ZS PRIZE, a Healthcare Innovation Programme, Selects Top 8 teams

ZS PRIZE, a healthcare innovation programme launched by global professional services firm ZS, has announced its top 8 teams from a record 2,900 submissions. The programme, which was launched in October 2020, received more than 33,000 registrations from across colleges, startups and corporations, bringing together a diverse pool of participants to address healthcare innovation needs in India.

At a time when digital transformation in healthcare is needed, the solutions submitted to ZS PRIZE, leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and big data to transform the current Indian healthcare landscape by focusing on the accessibility and affordability of healthcare solutions. The ideas cover the spectrum of diagnostic as well as therapeutic solutions. These health innovations are looking to provide solutions for accurate and early diagnosis of diseases, remote monitoring systems for patients and providing portability to patients. Similarly, a wide range of innovation “form factors” were represented in the submissions, such as smart assistive devices, deep-learning-powered apps and IoT driven remotely controlled devices, which are greatly needed in India. Some of the ideas also solve for the lack of skilled workforce in many remote parts of India thus providing accessibility to a broader population.

The top 8 teams were selected through a rigorous evaluation process from a shortlist 20. The top 20 teams selected in January, received a 4-week mentorship with leading experts at ZS. The mentorship helped the teams refine their submissions, understand their go-to-market strategy and practice making their final pitch to the jury members. Beyond the ZS mentors, the teams also interacted with various start up founders and leaders who shared their own experience and journey as well as shared many ideas on how the teams can better shape their solutions. This presented a great opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and dive deeper into the nuances and potential market value of their solutions. The top 8 teams will present their solutions to the ZS PRIZE jury in April 2021 post a 2-week mentoring by practicing clinicians from across the country.

Regarding the level of participation in this year’s ZS PRIZE, Sanjay Joshi, regional managing principal and Head of Asia, ZS, said, “The pandemic has projected healthcare on top of the public discourse agenda. As a firm, we are proud to launch ZS PRIZE to help accelerate innovation in healthcare. We have been pleasantly overwhelmed with the strong response we received from across the country – both in quantity and quality of ideas submitted. Through our mentorship program, participant teams were able to strengthen their submissions for jury deliberation. Each of the top 8 teams selected for final round of deliberations has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Indians.”

Reinforcing this point, Ravi Venkatesan, Jury Chairman ZS PRIZE, Founder of GAME and Former Chairman of Microsoft India, said, “Technology is the disruptor. And new digital technologies are disrupting the healthcare sector in fundamental ways. I am impressed with the quality of the top 8 ideas for the final round as each of the ideas advances the affordability and accessibility of healthcare innovation for the masses in India.”

Here are the top 8 solutions that are in line for the ZS PRIZE finale, which is scheduled for April 2021:

  1. Baby Beat by CareMother – This AI-powered wireless, portable, smartphone-based clinical grade smart device provides fetal monitoring for pregnant women and to help reduce neonatal deaths. It ensures medical-grade fetal monitoring at the last mile without stress tests. Pregnant women can benefit from fetal heart rate monitoring anytime, anywhere, at a 30% lower price than other methods.
  2. Stamurai – This speech therapy app aims to empower folks with a stuttering issue. It consists of instructional videos to teach speech therapy exercises, tools to help people practice those exercises and a community of users that acts as a self-help group. This is provided at less than 5% of the cost of traditional speech therapy, and is available 24/7, resulting in lower chances of relapse.
  3.  LungIQ by Predible Health – This cloud-based deep learning software is a solution for the accurate and quantitative reporting of chest conditions from CT imaging. It helps accurately diagnose and treat diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung diseases and COVID-19.
  4. OmniPD by Padmaseetha Technologies Pvt Ltd – OmniPD is the world’s first portable peritoneal dialysis cycler that empowers renal patients to execute dialysis anytime, anywhere. This cloud-based patient management system connects patients with their caretakers and doctors, stores dialysis data and sends alerts for better preventive care.
  5. Miclays by MedPrime Technologies – An AI-powered digital microscopy system, MICLAYS can address all the microscopy needs of a diagnostic lab, effectively replacing the traditional methods of microscopy used today.
  6. Ameliorate by Biotech Private Limited – This rapid testing kit (ASSURED) helps detect the three most prevalent mosquito-borne diseases-malaria, chikungunya and dengue-on the first day of symptoms in fewer than 15 minutes.
  7. Bindu by India Vision – Smart Cap is a tool that will help process images and describe or read them aloud using speakers or headphones. This tool will help the visually impaired, both in their daily lives and at work.
  8. Pulse Active Stations Network – India’s largest “Atmanirbhar” network of IoT-enabled “Made in India” smart health kiosks. Each Pulse Active Station measures various health and wellness parameters in conjunction with a proprietary AI-based platform and gives indications of potential lifestyle diseases with personalized recommendations.

Along with Ravi Venkatesan, other jury members for ZS PRIZE include Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon; Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals; Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners; Dr. Ferzaan Engineer, Chairman, Cytecare Hospitals; K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India; Vijay Chandru, Chairman, Strand Life Sciences; Dipak Jain, President and Professor at China Europe International Business School and Former Dean of Kellogg School of Management.

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