Using a NASA technology, Gujarat's Jha family from has built a novel physiotherapy device that treats wounds, fractures and paraplegia in animals at a lesser cost and in lesser time.
In the 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy to help astronauts recover from debilitating space missions. It is a non-invasive and painless therapy that sends low-level magnetic frequencies into the body to heal muscle, bones and organs and enhances the healing process.
This therapy is different from traditional laser therapy, given that the electromagnetic fields can be directed towards the injured areas directly and it has no side effects.
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While this therapy is used to treat humans, Parth Electronics Pvt Ltd, a Gujarat-based company, has developed a machine that uses the same technology for healing animals.
Started in 1980, the company has been building cost-effective technologies in various spaces like smokeless cooking stoves, home security systems, wind and solar hybrid systems and more.
In 2017, Mathura-based trust Barsana approached Shreelal Jha, founder of the company, to explore the PEMF technology. Shreelal took the opportunity to develop an indigenous device, thus adding one more feather to his innovation’s cap.
Touted as the first exclusive made-in-India model, the therapy device has treated over a hundred animals admitted at the veterinary college of Anand Agricultural University (AAU).
It is designed to suit Indian animals at 1/5th price of its European and American counterparts. Shreelal Jha spent 4-5 years developing the device along with his sons, Harshvardhan and Sarth.
“We have used this physiotherapy instrument for the treatment of wounds, fractures, paraplegia and in pain management. This modality is very useful in the treatment of veterinary patients, including dogs, horses, cows, donkeys, etc. PEMF stimulates the cells so that oxygen, water, and nutrients flow to the body. We have treated 100 animals with this device and the recovery rate is faster. We have not observed any side effects so far,” Dr Pinesh Parikh, Head Researcher of Veterinary Trials at AAU, tells The Better India.
While the AAU has given a nod to using the device, the Jha family is awaiting a safety certificate from Sardar Patel University.
The company has built two instruments — PEMF-PET for animals weighing less than 100 kilos like dogs, rabbits, cats, etc and PEMF-TAME for large animals like cows and horses. The average cost of the TAME device is around Rs 5,00,000 in international markets but the Jha family is selling it for Rs 1,02,000. The smaller device is priced at Rs 28,000.
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“As per our research, the therapy instrument designed for humans is often used for animals as well. Both our portable devices have been designed exclusively for animals. The programming, microcontroller and interfacing of analogue technology were done by Harashvardhan, who is presently pursuing a PhD from Sardar Patel University. We first experimented with the device on our friends and family and the results were effective. We did field research for two years at various NGOs and healthcare centres. Using their feedback, we built it for animals,’ says Sarth Jha, who has been involved in the R&D of the device.
The device has a detachable battery that can run for 8-11 hours on a single charge. The device has eight different programming options for problems like migraines, open wounds, injuries, etc, and depending on the frequency, the user can select a button.
“Besides being made-in-India, the device helps speed up treatment by 50 per cent. We have received orders from a Dog Hospital in Junagard and VCARE (Vadodara Center for Animal Rescue and Emergency). This device can reduce the dependency of animals on drugs and help them live longer,” adds Sarth.
Edited by Yoshita Rao
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