Meet Akshaya Shanmugam, who made it to the Forbes's 30 under 30 list

The technology is in the process of being clinically validated and is expected to hit the market by 2018 summers.

Forbes released its 30 Under 30 list of young, bright entrepreneurs and visionaries and this time, Chennai girl Akshaya Shanmugam, CEO of Lumme Inc. is making India proud. The 29-year-old Chennai native has made it to the list of for developing a software that can help smokers quit smoking and even predict a relapse.

The software senses the smoker’s movements and sends a notification telling them not to smoke. Shanmugam’s venture is funded by the National Institutes of Health and has raised USD 1.7 million.

With a vision to solve global addiction problems, Shanmugam, while talking to a leading daily said,

Our 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.

The technology is in the process of being clinically validated and hopes to hit the market by 2018 summers. Shanmugan was quoted as saying,

The first phase of our launch is the smoking cessation platform. We will tie up with corporates so they can include this as part of their employee wellness programmes.

Speaking of her accomplishment, the ecstatic achiever quipped,

It is quite an honour to be part of this list. It is a validation that there is potential in the technology that we have developed. This only drives us further to make meaningful contributions to the field of healthcare.

How will it work for a person with smoke addiction?

Explaining about the software, Shanmugam said that addicts can wear the smartwatches and go about their routine in the first two weeks. 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 will send an alert 6 minutes before they are about to light a cigarette.

Elaborating on the prediction accuracy, Shanmugam added,

We have had two national scale clinical trials and are in the midst of the third. With the first two, we were able to make predictions with 95 % accuracy.

How did it happen?

Shanmugam is a pass out from Chettinad Vidyashram and went on to pursue engineering at Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering College. In 2009, she moved to the US for higher studies. During her PhD days in an area that involves developing health monitoring systems outside hospitals, she met Abhinav Parate who was working on a thesis with wearables. He has extensive experience with designing smartphone-based solutions that has been widely used by research groups. Then, along with Parate and a few other professors, she set up Lumme to solve the global addiction problem.

This work is an outcome of research conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Yale School of Medicine.

Earlier, Vivek Kopparthi, 27, had made it to the 2017 list of Forbes’ ’30 under 30′ for his contributions in neonatal care technology.

Check out Akshaya Shanmugam’s journey through this video: