KSUM-fostered FIRM Bags Highest Innovation Grant
Thiruvananthapuram: A technology company mentored by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has secured the highest innovation grant of Rs. 50 lakh awarded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Embright Infotech, which specialises in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence (AI), bagged the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIRAC BIG15). The startup is one of the 15 companies selected for the grant in India.
Embright Infotech is one of the 15 companies selected for the Rs. 50-lakh Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council Biotechnology Ignition Grant
This is the third governmental recognition for the firm, which had earlier cornered KSIDC’s Entrepreneurial Development Fund and NIDHI PRAYAS grant. In 2019, Embright was one of the top 20 firms that reached the fourth round of BIRAC BIG14. Its main product is Auticare, an Extended Reality (XR) AI-based assistive technology for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and special education, which ensures progress of cognitive, social and self-care skills of autistic children.
According to Markets and Markets, the global virtual reality market is expected to grow from $7.9 billion in 2018 to $44.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 33.47 per cent during the forecast period.
At present, the startup is providing services to hospitals, clinics and special education schools. It has over 10 customers in private and public sectors in India, and is also in talks with various clinics and hospitals in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).
“Our product platform can bring about a change in the way medical knowledge is imparted by giving young doctors a feel of real medical procedures with clarity. New methods of treatment that involve rare diseases can now be replicated a million times for doctors to gain familiarity,” said Sathyanarayanan A R, Director & CEO, Embright Infotech.
“For example, a novice doctor needs to undergo the risk of patient trials. We can provide a virtual reality environment for them to conduct experimental procedures multiple times and understand the results in detail,” added Sathyanarayanan. It was his mother’s rehabilitation activities to help disabled children that inspired Sathyanarayanan to build a therapy platform for disabled patients. Dr. Rema Bai, Sathyanarayanan’s mother, has a post-doctoral in clinical linguistics and has worked with Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neuro Sciences (ICCONS).
The CEO has also worked as an innovation specialist in Bengaluru. His experience and know-how resulted in the birth of Embright Infotech in 2017, a company formed along with his brother Sankaranarayanan A R and Bobin Chandra.
The therapy modules utilising VR can be used to treat patients with neuro-developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism, schizophrenia and paralysis. The patient will be given therapy sessions under the guidance of a doctor in various recreated real-life scenarios. With repeated use, patients will be able to understand and respond positively to real-world challenges. As of now, the ratio of disabled patient accessing proper therapy is very small, but Embright Infotech aims to increase the reach of doctors and the therapy modules to more patients. With wider adaptation, this technology will help doctors to reach out to remote villages where they can run the therapy sessions from a centralized location.
“As advised by the doctor, we create a virtual environment based on children’s needs. For example, if a child is reluctant to interact in public places, we create a virtual public space and make the child familiar with it, so as to alleviate fear with repeated interactions,” said Minto John Mathew, Business Development Head, Embright Infotech.
Virtual Reality is being increasingly used by doctors all over the world to study cancer and other related medical conditions.