19-11-2017 09:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Chennai native cracks code for addictive behaviour
Akshaya Shanmugam, 29, the CEO of Lumme Inc., has made it to the 2018 edition of Forbes' 30 under 30 list. This enterprising lady from Chennai has cracked the code to beat addictive behaviour by combining wearable technology, machine learning, and behavioural psychology.
27-year-old Vivek Kopparthi, also from Chennai had made it to the 2017 list for his contributions in neonatal care technology.
Shanmugam did her higher studies in the US after completing her engineering degree in Chennai. She met Abhinav Parate while pursuing her PhD in an area that involves developing health monitoring systems outside hospitals. Parate was working on a thesis with wearables. With the help of Parate and a few professors, she took on the addiction menace and established Lumme to solve the global addiction problem.
Shanmugam said their platform automatically detects addictive behaviour, predicts indulgence in addictive behaviour, and prevents it by delivering clinically validated interventions. It also helps individuals gain better insights into their daily life and helps them understand the why, how, and what surrounding their lifestyle choices.
Shanmugam plans to launch the product in the market by the summer of 2018 after the process has been clinically validated. She informed that the first phase involves the launch of smoking cessation platform. They intend to tie up with corporates so they can include this as part of their employee wellness programmes adding that predictions were made with 95% accuracy in 2 trials.
Explaining how it works, she said that the person addicted to smoking has to just wear the smartwatch and go about his/her routine. The platform passively monitors smoking behaviour and looks at other factors like the time of the day, their movements and social interactions. It then makes an assessment of the smoking patterns of the users and predicts when they are likely to smoke next. Based on the prediction, the platform is able to send an alert 6 minutes before they are about to light a cigarette.
The research was conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Yale School of Medicine. The National Institute of Health raised $1.7 million in funding for Lumme.
Shanmugam felt honoured to be on the list. She states that it is a validation of the potential in the technology that they have developed and motivates them to make further meaningful contributions to the field of healthcare.