Lord’s Mark Industries, a prominent diversified business group, has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) to revolutionize sickle cell testing in India. The first-ever AI-enabled POS equipment in the country, patented by IIT Bombay, will address challenges associated with sickle cell testing, making it more accessible and convenient with 100% accuracy, the company claimed.
The announcement was made at a conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, Mumbai. Lord’s Mark Industries will invest Rs 25 crores to develop and distribute the technology-enabled POS equipment, targeting revenue of Rs 100 crores by year 2026-27.
Lord’s Mark Industries will use its in-house R&D team to manufacture the sickle cell POS instrument at its IVD manufacturing facility in Vasai. The equipment will be available in government healthcare centers, pathology labs, and Lord’s Mark Industries’ pathology labs throughout the country.
“Through this with IIT-B, Lord’s Mark Industries is committed to providing innovative and effective solutions to sickle cell testing across India, especially in rural regions. We are also investing in the establishment of 1000 pathology labs across the country, with an initial investment of Rs. 50 crores, to provide easy access to sickle cell testing and other healthcare services. With the support of the Central Government, we aim to make equipment and testing available across government healthcare centers and hospitals,” Sachidanand Upadhyay, Founder, Lord’s Mark Industries said in a statement.
The microscopy-based test developed by Prof. Debjani Paul and her team from the Dept. of Biosciences & Bioengineering at IIT-B can distinguish between healthy, sickle trait, and sickle anemia blood samples at the point of care.
The company claims that this is the only microscopy test that can actually distinguish carriers from individuals who have sickle anemia within 30 minutes. Typically it would take 24 – 48 hours to identify the carriers.
The government has taken measures to improve sickle cell anemia detection and treatment in central and southern regions such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Telangana. Measures include newborn screening, a national eradication campaign, clinical trials, and premarital counseling protocols.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has circulated advisories and Rs. 60 crores has been released to the states seeking grants to tackle the disease, including screening.