Startup Circle: How is Aindra Systems making cancer treatments accessible and affordable?

Read Adarsh Natarajan, Founder and  CEO, AIndra Systems, talk about the healthtech startup, its business model and growth strategy.

Laxitha Mundhra
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Startup Circle: How is Aindra Systems making cancer treatments accessible and affordable?

In India, cervical cancer accounts for almost 20% of all cancers in women. Alarmingly, one woman dies due to cervical cancer every eight minutes in our country, per the ICMR and NICPR. It is the fourth most common kind of cancer that could affect women. However, with early detection and treatment, it is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, with a higher survival rate. Thus, using advanced AI/ML, HealthTech Startup Aindra Systems has embarked on a mission to democratise access to quality healthcare.


In the first phase, AIndra is focusing on helping with the early detection of cervical cancer at a low cost. This will hugely benefit patients, especially in rural India. Aindra has designed and developed an innovative AI-based, affordable and point-of-care automated Cervical Cancer detection system. Read Adarsh Natarajan, Founder and  CEO, AIndra Systems, talk about the startup, its business model and growth strategy.

Tell us about the genesis of Aindra Systems.

We started Aindra Systems to democratize access to quality healthcare. Currently, we use deeptech to realize our vision of accessible and affordable healthcare solutions for all. We use AI/ML, specifically computer vision, to solve problems that have a huge societal impact.


Our first tryst with computer vision was to tackle a specific problem posed to us as part of a pilot program run by the Centre of Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B). Through the use of computer vision and AI/ML, we addressed the issue of attendance manipulation in schools that offer the mid-day meal scheme. With the expertise and the technology that was developed, we sought adjacencies that we could exploit. As part of this effort, we evaluated the impact of such a tech intervention in healthcare. We then zeroed on computational pathology for the detection of critical illnesses like cancers at the point-of-care, as we were convinced that we could make a meaningful difference.

What kind of market opportunity are you addressing?

In India alone, nearly 365 million are at risk of contracting cervical cancer and potentially need screening. As a nation, we already have a limited number of hospitals, gynaecologists, diagnostics labs, clinical pathologists or even healthcare NGOs needed to treat our vast population. Beyond the cities, the challenge gets further accentuated in India’s heartland where the bulk of our rural populace resides.


This is the opportunity that we’re focusing on. Through portable, cutting edge medical devices and the use of AI (Computational Pathology) with cloud technologies, we’re enabling the knowledge of experts to virtually help more women - especially in rural areas - get the benefit of early screening and care.

How is Aindra Systems gearing up for growth?

We are seeing great interest in our offering from the healthcare ecosystem at large. We’re now focusing on a high impact, omnichannel engagement strategy. With that, we are also nurturing a network of distributors to create more market awareness and reach.


What difference has your partnership with Oracle made to your business?

Our participation in the Oracle for Startups program has been very helpful. From a scalability and availability perspective, for any AI/ML application to be successful, it needs a robust, high performant digital infrastructure as a foundation. By using Oracle’s secure, second-generation cloud infrastructure, we have been able to better train our network model and also perform better, faster, deeper analytics, aiding quicker diagnosis and care. In fact, we have been able to see a 2x improvement in our network model training time, with OCI.

What are your expansion plans and new focus areas?

Our primary focus is India. Over the next 18-24 months, we plan to venture into neighbouring markets like Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. Once we improve our operational model, we’ll then look to expand to South Africa as well. In all these regions, we will look to collaborate with local channel partners to help with market entry as well as achieve quick growth.

Apart from computational pathology, we will be focusing next on computational radiology.