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Perfint Healthcare | Seeing-eye surgery

Live Mint

May 3, 2013

by S. Bridget Leena

Perfint Healthcare chief executive officer and co-founder Nandakumar S.
Photo: Sharp Image

Chennai: In late March, Perfint received its first US patent for its robotic technology. That came six years after the company started work on the technology which, in its final state, will combine images from multiple devices—computed tomography (CT Scan), magnetic reasoning scan (MRI) and ultrasound—and help guide surgeons in treating tumours through minimal invasive procedures.

Founded in 2005 as Perfint Engineering Services, it started off by doing research and development for medical equipment firms. In late 2007, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India Advisors Pvt. Ltd invested $3.5 million in the company that was renamed Perfint Healthcare. Its new focus was on developing products.

That “helped us identify product gaps in imaging equipment, which bigger companies did not focus on, and develop products that suit the need of doctors,” said Nandakumar S., chief executive officer and co-founder of the company.

Nandakumar worked at GE Healthcare for a decade, and then with a Mumbai-based investment bank and Cognizant Technology Solutions. The two other co-founders, Guruswamy K. and Puhazhendi K., had worked with him at GE. An angel investor gave them the Rs.2 crore needed to bootstrap the business.

For long, cancer has been treated through traditional methods such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Clinical surgery is not an option for patients suffering subsidiary ailments, and both radiotherapy and chemotherapy take a physical and psychological toll. Medical opinion has moved towards intervention oncology, which targets benign tumours with radio frequencies or microwaves delivered through a needle and are guided by an image. This is what Perfint is engaged in. “We have an edge over others as we have an international clinical advisory of doctors from US, China, Japan and Italy who help validate our product ideas,” said Nandakumar. In 12 months, the firm plans to launch Sonio, a device that will use ultrasound guidance (real time imaging) to identify and treat cancer. Its latest offering Maxio uses CT Scan technology. Nearly 80% of Perfint’s revenue comes from exports to the US, the Asia Pacific and Latin America.