India has around 11,000 dermatologists – less than one for its 100,000 people. A majority of the skin doctors are in metro cities (70%), according to the World Congress of Cosmetic Dermatology, skewing the distribution. With around 10-12% of the population estimated to suffer from skin conditions and dermatology an inherently visual speciality, it’s a market ripe for artificial intelligence-driven disruption.
That’s exactly what Cureskin, a deep learning startup in Bengaluru founded by two ex-Googlers, is taking a crack at. Its Android app (it’s not on iOS yet), which made it to Y Combinator’s summer 2017 batch, diagnoses six types of common skin conditions – pimples, acne, scars, dark spots, pigmentation, and dark circles – and recommends treatment regimens. We spoke to its founders, Guna Kakulapati and Ramakrishna R, to know about their vision for the one-year-old startup, understand why deep learning is a means to solve this problem, and what’s in their service pipeline.