The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect millions of people in India, adding pressure on the already-strained healthcare system. Doctors, nurses and other frontline medical staff in contact with infected patients, are living under constant fear of contracting Covid-19.
Dozee, a solution by Bengaluru-based startup Turtle Shell Technologies is proving to be their saviour. Placed under the mattress, this contactless health monitoring device can convert any bed into a mini-ICU one through remote monitoring of patient’s heartbeat, respiration, sleep, stress and other vital parameters with 98.4 percent medical-grade accuracy.
The brainchild of IIT graduates, Mudit Dandwate and Gaurav Parchan, Dozee was launched in mid-2019, after four years of extensive research and development. Today, it is being utilised across hospitals and homes, to cater to the high-risk and vulnerable population.
The startup has received support from reputed companies like Qualcomm and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for product development and acceleration.
Birth of Dozee
Prior to Turtle Shell Technologies, Mudit worked on electric racing cars, and was the Chief Vehicle Dynamic Officer at IIT Mumbai. He met Gaurav at his next stint at Altair Engineering, where the duo bonded over their love for engineering, hardware and software. They both decided to partner and work on a healthcare solution that goes beyond conventional medical devices – that’s how Dozee was born.
“While I was in IIT, I used to work on race vehicles. I was very closely involved with Formula 1 teams, and would spend most of my summer with them. We would use sensors to monitor the health of a car, and that’s when an idea came to my mind regarding use of sensors to monitor health of patients. Gaurav and I then made prototypes benchmarked against different medical grade products, and proved that our contactless prototype is 98.4% accurate compared to contact-based tools. That’s how we rolled out our product,” shared Mudit, adding that Dozee is India’s first contactless vital monitor that gives continuous respiration data without the need of any wires or technical expertise.
The health monitor utilises a technology called Ballistocardiography, wherein a thin sensor sheet is placed below the mattress (any mattress up to 18 inch) to capture the data on micro vibrations in the human body. The data collected is then analysed using advanced machine learning and AI to create a personalised health baseline for the user.
“The data is shown on the product’s app which can be set up within minutes on any smartphone,” added Mudit.
Dozee was awarded Best Healthcare Startup at Bioasia 2019 and Best Tech Innovation at Assocham 2019. The technology used in Dozee is developed in close collaboration with NIMHANS, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiac Sciences.
Fighting the Covid-19 Battle
The pandemic has brought to the fore the acute shortage of ICU beds in hospitals, which could lead to fatal delay in patient treatment.
Using Dozee, any bed can be converted into a step-down ICU in less than two minutes at a fraction of a cost.
“Our application is very simple and is currently being used across the country to help fight Covid. Dozee is placed under the mattress, converting any bed into a mini-ICU one. We also provide peripheral support like SPO2 and BP monitors,” shared Mudit, adding that monitoring of these vitals is even critical in asymptomatic patients, especially resting respiratory rate to identify any red flags.
According to him, Dozee has stepped in at least 43 cases, flagging symptoms of heart failure, pneumonia and tuberculosis much in advance.
Alongside, it is also helping doctors and nurses stay safe from infection, as well as reducing their workload by over 60-70%.
“Since data is available remotely, clinicians and nurses do not need to go near the patient all the time, thereby reducing the risk of getting infected,” added Mudit.
Another advantage is the patient is being monitored continuously, so his parameters can be tracked in real-time 24×7 by a relative/doctor through SMS alerts or emails. This helps to take immediate action if the vitals are out of range.
Dozee is already being used in 7 quarantine centres in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The company has also partnered with Duroflex Mattresses and provided more than 200 devices to home quarantine patients.
Significance of Security
With large volumes of data available, there are always apprehensions around privacy and data security, but Mudit assures that the highest standards are followed when it comes to the privacy of patient’s health data.
“We are sensitive to the data security of the consumer. In India, there aren’t any regulations around this, but our servers and databases are in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the US,” shared Mudit.
The Dozee team is currently in the process of adding more features such as body temperature to its device to help physicians get a better picture of their patient’s condition.
They also plan to enter the market for heart-related devices.
“We have done extensive research in heart failure, and in fact our device detects heart failure in the early stages. Right now, the market does not demand such a product, but once things get better, we plan to position this very strongly,” informed Mudit.
The startup has raised USD 800,000 till date from angel investment networks and is in the process of closing a fundraising round, confirmed Mudit.
(Edited by Anu Choudary)
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