The man behind the growth of Biorithm is CEO and Co-Founder Amrish Nair. A spin-off from Nanyang Technological University, this HealthTech startup meets the needs of expectant mothers outside of the traditional protocol by providing a maternal care solution that is tailored to their lifestyle, and perfect for this New Normal.
Through modelling care around a mother’s needs, digital tools allow clinicians and women greater flexibility around care planning. Placing the mother and child as their utmost priority, Biorithm aims for a healthy and anxiety-free pregnancy with a mother’s interests at heart.
This impressive HealthTech startup provides a single platform for medical-grade home-monitoring where maternal and fetal heart rate and uterine activity are tracked through Biorithm’s novel fetal monitor, and in addition, blood glucose level, blood pressure and weight can be monitored through Biorithm’s Femom platform. In addition to this comprehensive solution, digital questionnaires can be administered which could query fetal movements, an essential component of fetal monitoring
Biorithm’s revolutionary approach to Fetal Monitoring, the Biorithm Fetal Monitor accurately detects Fetal Heart Rate, Uterine Contractions & Maternal Heart Rate using ECG/EMG technology, which equips clinicians with the ability to detect early signs of maternal-fetal distress.
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”, and Biorithm’s timely intervention during the early stages of pregnancy would potentially improve efficiency of care. This truly aligns with this startup’s mission of building affordable and accessible cutting edge technologies.
About Amrish’s Early Life
Amrish spent his days as an undergraduate in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), a highly stimulating and learning conducive environment where he was able to maximise his potential in electrical and electronic engineering.
As an individual who constantly seeks to expand his knowledge, he embarked on a project (Qualcomm) with his advisor which primarily focuses on ECG based heartbeat tracking. With the diverse skills of Amrish, Prof Pina Marziliano, and Adj Prof David Foo coming forth to spearhead this project, compression and diagnostic schemes were developed using sparse sampling methods.
Amrish gained an extensive amount of exposure as he deep-dived into the world of electronics, algorithms and processing. His experiences with Fetal Heart Rate Detection from Abdominal ECG, Multichannel ECG Compression and Noisy Channel Detection sealed his decision to better healthcare provision.
Collaborating with one of Singapore’s top hospitals, Tan Tock Seng, gave Qualcomm an edge on ECG research as they worked with brilliant individuals. Their impressive findings eventually gave them opportunities to speak at reputable universities in Italy and Switzerland, coupled with the presenting of papers at international conferences.
Nearing the completion of his postgraduate studies, Amrish came to a decision that pursuing a PhD was not in his interest for he wanted to delve deeper into the HealthTech industry. Despite the ending of the grant by Qualcomm, the trio saw potential in their research to impact the community immensely, leading to the continuity of their outstanding work.
Journey of the HealthTech Startup, Biorithm
The ending of Qualcomm led to new beginnings for the trio, for they shifted their focus to adult cardiology, primarily focusing on software. Always seeking new ways to make a difference, being software-oriented made it hard to achieve their vision of impacting a larger audience.
The trio then headed back to the drawing board and highlighted their strengths and motivations which could potentially enable them to flourish as a HealthTech startup. These like-minded individuals came to a consensus that remote patient monitoring for expectant mothers met their social goals of supporting the community, leading to the birth of Biorithm.
Capitalising on both of their technical and clinical skills allowed them to solve a pressing pain point in cardiology and this pivotal moment for Biorithm shaped who they are today. Remotely monitoring expectant mothers in developed countries thoroughly improves access to maternal healthcare for women, a recurring theme in Biorithm’s vision and mission, empowering them with choices in places largely underserved.
Knowing that running a startup is a self-taught journey filled with various lessons learnt, Amrish wouldn’t change it for the world for it has powerfully impacted him, moulding him into the leader he is today.
An Inside Look into Amrish’s Personal Life
Behind the success of every startup lies commitment, passion and hard work. Despite the overwhelming workloads, Amrish takes time off to be present with his young daughter. As Amrish watches his little one grow, he saw growth in himself as both a father and individual for he consciously reduces screen-time, ensuring a work-life balance.
Resetting himself is of high priority to Amrish, not only to maintain balance in life but to get his creative juices flowing. A piece of advice etched in his mind is one by his designer friend, that being idle is not the same as being lazy. Amrish emphasised the importance of idle time as one often gets inspired when having a clearer headspace.
As a family-oriented individual, the ones who inspire him the most are his loved ones who are passionate about their jobs. With their zeal and constant diligence to upgrade through lifelong learning, Amrish is surrounded by determined individuals that motivate him to be the best version of himself.
Always seeking to expand his knowledge, he shared his favourite read, The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen, where he learnt that conflicting mindsets and arguments are vital for the success of Indian society. Through the presentation of competing ideas, the peak of Indian history was when arguments are encouraged and celebrated as its when innovative ideas flourish.
Thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 led to healthcare systems questioning their efficiency. Given that hospitals are perceived as a red zone to many concerned individuals, the rise of HealthTech solutions gained prominence as an alternative means to deliver care.
Amrish shared his hopes for the future of remote patient monitoring as this pandemic has sparked behavioural changes in society in ways unimaginable. Emphasizing that working with investors who are unwilling to take risks, especially on a product that requires behavioural change, COVID-19 has given many HealthTech startups an opportunity to make a difference.
The close-knitted relationships forged within Biorithm has helped them tide through the challenges this pandemic posed. Knowing that his knowledgeable team is the best at their respective responsibilities, Amrish places complete trust on his employees to effectively carry out their duties despite being far apart.
Specialising in remote patient monitoring for expectant mothers, Amrish has seen the accelerated adoption of his solutions. One of Biorithm’s private investors highlighted that hospitals around the world are repeatedly conducting physical health checkups on pregnant mothers, part of which, such as blood pressure monitoring and fetal monitoring, could be performed at home with the right equipment and processes, which increases the risk of hospital acquired infection.
Taking into account the hefty costs required to conduct a physical examination on individual mothers, UK hospitals shifted their gears to managing patients safely using digital means, without compromising both clinical care and mental health.
Hospitals in Australia place great emphasis on the continuity of care for their patients. Understanding that their healthcare system is inadequate, remote patient monitoring grew in popularity as hospitals proceeded with purchasing blood pressure monitors for their patients.
According to statistics in the UK, a majority of expectant mothers take their blood pressure at home post COVID. With Singapore, Australia and the UK striving for the betterment of their healthcare systems, Biorithm has been at the forefront of the provision of this comprehensive solution that caters to all women experiencing low-risk to high-risk pregnancies.
Partnerships During Unprecedented Times
Amrish shared that requests for remote patient monitoring skyrocketed during COVID-19. Biorithm’s increasing recognition among hospitals indicates the comprehensiveness of their solution to an existing issue. With greater pilots with hospitals, transforming the delivery of healthcare for low and high-risk pregnancies is inevitable in the near future.
Beyond their specialization of fetal monitoring, clinicians have sought their guidance on the collection of real-world evidence on pregnancy. The beauty of Biorithm is that they are providing a solution to a problem that has failed to be seen by many. This pandemic has opened up a diversity of HealthTech solutions and Amrish is looking forward to the various partnerships with world-renowned hospitals and international technology players.
Amrish’s Thoughts On Innovation
COVID-19 is indeed a creative destructive moment for the HealthTech industry, as behavioral changes of medical professionals and patients alike begin to shift. As feasible digital solutions being presented without compromising the quality of care, the future of HealthTech innovation looks promising.
As Amrish remains hopeful about the future, he stresses the importance of being part of the 2020 Galen Growth Cohort, along with many startups with a shared aim to constantly collaborate and learn from each other.
“The work Galen Growth does is important. As startups, I believe we encounter the same challenges regarding financial, legal and the procurement aspect of things. While overcoming the barrier of being a small company, the Galen Growth Cohort really amplifies our voice.”
“With 25 startups speaking about solving pain points instead of just a single startup, our voices are amplified and heard by a larger audience. We speak out on problems that exist with no agenda and Galen Growth provides a platform with no fees and equity.”
About the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort
Biorithm is part of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort, the only acceleration programme built to scale digital health startups to be the next generation powering healthcare innovation in the New Normal in Asia. In 2020, Galen Growth is working with 25 HealthTech startups which will benefit from Galen Growth’s long-established and unmatched curated community of investors, corporate leaders and innovation teams and other essential stakeholders through our proven multi-channel tools. For more information, visit Galen Growth’s HealthTech Cohort webpage or read this article on the launch of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort.
Read last week’s interview with Dinh Nguyen, CEO & Co-Founder of MediHub here.
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