The diagnostic industry has seen increased demand in recent years due to an increase in health issues like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Accurate and timely diagnosis provides vital information that is essential for the prevention, treatment and management of these diseases.
In the field of diagnosis, if radiology has already been digitized, pathology, which passes through clinical microscopy, is not yet digitally disrupted. To meet this challenge, the entrepreneur Rohit Hiwale founded Morphle Digital Pathology in 2017.
Image Credit: Morphle Digital Pathology
The Bangalore based medical technology startup empowers pathology laboratories, cancer hospitals and research institutes with its AI-enabled robotic plug-and-play whole slide scanners that offer superior image quality, fast scanning and image analysis tools.
âThe cost of existing digital machines for pathology is so high that it has not been purchased by most healthcare facilities. We wanted to build a cost effective solution to democratize the digitization of microscopy â, explains Rohit Your story.
Y-Combinator supportedwon an investment of $ 75,000 of HealthVenture as part of the National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) 2019 event by C-CAMP.
Illustration: YS Design
Digital pathology solution
Rohit explains that Morphle built a plug-and-play robotic microscope which provides high quality images for cancer and blood samples. Images of the sample can be made available to physicians via a software platform, allowing them to diagnose the sample.
The software application is accessible by physicians even remotely at any time, which allows remote diagnosis.
âThe software interface has different applications for cancer and settings. For example, blood and urine diagnosis can be done using different application, and diagnosis using special diagnostic tools can be done using different application. While some applications are carried out internally, some are provided in partnership with other companies. All AI-based diagnostic tools are integrated into our platform so that our customers can access all solutions under one platform, âhe explains.
Optimus 6 [Image Credit: Morphle]
The founder says the startup has faced a challenge amid the pandemic, however. As diagnostic software was accessible everywhere, it became difficult for the startup to deliver the large hardware machine to its customers despite travel restrictions.
For this reason, the company has completely redesigned the product and broke it down into easy-to-assemble parts which can be assembled by customer within 30 minutes. Apart from that, the company has developed an IoT configuration to maintain machines remotely.
Currently, the startup offers three models, namely Index 1, Optimus 6 and Continuum 120. These three models have different capacities. While Index has a slide capacity, Optimus has six and Continuum has 120.
Continuum 120 [Image Credit: Morphle]
Business and more
Speaking of business model, Rohit reveals start-up costs one-off costs for the sale of equipment and also invoices the customer maintenance services for equipment. Apart from that, he also charges his clients a platform fees for the use of its AI-based remote diagnostic tools and services.
âWe have completed a total of approximately 100 deployments, including 20 in international markets such as the United States, Europe, the Philippines and Africa,â Rohit said.
Mophle raised its seed funding last year from Y Combinator. The founder reveals that the startup is now looking to lift its Series A round.
According to an IBEF report, India the medical device market was worth $ 11 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $ 65 billion in 2024. The founder reveals that Morphle is in competition with other players such as Philips and Leica. However, Rohit believes the startup is offering high-end tech solutions at a lower price.
Speaking of future plans, he reveals that the startup is currently focusing on Indian and American market. It aims to reach all pathology labs in India. Apart from that, the startup is also looking to expand its long-term AI capabilities and expand its microscopy services to other industries as well.
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