RICOVR Healthcare and IIT Madras Receive ‘Ignition Grants’ Award for COVID-19 Diagnostic Device


Princeton, USA, Sept. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Biosensor Platform uses a small drop of saliva to provide high quality, cost-effective results in 5 minutes & detect active viral particles on the spot without needing a specialized apparatus

RICOVR Healthcare Inc., an US-based rapid diagnostics platform company and IIT Madras have developed a revolutionary point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test that can provide results in five minutes using saliva. This project won the prestigious ‘Ignition Grants’ Award from the U.S. India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF).

USISTEF, a joint fund established by the U.S. and India to promote innovation through science and technology, announced the results recently after a rigorous binational review process of over 400 proposals, The Ricovr-IIT Madras team was selected for its out-of-the-box, innovative idea to address the COVID-19 challenge.

RICOVR Healthcare’s patented biosensor platform uses a small drop of saliva to provide high-quality, cost-effective results in approximately five minutes. IIT Madras is collaborating with RICOVR to bring this novel COVID-19 antigen test to the market. The innovative approach of detection and simple use of saliva will help bring a cost-effective, accurate, and user-friendly device to global markets in need of more immediate diagnostic tools.

Highlighting the unique aspects of this collaboration, Dr. Himanshu Bhatia, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RICOVR Healthcare Inc., said, “RICOVR is proud to receive this distinguished award that highlights the strong collaboration with its R&D partner, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Given the scientific vetting process’s rigor, this achievement adds credibility to our already-proven technology. Our scientific approach and methodical steps continue to propel RICOVR in the right direction. With this recognition and partnership, we are confident we can achieve better outcomes and a robust testing platform for COVID detection.”

The RICOVR and IIT Madras collaboration is intended to support a successful joint U.S.-India entrepreneurial initiative devoted to battle COVID-19. It focuses on developing and implementing new technologies and systems to satisfy unmet rapid and reliable testing needs. RICOVR Healthcare is one step closer to bringing the Point-of-care Fiber-optic Biosensor (P-FAB) Device from the lab to the market.

Elaborating the technology behind this COVID-19 Diagnostic Device, Dr. V. V. Raghavendra Sai, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “This technology is differentiated from the other molecular and antibody-based test in that it can detect the presence of active viral particles on the spot without needing a specialized apparatus. Our lab has already demonstrated and shown the capability of our technology in other diagnostics fields.  This award will help us rapidly progress our work for this much-needed diagnostics test. This can be a game-changer in the management and control of COVID-19.”

The USISTEF had called for proposals under the category of ‘COVID-19 Ignition Grants’ in April 2020. The intent was to support promising joint U.S.-India entrepreneurial initiatives that address the development and implementation of new technologies, tools, and systems to address COVID-19 related challenges, including monitoring, diagnosis, health and safety, public outreach, information, and communications.

Reiterating the relevance of mutual cooperation, U.S. Ambassador to India Mr. Kenneth I. Juster emphasized, “The U.S. Government is pleased to partner with the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology to provide initial financing to almost a dozen promising technologies, chosen from over 400 proposals, which seek to help the world in its global fight against COVID-19. This is just one area where American and Indian ingenuity is working together to serve our peoples and the broader international community.”

Point-of-care diagnostics, or near-patient testing, is a type of medical diagnostic test that enables accurate, real-time, laboratory-quality diagnostic test results within minutes. Testing at the point of care in this way increases the efficiency of the diagnostic and testing process, and helps to ensure that patients are receiving the highest-quality care by freeing up invaluable time normally occupied by waiting for test results. Point-of-care diagnostics market that the company operates in is expected to generate US$50.51 billion in revenues by 2026 in the United States alone


RICOVR, a leader in the oral diagnostics and testing market, was founded by Dr. Himanshu Bhatia, a physician executive with a deep background in medical devices and biotechnology. Along with Piyush Sadana, co-founder and seasoned entrepreneur with an investment banking and deep tech background, the firm boasts a distinguished advisory board and management team of scientists and engineers committed to making a positive impact on society. The company has strong partnerships with leading research and development institutions around the globe. To learn more about Ricovr, visit

Follow RICOVR on Facebook: RicovrHealth

Follow RICOVR on Twitter: @ricovr_health 

Media contact for RICOVR

Kyle Muse – [email protected]


Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an ‘Institute of National Importance.’ The activities of the Institute in various fields of Science and Technology are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary research academic centres. The Institute offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to B.Tech., M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Tech., M.S., and Ph.D., degrees in a variety of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 580 faculty and 9,500 students. Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. IITM fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell.

IITM has been ranked No.1 in the ‘Overall’ Category for the second consecutive year in India Ranking 2020 released by National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. The Institute has also been ranked No.1 in the ‘Engineering Institutions’ category in the same Rankings for five consecutive years – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. It was also adjudged as the ‘Top innovative Institution’ in the country in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) in 2019 and 2020. ARIIA Ranking was launched by the Innovation Cell of Ministry of Education.

Follow IIT Madras on Facebook: ReachIITM
Follow IIT Madras on Twitter: @iitmadras


Bhavani Giddu – Footprint Global Communications
Cell: 9999500262 / Email: [email protected]
Sairam Radhakrishnan- IIT Madras Media Cell, Chennai
Cell: 9840108083/ Email: [email protected]
Manmohan Negi – Footprint Global Communications
Cell: 96541 15779/ Email: [email protected]

Media Details:
Company Name – RICOVR Healthcare Inc.
Company E-mail – [email protected]
Company website –






Get Early Access The Changing Cannabis Landscape A Practical Guide

Read More >
Scroll to Top

Join Early
Access Now!