Doctor’s Start-Up Invents Tech To Combat Infant Jaundice At Half The Usual Cost!

While most hospitals in bigger cities have this facility, hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 cities do not, hence putting the newborns at risk.

Did you know that Jaundice is the most common condition in newborns? It affects two out of three babies born at full term and four out of five pre-term babies.

No wonder that when as a new mother, I was worried when my older son was diagnosed with neo-natal-jaundice, the doctor and the support staff at the maternity hospital were all calm. They see such cases every day.

Treatment for jaundice

Representational image
Photo Source: shannonpatrick17/Flickr

The course of treatment for jaundice is the use of Phototherapy, which is essentially the use of visible light to combat the toxic effects of bilirubin.

While most hospitals in bigger cities have this facility, hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 cities do not, hence putting the newborns at risk. Unfortunately, according to a UNICEF report, India ranks number 12 in the world in neonatal mortality.

Lifetrons Innov Equipments

A med-tech startup founded by anaesthesiologist Dr Kiran R Kanthi is helping scores of babies in Karnataka. Started with the intent of providing adequate treatment to those in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, Lifetrons Innov Equipments is a low-cost, portable, bedside neonatal phototherapy unit that can be used in any remote healthcare setup.

A doctor turns engineer

It was his sheer passion and need to help that pushed Dr Kanthi to become an innovator. With no formal training in engineering or designing, it was an uphill task for Dr him, but not one that was impossible.

According to a report in YourStory, Dr Kanthi says, “It was difficult for me to explain to the engineers what I needed and why it was important to build the equipment in a certain way.”

It took him nearly three years to perfect the design with the help of two CAD designers.

Portable phototherapy unit
Photo Source

The report further states that Lifetron’s patent-pending phototherapy unit costs Rs 30,000, which is half the cost of the existing ones that go for Rs 60,000. The product has full battery backup and can easily be used in primary health care centres. It has undergone clinical trials in Hubli and Kiran’s nursing home. The team has also applied for certification for its equipment with the Indian Certification for Medical Devices and other bodies.

For reducing neonatal, infant, and adult mortality rates in India, this is certainly one step in the right direction.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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