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How innovation by two music lovers measures human body sounds, checks health status

As startups get a push, music lovers develop a new age stethoscope called Taal

For rapper and audiophile Sumukh Mysore, the human heart beat and various other sounds that the body makes is music to the ear. The multitude of sounds that each body makes and realisation of their importance in measuring health status is what led Mysore and his business partner Arvind Badrinarayanan develop “Taal”—a new age digital stethoscope that captures even the faintest body sound.

‘Taal’ which looks more like a sleek portable speaker, can provide live Stream body sounds on any platform be it Zoom, OBS, Google Meets, or any other software. Once the sounds are recorded or captured, the doctors Interpret them, analysing the health conditions.

The duo set up their dream venture under the brand Muse Diagnostics in 2016—a startup that has already caught the attention of Tokyo based venture capital firm-Beyond Next Ventures. After raising Rs 50 million, Muse is now set to be infused another Rs 1 billion.

The Covid 19 pandemic came as a boon for Mysore and Badrinarayanan as it further boosted telemedicine and the need for remote diagnostics.

Mysore and Badrinarayanan come from different universes. Music aficionado Mysore, 31 has even written lyrics and lent his voice as a background singer for 30 films spanning across Tamil, Kannada and Bollywood movie industries. Thirty-seven old Badrinarayanan, a veterinarian, on the other hand has been an entrepreneur dealing in finance and writing.

But a common passion brought them on the same platform and now they are focused on revolutionising the landscape of diagnosis.

“We have been in talks with several healthcare service providers and hospitals, we have got a great response from doctors..our stethoscope has the ability to filter the outside noises and other unwanted sounds while capturing the real body sounds and heart beats, which tell you your health conditions,” Mysore told India Narrative.

He added that this helps in early detection of several ailments especially those related to respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. The stethoscope is now being widely used by several ASHA workers, public health service providers, non governmental organisations (NGOs).

Muse is also partnering with various ongoing health initiative projects by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and Orissa government among others.

“The idea is also to help in creating a public health database — capture data on health conditions of children or even adults so that we as are better prepared,” Badrinarayanan said.

That apart Muse along with Apollo Homecare is trying to develop a sound test for respiratory sound acquisition.

The stethoscopes are also used for veterinary purposes.

Startups have been in focus for the Narendra Modi government. In 2016 Prime Minister Modi launched the Startup India Initiative. Earlier, SoftBank Group’s founder Masayoshi Son had expressed confidence over India’s future saying that he believed in the passion of the country’s young entrepreneurs.

Under India’s G20 presidency, a Startup Engagement Group has been set up.

According to Inc42, Indian startups raised Rs 25 billion in 2022 despite economic uncertainty — a 40 per cent decrease from the Rs 42 billion raised in 2021. However, capital inflows were 2.1X higher than in 2020, the website said, adding that the year 2022 saw an increase in venture capital investments outside of the top three startup hubs of Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, and Mumbai, with emerging startup hubs witnessing a 41 per cent surge in funding.

Also read: World needs to come together to support startup ecosystem: Piyush Goyal

Maharashtra tops list for Startup India funds to incubators