This Startup's Mission to Study India's Genomic Diversity and Help Citizens Live a Healthy Life
New Delhi: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Fit India movement with great fanfare, he exhorted citizens to stay healthy for a fitter and healthier nation.
Now imagine enjoying the health benefits of 40 years at the age of 70. Experts says our genes can help us understand our health risks and sometimes, even help us stay away from all kinds of ailments.
With this in mind, three former IITians settled in London and Singapore and an Israeli-American had launched a start-up named GLOBAL GENE CORP.
The findings of this company will enable India become a leader in the field of cutting-edge technology-driven healthcare.
Started in 2013, the company is headed by Sumit Jamuar who soon will feature in first episode of “TED Talks India Nayi Baat” hosted by superstar Shahrukh Khan.
Jamuar is a chemical engineer from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi and was one of the 40 global CEOs in the World Economic Forum’s Global Precision Medicine Council.
Jamuar says his company is the largest in terms of building genetic research and its mission is to map and organise India’s genomic diversity to ensure a healthy and long life for all.
He says the impact will be similar to the mobile phone revolution in India. It will help every citizen leapfrog to a healthcare of the future enabled by the technology of genomics (the science of studying ones DNA).
India is one of the most diverse countries and yet, it is very poorly understood because of very limited genetic references, he says.
Almost 80% of all genomic data and insights are of European ancestry — the Indian subcontinent contributes less than 2% of it even though India has almost 4,500 sub-population groups out of the 10,000 that exists worldwide.
Now, the question arises how the research conducted by this start-up will be helpful in Indian conditions?
Everyone knows that India lags far behind in research and development. Even Modi has repeatedly reminded that India needs to focus more on this and stop the brain-drain.
This young team hopes to make a giant leap in healthcare through technology and save costs and resources by making it precise and effective. The start-up claims it will also create high skilled jobs.
Each job that Global Gene Corps creates has a multiplier effect of creating 10-15 jobs in the ecosystem. Also, the company plans to bring experts from Cambridge and Boston to India.
If successful, this would indeed be a revolution not only in terms of research, but also go a long way in understanding the health issues of the subcontinent.