation of Lyfas Covid score has been achieved through repurposing Lyfas-- a clinical-grade, non-invasive, digital functional biomarker smartphone tool for screening, early detection, root cause analysis, acute event risk assessment, prognosis, and home monitoring of chronic diseases.
“Lyfas is an Android application in which, when one keeps the index finger on the rear camera of a mobile phone for 5 minutes, captures the capillary pulse and blood volume change and derives 95 biomarkers with proprietary algorithms and signal processing techniques. It uses the power of smartphone processors and smartphone sensors to capture a bunch of body signals,” says the statement from the science and technology department of the government of India.
The signals hence captured are then processed on the principle of Photoplethysmography(PPG), Photo Chromatography(PCG), Arterial Photoplethysmography(APPG), mobile spirometry, and Pulse Rate Variability(PRV).
“Lyfas then provides cardio-respiratory, cardio-vascular, hematology, hemorheology, neurology based parameters that are capable of tracking minute pathophysiological changes in the body. These changes are further profiled into organ system-wide response,” the statement adds.
The technology has been proved to detect asymptomatic individuals with an accuracy of 92%, specificity of 90%, and a sensitivity of 92% in a study conducted with Medanta Medicity hospital, according to the government release. The tool can be handy for population screening, monitoring of quarantined individuals, and surveillance at the community spreading phase.
“Witnessing the success of the study, the Medanta ethics committee has approved it for a larger population study. This study is currently registered in Clinical Trials Registry- India (CTRI) and is acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” the statement adds.
Lyfas has been developed by Acculi Labs in association with the Union government’s CAWACH (Centre for Augmenting WAR with Covid-19 Health Crisis) initiative.
CAWACH is supporting market-ready innovations for control of Covid-19 and startup ideas to address associated challenges. Acculi Labs was selected after several rounds of screening for a solution towards mass screening. Its product Lyfas has received a grant of Rs 30 Lakh from DST and is now virtually supported by IIT Madras, Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), MedTech Incubator.
“Inexpensive, accessible, point-of-care smartphone based diagnostics is a powerful tool that would tremendously help in screening the high risk cases, sustained monitoring of quarantined cases and general surveillance. Lyfas is an interesting example of the rising power of technology startups in innovating relevant and creative solutions for the emergent challenges with speed and efficacy,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, department of science and technology.
The clinical trials and regulatory proceedings for Lyfas Coved Score are expected to be completed by the end of September, after which the testing facility will be made available for the general public.