Using AI to tackle diabetes and bring preventive screening to ‘the forgotten billion’

Using AI to tackle diabetes and bring preventive screening to ‘the forgotten billion’

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

1 Jun 2018, 09:38 — 6 min read


Enterprise: Artificial Learning Systems India Private Limited 


Founder: Pradeep Walia, Rajarajeshwari, Lalit Pant and Vish Durga


Year it was founded: 2015


Sector: IT for Healthcare


Based out of: Bengaluru


Artelus (shorter name for Artificial Learning Systems India Pvt Ltd) began its journey in 2015 when Pradeep Walia, a passionate humanitarian and Carnegie Mellon University alumnus with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, decided to marry Artificial Intelligence (AI) with healthcare. He was determined to establish the company in India using advanced computing technologies. He teamed up with Rajarajeshwari, Lalit Pant, and Vish Durga. Together they are working towards achieving the brand’s vision – making India healthier and happier using AI and leveraging its power to bring better health outcomes to ‘the forgotten billion’ who don’t have the resources to get treated for serious ailments like diabetes. “We are taking the healthcare experience beyond the boundaries of hospitals and specialised clinics, and augmenting doctors with our artificially assisted technology,” Pradeep says.


In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL) Pradeep Walia (PW) shares the journey of his company.


GL: Tell us about your business.


PW: India is infamous as the diabetes capital of the world. Data from World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 69.2 million of India’s population suffers from diabetes, and patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) are estimated to be 34.6 percent. DR, one of the key reasons for preventable blindness in diabetic patients, can be treated through early detection with AI, and Artelus is helping India take on the DR challenge with its AI screening tool.


Artelus’ Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Solution,  DRISTi, offers a user-friendly interface that generates patient data by capturing retina image, analysing the image in less than 15 seconds, and printing results. With over 96 percent accuracy, this AI product can be used for detecting DR in less than three minutes. The solution uses deep learning algorithms, ensuring higher rate of accuracy.


Artelus wants to reach out and help the forgotten billion, the billion or more people in developing countries who lack basic health care and associated services. There is a lack of primary screening services around the world. In developing countries, rural areas lack infrastructure, facilities and trained personnel to provide necessary health services and Artelus plans to bring primary screening to the forgotten billion.


“Global screening for diseases that can be tackled with early detection is not possible without the help of AI, but it is now possible with the help of our AI product, which helps reduce costs and improve people’s health,” Pradeep says. Solutions using Deep Learning Algorithms have a higher rate of accuracy and early detection can save lives.


The Artelus research & development team constantly strives to innovate new ways of developing accurate primary screening solution. Our team is working on developing primary screening tools to detect TB, breast cancer and lung cancer. We are also working on developing diagnostic solutions that would assist the doctors in accurate diagnosis leading to faster treatment by providing a comprehensive reporting of anomalies detected during primary screening process.



GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?


PW: Finding the right people with the requisite amount of experience in this nascent field of technology. Deep Learning is still an emerging field of knowledge. Finding the right talent is a constant challenge.



GL: How did you hear of GlobalLinker? How has it helped you?


PW: We heard from our network about the benefits of creating our company profile on GlobalLinker. We believe that creating our company profile on GlobalLinker has helped us build our business network, find new customers, and in building our brand.


GL: What is your big business dream?


PW: To reduce the burden of healthcare sector by providing physicians with the assistance of advanced technology screening products which are low cost, accurate and fast, freeing up their time for more patients. We aim to build a healthier, happier world for those forgotten billion people who do not get the benefit of quality healthcare services either because they belong to remote rural areas or backward areas of the world which do not have the necessary infrastructure to provide them with even the basic healthcare services.


GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?


PW: Never give up on your dream, never accept defeat. Lack of funding, discouragement from all sides and your own self-doubt may make you want to chuck the whole show and go back to doing whatever you were doing before. But if you do that, you will be letting your dream die- a dream that might have the power to change the world.


I wish to quote Barack Obama here: “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”


Network with SMEs mentioned in this article by clicking on the 'Invite' button on their profile.  Pradeep Walia and Rajarajeshwari 


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured members. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.


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