Rajwinder Kaur

Hope for Heart Patients

A Biomedical Engineer by profession, Rajwinder lost her husband due to a heart attack. She started a social enterprise Incredible Devices which developed a machine called Catheter Reprocessing System which reduces the overall treatment cost of cardiovascular diseases by up to 55%.

Rajwinder Kaur is a single mother and Biomedical Engineer by profession. She lost her husband to a heart attack. She realised the pinch of losing someone to an illness which is the major cause of death globally.

Despite being the only earning member in her family with 3 dependents, she started a social enterprise by the name of Incredible Devices and, along with her co-founder, Vikram Goel, started working on developing a self-sustainable solution to resolve the world number 1 problem and save millions of other poor patients from sharing her husband’s fate.

According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases (i.e. Heart, Brain and Vascular diseases) are the number 1 cause of death globally, killing 17.5 million people every year. According to World Bank, 82% of these deaths occur in middle and lower income group because of very expensive treatment. India has the highest number of patients (32 Million) with 67% of population living in poverty. As Rajwinder says, “People were dying because they could not afford treatment. The great challenge was how to make it affordable and save millions of poor lives.”

Her team developed a machine called Catheter Reprocessing System (Patent Applied). This machine reduces the overall treatment cost of cardiovascular diseases by up to 55%. Her team intends to benefit 36 million patients by 2020. This invention has won around 22 international and national awards which include ‘Best Innovative Medical Product of the Year’, awards from Stanford University (USA), Texas University (USA) and so on.

Rajwinder provides the following information:
● Angiography and angioplasty are the most widely used diagnostic and therapeutic techniques adopted in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Catheters are required to carry out these treatments.
● Catheter is a disposable device used for treatments and needs to be discarded after use. Statistically, the number of catheters that are required in each procedure varies from 2-3.
● The cost of catheters varies from INR 2,500 to 1 lakh, depending upon procedure to procedure. Catheters contribute to 10-55% of overall treatment cost.
● Worldwide healthcare regulatory agencies such as US FDA, NABH, JCI etc. issued guidelines for reuse of catheters to make treatment cost effective. In absence of any cleaning machine, hospitals adopted the conventional cleaning method.

Drawbacks of the conventional method of catheter cleaning:

● User cleans catheters with syringes using chemical and water. After cleaning, catheters are sterilized by ETO. This is an acceptable practice worldwide and is performed on daily basis. But it is an entirely manual process which does not have standardized cleaning quality and is prone to human errors.
● Improper cleaning may cause of transfer of diseases from one patient to another.
● It is completely manual; hence 100% quality assurance is not possible with random sampling. Testing each and every catheter is not practically or financially possible.
● Since it is an entirely manual process, reprocessing is performed by skilled labour which is very expensive.
● Catheters can be reused up to 2 times maximum.
● Chemical used for catheter cleaning is very expensive.

Catheter Reprocessing System: A Unique Solution

● Incredible Devices Pvt. Ltd (IDPL) has developed a patent applied machine named Catheter Reprocessing System (CRS) which resolves all these problems and makes catheter reprocessing 100% patient safe.

● It is an automatic computer- guided catheter cleaning machine with inbuilt self-testing and calibration which guarantees 100% cleaning of catheters every time.

● It stringently monitors and effectively cleans catheters with precision and accuracy which is not possible with conventional method. It also eliminates all kind of human error.

● Cost of new catheters starts from Rs 2500/- whereas reprocessed catheter costs Rs 20/- only. On an average, 1-3 catheters are required. So, instead of paying Rs 2,500-7,500 earlier, patient now has to pay Rs 20-60 each time.

Thus, a reduction of 99% in catheter price decreases the overall treatment bill and benefits population at large. Catheters can be reused up to 10 times. (80% more than conventional method). Uniquely designed for ease of use, C.R.S. not only made catheter 100% antigen and microbes free but also drastically reduced the reprocessing cost (Less than Rs. 20/- per catheter). Its computerized technique also standardizes the complete process & eliminates human errors. This project has had a several social impact thanks to the initiative and efforts of Rajwinder.

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