This text has been sponsored by Infosys Basis.
One night time in early 2015, Nitesh Kumar Jangir was at a tertiary care hospital in Bengaluru, when he noticed one thing that shocked him.
“An toddler was delivered to the emergency paediatric care unit in an auto. That is Bengaluru we’re talking of. The primary thought that got here to my thoughts was, why wasn’t there a system in place for such instances to be delivered to the hospital with all due medical care?”
Because the docs tried their finest to revive the untimely child — who had suffered respiratory misery syndrome as a consequence of extended hypoxia (a low oxygen situation) — there was a scurry to arrange respiration equipment. 9 lengthy hours later, the infant handed away.
“This wasn’t a mere mortality statistic,” notes Nitesh, who noticed this whole scene unfolding. “It has a long-lasting affect on the households of those infants. On this case, the mom was dropping a child for the third time. The trauma can’t be imagined,” he provides.
The engineer from Rajasthan says it was this incident that gave him the concept to give you Saans — a respiration help system that may assist sort out the issue of untimely deaths in infants.
‘Equal entry to paediatric care’
“Within the case I discussed, the infant didn’t make it. However even after they do, there’s a probability of mind injury. By our analysis, we arrived on the conclusion that the perfect answer on this case is non-invasive air flow. Fifty p.c of infants who’re given CPAP (steady constructive airway strain) as the first remedy possibility survive with out extreme points,” notes Nitesh, who launched Saans underneath the startup, InnAccel Applied sciences.
Thus, he puzzled, if an answer was so available, why wasn’t it being carried out? Particularly provided that respiratory compromise is a big reason behind the practically 7000 new child deaths that happen daily globally.
Additional probing helped him perceive that present options developed by worldwide corporations had been prevalent however solely in centres that had nicely geared up NICUs (neonatal intensive care items). These had been basically designed for well-equipped, well-staffed, tertiary-care hospitals. This assumption was the issue, notes Nitesh, including that in India, most births occur in smaller, typically rural hospitals, the place such units couldn’t be deployed.
As a way to develop Saans, Nitesh and his crew at InnAccel started present units that helped infants breathe and what they required. They noticed that present applied sciences required compressed air at excessive strain, a steady provide of excessive strain, excessive movement oxygen, a fancy blender, a steady provide of electrical energy, customized tubing and interfaces,, and extremely skilled professionals. Moreover, these present units might supply just one kind of non-invasive remedy and couldn’t be utilized in transport.
“We designed a tool that may work on any oxygen supply, has a six-hour battery backup, and may work in hospital settings in addition to transport. Our system doesn’t want fixed intervention; as soon as the movement, strain and oxygen p.c are set, the machine takes care of the whole lot and the paramedic doesn’t have to verify the parameters, due the monitoring and alarm functionality within the system” he provides.
Fourteen prototypes and quite a few redesigns later, Nitesh and his crew had their last product prepared. Nevertheless, they’re nonetheless constructing and scaling up in a bid to include any suggestions they might obtain.
As we speak, over 1,000 Saans units are being utilized in hospitals throughout India, in each city in addition to rural settings. “Our objective is that whether or not it’s somebody in a top-notch hospital or somebody in a rural setting, everybody has equal entry to high quality healthcare,” notes Nitesh.
An concept born out of private observations
Even whereas the infant incident was the ultimate push for Nitesh to give you Saans, arising with medical know-how was at all times a trigger near his coronary heart.
Describing his rising years in a village in Rajasthan, he explains, “The closest emergency medical service was 120 km away in Jaipur and the roads, too, weren’t good. Individuals who wanted to entry specialised care needed to journey for hours and would typically lose their lives as a consequence of lack of well timed care.”
Nitesh provides that these observations sowed the seeds for a love of drugs in him.
“I grew up eager to be a physician and serve individuals. I cherished Biology and even gave my medical entrance examination, however when I didn’t clear, I took up engineering.”
Nitesh went on to pursue a course in bio-design, whereby engineers and docs had been skilled on find out how to work collectively to give you tech appropriate for Indian settings. After this, as a part of the coaching programme, he was required to spend time in varied hospitals conducting need-based observational evaluation.
“We’d notice why diabetic sufferers wanted to endure amputation, why individuals in ICU would get better from the first an infection however then get a secondary an infection and die, and so forth. We’d then give you options for these issues,” he says.
All of those learnings impressed his improvement of Saans, however as Nitesh says, it was help from the Authorities of India (by way of BIRAC),C-CAMP and organizations like USAID, BMGF IFC, ASME, IPE World and Infosys Basis, that allowed them to truly develop and construct the system.
‘After the Aarohan awards, we began getting recognition.’
The Rs 10 lakh funding that Nitesh secured from the Infosys Basis’s Aarohan Social Improvements Awards in 2019 not solely set the stage for future scaling up and analysis, but in addition gave them large recognition.
“I nonetheless bear in mind the night I obtained the e-mail notifying me that I used to be a winner. My mother was even happier than I, as she’d learn Sudha Murty’s books and was excited that I might be receiving an award from Infosys,” he says, including that the method that an concept went by way of earlier than successful was fascinating.
“Proper from beginning to apply to getting help from third events and the jury, the whole lot is nice. Even when one doesn’t win, going by way of the journey is an expertise in itself. The funding was good, however what was extra empowering was the acknowledgement we obtained following the award,” says Nitesh.
He provides that after they strategy hospitals or NGOs and point out the Infosys Basis’s Aarohan award, individuals place confidence in their innovation. “That is fantastic, as being startups, we face the problem of belief. When there are such a lot of units out there available in the market, individuals’s frequent query is ‘Why ought to we purchase yours?’”
However with the award and the way it helped them scale, their system has been utilized by 30,000 sufferers in 21 states, together with a deployment in each authorities particular new child care unit in Assam, Nitesh says.
“When it comes to scaling, we are actually planning on breaking into the worldwide market. We not solely wish to have a made-in-India product, however one that may be taken to the world. Typically we take issues with no consideration, however those that shouldn’t have entry understand how robust it’s,” he says.
Edited by Divya Sethu