Danvantri is the name of the Hindu god of medicine and physician to the gods.
Danvantri is the name of the Hindu god of medicine and physician to the gods. He’s also known as the deity who promoted Ayurveda, or “life knowledge,” to the people of India – and team Danvantri is doing its best to live up to the name. Their goal is to give everyone on the planet access to their own and their family’s vital health data, so that no one has to depend on a doctor unless medical treatment is truly necessary.
The team’s offering for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a device called B.O.L.T., which features a base unit that connects to any mobile device as well as a set of accessories including a cuff for blood pressure measurements, an infrared thermometer for temperature, and a pulse oximeter for blood oxygen levels. Though this aspect of the device is currently awaiting clinical trials, Danvantri isn’t resting on its laurels – the team is still working hard to integrate electrocardiography, spirometry, blood chemistry and glucose analysis. In keeping with their goal of bringing healthcare to the masses, B.O.L.T. has a simple-to-use interface featuring a “happiness meter” that interprets the wearer’s vital statistics into a dial that ranges from “needs attention” to “all is well,” with corresponding colors – so even users with no medical experience can understand their overall health and know when to take action. “Along with XPRIZE,” says the team’s leader, Sridharan Mani, “we hope to create a platform for everyone to stay healthy and fit independent of visits to clinics.” B.O.L.T. isn’t just for the home, though. Its small size allows it to be carried anywhere, and its wide variety of monitoring and diagnostic options make it a useful tool for clinicians and paramedics in rural areas where medical equipment may not be affordable or portable enough. The device also offers trend monitoring and graphical reporting based on mobile and cloud platforms, allowing users to get a health snapshot at any point, or to track the change in their general health status over time.
Danvantri team members have collectively logged over 200,000 man-hours working in embedded systems and IT – experience that serves them well in their attempts to develop a cost-effective device for preventative healthcare. “We want to make healthcare affordable and we want to make life easier for everyone,” says the team’s mission statement – and with the B.O.L.T. device already available for purchase in India, they’re well on their way.
While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.