Emerging and Growth Markets | June 30, 2021

Niramai scores funding from CDC Group for COVID screening technology

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, June 30 – India is emerging from a catastrophic COVID wave that, at its peak in early May, saw more than 400,000 cases per day (numbers are presumed to be underreported in the country of 1.4 billion.)

Bangalore-based medtech startup Niramai adapted its AI-powered, low-cost thermal imaging tech, developed to look for breast cancer, for COVID screening. The method is proving to be more effective at detecting the virus than infrared thermometers, wrote the U.K.’s CDC Group. “It has great potential to reduce the risk of transmission and enable faster treatment for positive cases – both vital in slowing the spread of the virus.”

The development finance institution provided pilot funding from its technical assistance facility, CDC Plus.

Affordable diagnostics

Niramai’s breast cancer screening technology has been used by 24,000 women. The women-led venture says its approach is 95% cheaper than standard methods and as much as 30% more accurate (see, “Niramai raises $6 million for affordable breast cancer screening”).

Niramai is backed by early-stage impact fund Ankur Capital, Pi Ventures, BEENEXT and others.

Separately, two Indian health tech ventures secured funding from The Trinity Challenge to prepare for future pandemics: Khushi Health provides digital tools for community health workers. StaTwig makes a vaccine supply chain and logistics tracing tool.