The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 26 , 2014
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Vector detector coming home soon

- XLRI backs smart kit to test malaria, dengue and more

The right diagnosis at the right time is the secret to health.

Working on this premise, XLRI’s general management programme student Sunny Kalsi and his friends Naresh and Vivek have come up with a portable multi-disease detection kit. Janch, as the product is called, will test patients for diseases like dengue, malaria, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya.

At present, Naresh and Vivek are working on the model at their Pune lab.

But, a product like this needs proper marketing. It is here that XLRI steps in.

The premier B-school will nurture this start-up and help students develop contacts with the right people in the health sector.

“When I heard about the product from Kalsi, it was just another bright idea. Now, we are looking forward to incubate the project. Though the research lab is in Pune, that won’t be a problem,” said Madhukar Shukla, chairperson, Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology and Sustainability, XLRI.

Twenty-nine-year-old Kalsi, who hails from Kashmir, and has already worked as a scientist at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in New Delhi, said talks were on with his cradle authorities for the incubation of the project.

Speaking about the need for the product, Kalsi said: “There was a reason for coming up with something like Janch, which is an accurate test kit for vector-borne diseases at home. Wrong diagnosis is a common feature in our country. Janch will also financially help scores of people who otherwise keep on spending thousands on pathological tests.”

Priced affordably between Rs 150 and Rs 200, the advantages of using Janch are many. It will both save time and money, besides the portability factor is also crucial. Also less human intervention makes it more accurate.

According to the makers, the accuracy of the product is 98 per cent.

Besides the trio, consultants Abhishek and Pons Marippan are currently working on the design of the kit.

Although the team has its patent, there is a lot more to do before it is ready to come out in the market.

As of now, the kit looks something like this. It has four channels connected with a needle. The four channels are filled with different kind of antigens to test different diseases. When a user pricks his or her fingertip with the needle, the blood sample automatically flows into the channels, displaying the results.

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