Indian startup develops a mobile app to detect Covid-19 in 5 minutes

Lyfas has been developed by a startup, Acculi Labs in association with the Union government’s CAWACH (Centre for Augmenting WAR with Covid-19 Health Crisis) initiative.

An IT company in Bengaluru has developed an application capable of capturing an individual’s vital health statistics through mobile phone. According to the ministry of science and technology, it will determine an individual’s proneness to Covid-19 infection and can potentially play a vital role in early detection of the disease and risk assessment of the infected population.

This application creates an individual’s Covid risk assessment profile called Lyfas Covid score. Lyfas is different from AarogyaSetu which works by contract tracing and requires an individual to feed symptoms. But this is a proper medical screening test which purely depends upon test results.

Lyfas has been developed by a startup, Acculi Labs in association with the Union government’s CAWACH (Centre for Augmenting WAR with Covid-19 Health Crisis) initiative.

This new medical screening technology has the potential to detect possible infection in an asymptomatic individual which in turn helps to prioritise the conventional testing queue as well as in risk assessment of those individuals to establish if they can become symptomatic apart from assistance in risk assessment for recovery.

Generation of Lyfas Covid score has been achieved through repurposing Lyfas; a clinical-grade, non-invasive, digital functional biomarker smartphone tool for screening, early detection, root cause analysis, acute event risk assessment, prognosis, and home monitoring of chronic diseases.

A statement from the Science and Technology department, Government of India says “Lyfas is an Android application in which, when one keeps the index finger on the rear camera of a mobile phone for 5 minutes, captures the capillary pulse and blood volume change and derives 95 biomarkers with proprietary algorithms and signal processing techniques. It uses the power of smartphone processors and smartphone sensors to capture a bunch of body signals.”

The captured signals are then processed on the principle of Photoplethysmography(PPG), Photo Chromatography(PCG), Arterial Photoplethysmography(APPG), mobile spirometry, and Pulse Rate Variability(PRV).

The statement added “Lyfas then provides cardio-respiratory, cardio-vascular, haematology, hemorheology, neurology based parameters that are capable of tracking minute pathophysiological changes in the body. These changes are further profiled into organ system-wide response.”

The accuracy of this technology has been proved to 92%, specificity of 90% and sensitivity of 92% according to a study conducted with Medanta Medicity Hospital.

The government statement also says “Witnessing the success of the study, the Medanta ethics committee has approved it for a larger population study. This study is currently registered in Clinical Trials Registry- India (CTRI) and is acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

CAWACH is supporting market-ready innovations for control of Covid-19 and startup ideas to address associated challenges. Acculi Labs was selected after several rounds of screening for a solution towards mass screening.

Lyfas has received a grant of Rs 30 Lakh from DST and is now virtually supported by IIT Madras, Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), MedTech Incubator.

The clinical trials and regulatory proceedings for Lyfas Covid Score are expected to be completed by the end of September, after which the testing facility will be made public.


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