Meet the IIM Grad Behind India’s First Scalp Cooling System for Most cancers Care

Mumbai-based Raghuveer Surupa, founding father of Stemtech Medical Gadgets, created the Eva Scalp Cooling System to assist sufferers experiencing hair loss throughout chemotherapy. The system, designed to guard hair follicles, was showcased on Shark Tank India and acquired a Rs 30 lakh funding.

In India, it’s estimated that each ninth individual might develop most cancers of their lifetime. With most cancers circumstances projected to rise to 15 lakh by 2025, sufferers typically hesitate to bear life-saving chemotherapy on account of issues about hair loss.

Chemotherapy, a vital a part of most cancers remedy, not solely targets most cancers cells but additionally damages quickly dividing wholesome cells, together with hair follicles. Research point out that roughly 65 p.c of sufferers expertise important hair thinning or loss on account of chemotherapy.

“This drawback has been persistent for the reason that creation of chemotherapy. There’s an immense stigma hooked up to hair loss and most cancers. If a lady goes bald all of the sudden, then individuals are fast to gossip about it. Apart from, there are such a lot of social or private obligations the place individuals want to retain hair — from retaining the situation personal from society to wanting a way of normalcy for his or her household to call a number of,” Raghuveer Surupa tells The Higher India.

“If a affected person has an upcoming marriage ceremony or massive occasion, then additionally they have an inclination to delay their chemotherapies. It’s unlucky that individuals delay life-saving remedy for the concern of hair loss,” he provides.

Raghuveer designed a universal cap to protect hair follicles from chemotherapy damage.
Raghuveer designed a common cap to guard hair follicles from chemotherapy harm.

To deal with this unavoidable drawback, Raghuveer has developed a singular scalp cooling system that alleviates the trauma of chemotherapy-induced hair loss. At present, his innovation ‘Eva Scalp Cooling System’ is put in in 18 hospitals throughout Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi. He says greater than 3,000 profitable classes have been performed up to now.

We sat down with Raghuveer to grasp extra in regards to the novel system and the way it can clear up certainly one of chemotherapy’s most difficult negative effects.

Understanding the scalp cooling mechanism

An engineer by training, Raghuveer pursued his increased training on the Indian Institute of Administration, Ranchi. In 2013, he joined the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and later labored with Roche the place he was a launch lead for the breast most cancers drug in India.

Impressed by his work expertise in oncology, he based his personal startup ‘Dignite’ for most cancers care. Though it didn’t succeed, Raghuveer learnt in regards to the urgency of dealing with the negative effects of chemotherapies — hair loss.

Raghuveer has developed a unique scalp cooling system that alleviates the trauma of chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
Raghuveer has developed a singular scalp cooling system that alleviates the trauma of chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

“I remembered the expertise of my aunt when she was identified with ovarian most cancers. I noticed her shedding confidence and being unable to get by together with her life. That actually triggered me. I began searching for options and that’s after I got here throughout the scalp cooling methodology,” shares the 34-year-old.

Speaking in regards to the availability of scalp cooling gadgets, he says, “An organization had made silicon-based caps that are available in three completely different sizes — small, medium, and huge. The drawback of such caps is that they can not match every kind of scalps completely, as scalps have a really sophisticated anatomical construction.”

“Chemotherapy destroys all fast-growing cells like cancerous tumours. Together with this, it additionally destroys fast-growing hair follicles as it will possibly’t differentiate between wholesome and cancerous cells. So, if the cap doesn’t match correctly, then your entire scalp won’t be cooled, inflicting excessive possibilities of hair loss in that space. This destroys the primary objective of the system,” he explains.

So, Raghuveer determined to design a cap that would accommodate all head sizes. In 2020, he launched his firm Stemtech Medical Gadgets and innovated ‘Eva Scalp Cooling System’ the place a common cap was designed to guard hair follicles from chemotherapy harm.

Currently, his innovation ‘Eva Scalp Cooling System’ is installed in 18 hospitals.
At present, his innovation ‘Eva Scalp Cooling System’ is put in in 18 hospitals.

“Our design was impressed by a lotus or a crown. Identical to they are often solely closed, our cap is wrapped across the head of the affected person, and the cap may be adjusted utilizing the velcro as per the necessity,” he provides.

Raghuveer informs {that a} affected person must put on this cover half-hour earlier than the chemotherapy infusion, throughout chemotherapy infusion, and between half-hour and two hours post-chemotherapy. The system reduces the temperature of the scalp from 35 to 16 levels Celsius.

Whereas engaged on the system, Raghuveer additionally focussed on lowering the price of the system. “Our opponents cost about Rs 25 lakh for his or her system. We decreased the associated fee drastically in order that sufferers in growing nations might additionally afford this care. Hospitals can purchase our system for anyplace between Rs 13 lakh and Rs 16 lakh relying on the variant of the system. The hospitals thereafter cost between Rs 1,500 and Rs 4,000 per affected person per session,” he informs.

Acquired Rs 30 lakh Funding in Shark Tank India

Raghuveer says his aim is to make sure that sufferers can get via the remedy with out utilizing a wig or a shawl.

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“Put up-chemotherapy, nearly all sufferers expertise full hair loss. Even when the affected person loses 30 or 40 p.c of the amount of hair when it comes to density, they nonetheless can get by with their day-to-day life. So the aim is to get to that time the place a affected person doesn’t depend on wigs or scarves to cowl their hair,” he shares, including, “Round 50 p.c of our sufferers have skilled optimistic outcomes with our system, and a few have even skilled a greater price of hair regrowth.”

Just lately, Raghuveer’s startup featured in Shark Tank India Season 3 and bagged a deal of Rs 30 lakh. “It was nice to look on Shark Tank. We received three sharks on board — Aman Gupta, Namita Thapper, and Ritesh Agarwal,” he says.

Greater than the deal itself, what excites Raghuveer is the success of the system. “4 years in the past, there was no clear answer out there to this drawback. Now, I can see that sufferers have an answer in no less than 18 installations,” he says with pleasure.

“It’s not only a beauty system. A most cancers affected person already offers with a plethora of issues. With the ability to take away one burden and add sure worth to a most cancers affected person’s life offers me an enormous sense of contentment. My function is small however the satisfaction that I get out of it’s immense,” he provides.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat. All images: Raghuveer Surupa)

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