This software helps medical devices talk to each other

Over the past few years, Attune Technologies has developed a software that can talk with disparate medical equipment in diagnostic laboratories, something that no other startup in India’s healthcare sector has done so far.

With plans to seed its software into primary healthcare centres and hospitals across tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the Chennai-based company plans to establish the most comprehensive health network in the country .

“We have built a virtual diagnostic network of labs to put pieces together,“ said Arvindkumar Alagarswamy, the 36-year-old CEO who founded the company seven years ago.

The company’s platform interfaces with over 800 devices such as lab analysers and ICU machines to absorb labs into the health network. Although all devices are wired and powered by electricity , it was a challenge to make these disparate devices talk to one another. In interfacing with them, Attune is bringing to life the concept of Internet of Things or a connected universe for the entire healthcare sector.

About 60% of India’s organised labs industry -which is controlled by Metropolis, Medall and Thyrocare — uses Attune’s platform. The company has 100 hospitals among its clients and it has amassed data of nine million patient records. With plans to connect 10,000 different devices in the next 18 months, Attune plans to harness the firsthand clinical data it gathers to predict the onset of epidemics and allergic tendencies to a particular drug in a specific location, among others.

For instance, the company found that diabetic patients younger than the age of 20 have a higher incidence of kidney and liver issues than those over 20, which is “a worrying trend”, said Alagarswamy. Globally, Attune’s area of work overlaps with at least two US-based publicly listed companies, Athenahealth and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, which automate hospital workflow to manage billing and bottom lines better.