NTU EEE’s Associate Professor Pina Marziliano’s spin-off company, Biorithm (www.bio-rithm.com), is a medical signal processing company that provides cutting edge signal analysis to the medical community. Biorithm develops algorithms and remote monitoring sensors for vital signs monitoring.
Biorithm incorporated in Nov 2014 with Prof Pina, Dr David Foo (Tan Tock Seng Hospital), and Mr Amrish Nair (CEO) as co-founders. Mr Nair is an alumni of NTU EEE, having achieved his Bachelor’s and Master’s with our School. He was also a former student of Prof Pina’s Digital Signal Processing course.
Biorithm spent just under a year developing their ideas and building its value proposition around their technology, and the company went on to start full operations in August 2015.
We find out more from the co-founders about the development and future plans of their spin-off company!
What inspired you to start your spin-off company?
“The research that was being conducted by my research team and I had real world value. Given that we were already working with doctors to solve their problems, the next natural step for us was to bring the research outcomes to the medical community.”
How has NTU supported your spin-off company?
“NTU licensed the research done and Biorithm has been situated at NTUitive in Blk 79 for the past year. We also took part in a “Lean Startup” course conducted by NTUitive (www.ntuitive.sg) which helped Biorithm learn the fundamentals of product development and building a company. In addition, Spring Singapore awarded Biorithm a SGD500K Proof of Value (POV) grant to continue our research and to commercialise it.”
What are some of the achievements of your company to date?
“The Spring POV award has been one of the biggest highlights! Also, Biorithm won a hackathon (View their presentation HERE) organised by AIA and Konica Minolta and qualified as one of 8 teams for an accelerator by the same organisers. On the commercial front, Biorithm is about to sign its first two customers for our algorithm product.”
What are some of the failures your company has encountered?
“We failed to qualify for a Stanford accelerator programme despite reaching the final stage of the interview process. Also, we failed at the final hurdle for a “Bill and Melinda Gates” grant application process. This shows that while we may be headed in the right direction, there is plenty of work to be done. Admittedly, the criticisms we have received from these parties and many others have positively helped us grow!”
What was your company’s first invention and how different is it compared to your most recent one?
“It was an arrhythmia detection software which seems to interest a certain type of medical device manufacturer. The software was a result of research know-how developed during a Qualcomm grant and further development in the company. The most recent one is still under development and more information will be available soon. The major difference is the complexity. We started off simple and learned to work together as a team before embarking on more ambitious projects. We are iterating our product design by constantly validating all our assumptions and assessing needs of the key stakeholders. This is key to ensure Biorithm provides value. ”
What are some of the things your company hopes to achieve in a few years’ time?
“Biorithm hopes to be a medical device company with a social cause. We aim to build technologies and develop solutions that are accessible and affordable to low-income and developing countries and not just those that deliver the highest margins.”
What encouragement do you have for NTU EEE students about entrepreneurship and/or about the engineering industry?
“Every student has a unique perspective of the world and they should be solving problems that are meaningful to them, regardless if they do it in a large corporation or start their own venture.”
Photo Credit: UP Singapore
Published on: 23-May-2017