The India Health Fund (IHF), a joint initiative of Tata Trusts
and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, plans to expand its investment to promote start-ups battling infectious diseases. By raising over Rs 2,000 crores in the next 4-5 years, IHF aims to foster innovation in diagnostic and surveillance technologies. "COVID-19 is an eye-opener to create an ecosystem and scalable platform technologies for diagnosing and monitoring infectious diseases," Madhav Joshi, CEO of IHF, stated.
Currently, IHF supports six start-ups focusing on tuberculosis and malaria and has identified six more for seed funding. Among these are Molbio Diagnostics, which has created a portable PCR diagnostics kit, and Qure.ai, which develops AI tools for lung health diagnoses. Its chest X-ray tool, qXR, is now utilized for COVID-19 patient monitoring.
Another IHF-supported venture, Valetude Primus Healthcare, has developed an efficient device for tuberculosis diagnosis. IHF's strategy is to foster innovations that address existing health challenges and can be potentially adapted for COVID-19 and other diseases.