The CRM major highlights the need for India-made deep engineering prowess
Voxelgrids aims to make MRIs accessible and affordable across the country, plans to OEM the technology
Chennai, NFAPost: Zoho Corp has invested $5 million (₹35 Crores) in Voxelgrids, an Indian startup that builds Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners, in order to foster development of deep technological capabilities and intellectual property (IP) in the country.
Voxelgrids manufactures 1.5T MRI scanners that are lightweight, mobile, and easy to install, operate and maintain even in remote locations such as small villages. The equipment also includes a proprietary software package for imaging purposes.
Studies estimate that close to 70% of the world’s population has no access to MRI scanners. Meanwhile in India, there are only 0.4 MRI scanners per thousand beds, with most of the access restricted to Tier-I cities. Moreover, in spite of India being a favourable medical tourism destination, procurement of diagnostic imaging equipment is still an expensive affair for hospitals and clinics, the brunt of which is borne by patients.
The Indian market is dominated by either imported machines or refurbished equipment. Voxelgrids’ indigenous MRI technology provides a next generation, cost-effective alternative that enables healthcare facilities to save on capital and operational expenditure.
Chennai-headquartered global technology company Zoho Corp CEO and co-founder Sridhar Vembu said one of the pressing concerns for the Indian economy today is the lack of indigenous industrial know-how and manufacturing capabilities.
“A healthy DeepTech ecosystem is vital to solving this issue and driving structural economic change. Voxelgrids is one of the few companies that is working to solve this problem with MRI machines entirely built in India. We need more such companies that can own and command this type of engineering know-how across different sectors,” said Sridhar Vembu.
At Zoho, Sridhar Vembu said through relentless R&D over the past 25 years, the company understand that the DeepTech ecosystem needs to be similarly endorsed by patient, long-term investments. “We hope that Voxelgrids’ success brings in more support for DeepTech products made in India,” said Sridhar Vembu.
Voxelgrids CEO and founder Arjun Arunachalam said Voxelgrids is doing research and development to generate significant IP in the MRI space with the objective of translating it into impactful applications that can make a difference in people’s lives.
“We have made notable strides in this area, and are grateful for Zoho’s support. DeepTech products, like ours, require a significant amount of time from completing the R&D to taking the product to market, and most often, this is the time where we face insufficient funding. The investment from Zoho will help us bridge this gap and speed up our efforts to scale,” said Dr. Arjun Arunachalam.
Voxelgrids has developed multiple technologies related to MRI scanners based on custom cryogenics and innovative electronic design and is looking to monetize it through OEM partnerships with other vendors in the field.
The scanner can also be mounted on custom mobile platforms and transported to remote locations where the product can be made operational within a few hours. The operational costs such as electricity consumption is also much lower than other scanners in its class. Voxelgrids also aims to have multiple full-fledged clinical sites before the end of the 2021-22 financial year.
With 50+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho Corporation is one of the world’s most prolific software companies.
Zoho is privately held and profitable with more than 9,000 employees. Zoho is headquartered in Chennai, India. Additional offices are in the United States, India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.
Zoho respects user privacy and does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including its free products. More than 60 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. For more information, please visit www.zoho.com.
Voxelgrids is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology startup that is based out of Bengaluru (Karnataka), India. The Voxelgrids team comprises mechanical engineers, RF engineers and MRI physicists with decades of experience in the field. Voxelgrids was founded by Dr. Arjun Arunachalam in the year 2017. For more information, please visit: https://www.voxelgrids.com/