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Digvijay Singh revolutionizing diagnostics for pandemic-prone bacterial diseases with MagnaSlide.

In the pursuit of improving global healthcare, entrepreneurs like Digvijay Singh are making significant strides. Co-founding Drizzle Health, Digvijay's journey from the CBID biomedical graduate engineering program at Johns Hopkins to revolutionizing diagnostics for pandemic-prone bacterial diseases like Tuberculosis has been remarkable. Drizzle Health's flagship product, MagnaSlide, is making an impact in India's fight against TB and paving the way for exponential outcomes. This article delves into Digvijay's entrepreneurial experiences, the challenges he overcame, and how his innovative solutions are transforming the healthcare landscape. Digvijay Singh's venture into healthcare entrepreneurship began with a serendipitous encounter during a coursework trip to Brazil. Observing similarities in public health systems between India and Brazil, he realized the urgency of improving disease diagnostics. Upon discovering the alarming inefficiencies in TB diagnosis using microscopy, Digvijay and his friend from South Africa decided to address this issue head-on despite advances in PCR technology. Their initial research culminated in the creation of Drizzle Health's first product, MagnaSlide. Driven by data and a desire to make a difference, he emphasizes the importance of choosing problems where early progress can be made based on skills and network. He recounted his own initial focus on childhood TB which proved challenging to garner interest and progress due to access limitations.

However, this invaluable lesson led to the laser focus on TB diagnostics, where their solutions could make a tangible impact. Drizzle Health's unique approach to TB can be traced back to their definition of creativity - Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosophy, implores creativity as stemming from 'integration' into existing systems. Digvijay says Drizzle had to think beyond novelty and about integrating existing systems for transformative solutions. When they looked at microscopy, they realized it already had great access but needed to improve performance. So instead of developing an entirely new diagnostic, they decided to dig deeper into the reasons for low performance and solve those instead. So their low-cost piggyback device, MagnaSlide, boosts TB diagnostics' accuracy without disrupting lab infrastructure, enabling smoother adoption and implementation in the pandemic-prone diseases' diagnosis.

His parents' unwavering belief and backing were instrumental in getting Drizzle Health off the ground. He believes encouraging open discussions based on intellectual curiosity as a habit in the home, free from judgment or expectation, can foster a conducive environment for future entrepreneurs. Acknowledging his privilege, he advises aspiring entrepreneurs to focus on what truly matters to them and to pursue problems close to their hearts, regardless of trends or flashier pursuits. He highlights the significance of understanding oneself, acknowledging that intellectual, social, and financial outcomes may not always align.

Drizzle Health makes low-cost diagnostic solutions for pandemic-prone bacterial diseases, such as Tuberculosis. Their first product, Magnaslide, increases the sensitivity of sputum-based microscopy testing for TB from 55% to 95% for Rs 150. This is currently being used in India, and two new pilots are starting soon. Their other product, Medupi, is an instant non-PCR reader for detecting bacterial infections in samples like sputum. Using the two, they plan to test people, environments (such as water) and food in real-time, pre-empting outbreaks of diseases. They firmly believe that communities should be able to have such data about themselves, just like weather reports.


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