Worldwide, over a billion plus patients suffer from medical conditions like vertigo, migraine, epilepsy, concussion, ADHD etc. There’s something common to these plus 20 such medical conditions. All these conditions throw up manifestations in the eyes. Eyes are the windows to a patient’s neuro vestibular world. If these manifestations are measured accurately, they can throw up early stage diagnostic insights to a patient’s neuro vestibular system. At Cyclops, a highly skilled team of medical experts and professionals is building products which can provide early stage diagnostic insights to various neuro vestibular disorders.
Cyclops Medtech’s first product, BalanceEye is a clinical diagnostic platform for finding out the root cause for dizziness and balance disorders. It finds application in Otolaryngology (ENT), Neurology and Audiology. Launched in 2017, in a short span of less than a year, it has become India’s most popular balance assessment platform.
BalanceEye is a 3 tiered solution with a hardware tier, image processing tier and machine learning tier.
The founding team
The founding team at Cyclops is composed of Dr. Srinivas Dorasala, Niranjan Subbarao and Dr. Ravi Nayar. Let’s know more about them!
Dr. Srinivas Dorasala is an ENT Surgeon specialising in neuro vestibular disorders with over 15 years of clinical and surgical experience. Prior to co-founding Cyclops Medtech, he was heading the department of ENT at BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore. He is a KOL in the space and conducts workshops and delivers lectures around the world regularly. He has many publications to his credit. At Cyclops, he takes care of product innovation and development.
Niranjan Subbarao is an entrepreneur and a marketing professional. This is his second startup in the medical space. Prior to co-founding Cyclops, he had founded a medical content and conferencing startup. At Cyclops, he is responsible for sales and marketing, strategy and partnerships.
Dr. Ravi Nayar is an ENT and Head Neck Surgeon and a senior academician. He was earlier heading the department of ENT at St. John’s Medical College and Research Centre. He is a medtech innovator and has mentored many young medtech startups. At Cyclops, he is the chief scientific officer.
In addition to the founders, their core team comprises Shekar Tippur, CTO and Ajith Rao, Software Architect. Shekar specializes in data sciences and cloud computing. Ajith specialises in computer vision and image processing.
The team’s core strength lies in their holistic team composition. They have clinical expertise, domain knowledge, technology expertise as well as business expertise amongst their core team members.
India, despite having a very large medical device market is largely import driven. We import close to 75% of our medical equipment and technology.
“We believe, despite having abundant clinical knowledge, tech resources and patient pool, it’s unacceptable to be an import driven market. Dr. Srinivas, being a neuro vestibular practitioner, had identified many gaps in the diagnostic ecosystem which could be plugged with world class Indian made products. During our brainstorming sessions, we discovered that pupil tracking holds a lot of potential in diagnosing neuro vestibular disorders. There are over a billion patients worldwide suffering from neuro vestibular disorders. So we saw a large patient base and inherent capability to innovate and build products for this space,” said Niranjan Subbarao, Co-founder, Cyclops Medtech.
Cyclops is a medtech startup building clinical and wearable diagnostic and rehabilitation products for neuro vestibular disorders using eye tracking technology. Their first product BalanceEye is being used to diagnose root cause for vertigo, balance disorders and stroke with acute vertiginous syndrome. The solution involves eye tracking goggles, image processing engine, cloud backbone and machine learning based interpretation modules. Primary users of the product are Neurologists, ENT Specialists and Audiologists.
Vertigo and dizziness are symptoms. Root cause can be in the inner ear, middle ear, brain stem, brain clot or even a tumour. BalanceEye diagnoses the root cause and helps clinicians pursue optimal treatment path. All these conditions present accurately measurable manifestations in the eyes. If tracked and interpreted accurately, they provide excellent diagnostic insights. The solution involves eye tracking goggles which capture eye video and send the same to desktop, where the image processing engine extracts values and graphs and sends the same to the cloud. The ML module on the cloud analyses data and sends back accurate interpretations.
Conventionally vertigo and balance assessment involved expensive equipment with dedicated physical infrastructure. Through their patent pending technology, the team has completely eliminated the need for dedicated physical infrastructure. BalanceEye can be used anywhere including clinical OPDs. For complete balance assessment, clinicians perform 3 major tests: Videonystagmography, Video Head Impulse test and Subjective Visual Vertical. Conventionally all these 3 are available in different devices. With BalanceEye, clinicians can perform all these 3 tests through a single device. Their core proposition is:
- World class affordable solution
- Ease of use
- Support in interpretation
The early days
Initially, the team’s core focus was on getting the product out in the market. They wanted to launch a patient ready device with a very strong core offering. Once they were successful in that, they started releasing various modules around the core. Their next objective was to exploit their first mover advantage to the full extent and quickly consolidate their position in the market.
“Today, we are happy to note that in India we have more installations in the market than combined installations of 5 major global competitors over the last few years. We have achieved a great deal of traction in the last 1 year. We owe this to our strong and dedicated team, our early customers who were very encouraging and startup ecosystem partners,” Niranjan Subbarao added.
The team members set themselves a very lofty target of 100 installations in the first year and are happy to note that they got very close to the target. In the coming year, they are launching 2 more products and are looking at further augmenting their market leadership in India and also making rapid inroads into a few other markets in Asia where they have had initial successes.
The billion patients with neuro vestibular disorders and a firm belief that the team can make a difference to their lives through early diagnosis, cheaper diagnosis and accurate results.
Journey so far
It’s been a very adventurous and adrenaline filled journey for the team. They have been fortunate to find the right resources at the right time. Market response has been overwhelming and investor traction has been pretty good.
The way ahead
The startup is looking at itself as a multi product company with a strong focus on neuro vestibular disorders.