A startup which boasts not its Balance Sheet or Net worth, but proudly flaunts the lives it has touched (2 lakh happy ending stories ) so far and the money it could indirectly save towards the cost of the treatment (approx INR 800 Crores). Incredible Devices have developed the only catheter reprocessing system in the entire world that cleans catheters making them reusable with 100% safety, accuracy and at 1% the cost of a new catheter.
Rajwinder Kaur – Founder Director
Vikram Goel – Founder CEO
THE EUREKA MOMENT
In 2009, a Family holiday trip went awry when Mrs. Rajwinder Kaur, a senior Biomedical Engineer, lost her husband subsequent to a cardiac arrest at Jaipur, India. Despite the best of the efforts, she could not save the life of her husband. Going through the ordeal, she experienced the treatment procedure involved in cardiovascular emergencies like cardiac arrest and learned various intricacies attached to it. She joined hand with her colleague Vikram Goel and both of them put their heads together and vowed to help the patients suffering from cardiovascular ailments. During their research, they learned that besides accessibility, it is the affordability issue which contributes to the majority of the death of Cardiovascular patients. They started working on a common goal to bring down the cost of the treatment procedure, like angiography and angioplasty, for Cardiovascular patients. Then the idea of reusing the catheter came into their mind. A catheter costs somewhere around Rs 2500 and goes up to Rs 90000 per piece and contributes about 20% towards the cost of the procedure. By reprocessing a catheter, effectively and safely, without compromising the clinical outcome of the treatment, the overall cost of the treatment can be brought down by 20%- which is a huge margin. That was the EUREKA MOMENT for them.
They later further found out that International Health agencies like USFDA, JCI ETC have recommended reuse/reprocessing of catheters with a rider that the accuracy should the 100% and clinically proven. The conventional method, cleaning by hand using chemical enzyme is not only time taking and expensive, but it’s also not 100% accurate and safety is not guaranteed. As per International Journal of Current Microbiology & Applied Sciences, 72% manually cleaned catheters are found positive with blood, clots or debris. Hence the doctors are hesitant to use a reprocessed catheter.
Their engineer mind started working together towards finding a solution and soon they came up with a device – which they named as Catheter Reprocessing System. They engineered a completely automated, indigenous, single-piece device which can be used with minimal training for the user. A technician has to attach the head of the catheter and push a button that’s it. The device automatically picks the types of catheter, determines the cleaning time, completes the process and stops- all within 10 minutes. Moreover, it can process 18 catheters together. And we get a safe and clean catheter ready for use-at Just Rs 20 per use, i.e. 1% of the cost of a new catheter. Catheter Reprocessing System (CRS) is an automatic computer-guided Catheter cleaning machine with inbuilt self-testing and calibration which ensures the best cleaning of the catheter. CRS inbuilt computer stringently monitors every process and effectively cleans catheters with precision and accuracy. This is not possible with the conventional method. It also eliminates all kind of human error.
THE FUTURE ROADMAP
Starting with the cardiac patients, now, the team has understood that serving cardiac patient is not the end of the story. They have widened their focus to include liver, neurosurgery, kidney, and vascular patients- wherever costly catheters are used- so that those catheters can also be reprocessed effectively and cost of treatment can be brought down and more patients can be benefited with the technology.
According to WHO Cardiovascular Disease is the no-1 cause of death globally. India alone has a load of 32 million CVD patients in 18000 hospitals. Incredible devices need to produce about 20-25 pieces a month to serve all of them but with their present facility, they are producing just about 2 pieces a month. Obviously, they need funds to meet their dream. Starting as part-time enthusiasts, from a garage, they have recently shifted now to a bigger and better-rented accommodation after financial support from Government of India, Social Alpha (A Tata Trusts Initiative) and IIT Kanpur.
THE MOTIVATIONAL FACTOR
In India, 80% of the overall expenditure on treatment cost is borne by the patient themselves. In the majority of the cases, people end up selling their land, house, and belongings to save the lives of their beloved ones. Adding to that, the import of devices like catheters further multiplies the cost of the treatment. Catheter Reprocessing System ensures safer treatment at affordable price points. “We have touched 1,00,000 lives, 1,00,000 happy ending stories resulting about 800 Crores of savings for the patients. This is the only factor which keeps us going”, says Vikram Goel, Founder, and Director.
One day a call came to them from a Govt hospital. Manoj, a rickshaw puller, was in urgent need of a catheter for his liver ailment. The cost of the catheter was Rs 32000/- and no way he could afford it. Team Incredible Devices, picked a used catheter from the same hospital, reprocessed it and provided in time to get the procedure done. Surgery could be performed successfully and Manoj was back among his beloved ones soon. “Smile on the faces of his family is the biggest award for me so far,” a proud Rajwinder Kaur claims.
The biggest setback was that when Director General of Health Service in response to RTI responded that Reuse of SUD is not regulated in India. Which means no policy, no standards, no quality control, no pricing policy exist in the country and hence patients are not getting many benefits. But Incredible devices is not deferred by such roadblocks. Being sure by their quality output they are vowed to continue with their stride to help the poor.
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Take the risk, believe in yourself and face your fears.” advice’s Vikram Goel to the aspiring entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts, “Learning time management, the delegation of responsibilities and keeping yourself updated about finances and business plan on weekly basis is the key to success for any startups”.
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