Youth is the most important and dynamic segment of the population in any country. Youth is the backbone of a society and hence they determine the future of any country. It is believed that developing countries with large youth populations could see tremendous growth. Youth are the real assets of any country. WHO defines youth as the 15-24 year age group. Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 percent of the global population. India has the largest youth population. Almost 35 percent of the Indian population comprises youth. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu. Punjab, Andhra Pradesh has the highest numbers of youth in our country. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) endorsed the recommendation that August 12 be declared as International Youth Day. Since then it is celebrated to raise awareness about the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world. The theme of International Youth Day 2021, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health. We at Medicircle are conducting International Youth Day Awareness Series to promote and cherish our youth entrepreneurs that are responsible for the tremendous growth of the country through their hard-working and innovative skills.
Nitesh Kumar Jangir is a co-founder of InnAccel, a medical device company with a vision to prevent preventable deaths in the field of emergency and critical care. He was also a part of the Stanford India Biodesign Program where he developed and (Thorashield) was licensed out to a medical device manufacturing company. He commercialized a device to safely tap pleural fluid in patients with pleural effusion. This technology is an active investor and has filed and granted six patents in – field of medical devices and artificial intelligence. His achievements are - a Commonwealth Innovation Award Winner, Forbes 30 Under 30 (India and Asia), Acumen India Fellow, a Leaders in Innovation Fellow-Royal Academy of Engineers UK, Top 20 of Impact hallmarks Impact Person of the decade 2010-20 and an INK Fellow.
Nitesh says, "Govt of India has initiated education programs where doctors and engineers are trained together to innovate solutions required in the healthcare segment. 75-80 % of medical devices are being imported in India but these devices are not designed as per our system. Thus government recognizes this problem and started this education program. I was enrolled here. After receiving training, we were sent to big hospitals to analyze the basic problems of hospitals. We made a list of problems and then started working to find out the solution to the top 3 problems. One of the common problems among them was the ventilator.”
Nitesh explains, “Ventilators are for giving artificial breathing support to patients. Patients on ventilators find it difficult to swallow their saliva. This saliva slowly reaches the lungs and causes infections in them as saliva is a good medium for bacteria growth. This results in pneumonia and the condition are called ventilator-associated pneumonia. This is the most common and critical infection one can get in hospitals. And then we started working on this problem. We developed VAPCare – intelligent secretion and oral hygiene management system for ICU patients on mechanical ventilation.”
All about VAPCare - Intelligent secretion and oral hygiene management system
Nitesh elaborates, “VAPCare provides a system for intelligent and accurate removal of saliva and secretions in a ventilated patient- without any risk of exposure of the nurse to these secretions. This makes sure that secretion saliva doesn't reach the lungs. Along with this, the system keeps pushing antibacterial and antiviral fluid inside the patient's mouth to kill any virus if present. This way whole process becomes cleaner and the chances of getting deadly infections reduce drastically. This product has been globally patented, and it has shown strong effectiveness in clinical trials. The product has been approved by the US FDA, European CEA and will be globally launched in the coming months. In India, it's already in the market and is also being used in hospitals."
Saans – Non-invasive ventilator for premature babies
Nitesh adds, “The survival rate on an invasive ventilator is less than 20%. The second innovation is Saans – a portable, neonatal CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) device. It is a non-invasive delivery support system, especially for premature babies. It is a device that can be powered in multiple ways, required nominal skills, supports breathing, and also monitors body parameters. The device is designed to provide short-term breathing support for infants suffering from any respiratory disorder."
Nitesh tells, “We have also launched Saans Pro. 650 devices are running across India and more than 10,000 patients have used these devices for breathing support. Big batch production is under process. Our machines are capable of matching the global standards.”
Nitesh expresses, “To develop a proper medical device, the initial investments are very high. In India, it's hard to get trained human resources. Safety is also important hence we require the best people. Health regulatory varies from one country to other. Every health regulatory have their own set of guidelines different from others and their compliance was a big challenge. These kinds of innovations can’t happen in some months. It requires years of hard work, so you need to be mentally prepared for it. But the good side is both social and financial terms are really good. There are high chances of you to get success. And competition-wise, there are not many competitors to compete with.”
A valuable piece of advice
Nitesh advises, “Healthcare is an upcoming area and healthcare innovation will become what software was 20 years back. Healthcare innovations include start-ups, medical devices, and biotech life science. You should be mentally prepared to invest crucial years of your life. You need to figure out your financial support at the beginning itself. Identify your market in advance, accordingly plan your resources. There is a high scope of innovation with the social impact that gives immense satisfaction.”
(Edited by Renu Gupta)