Physician Sells Automobile To Construct ISO-Licensed Robotic That Makes Surgical procedures Cheaper

Throughout a quick encounter with a affected person’s brother, Dr Sudhir Srivastava, a famend heart specialist and the founding father of SS Improvements, skilled a transformative shift in perspective relating to his work. This encounter befell throughout a fateful go to to India, which finally served as a catalyst in his journey to develop made-in-India surgical studies.

The case concerned a 22-year-old feminine identified with an atrial septal defect — a congenital coronary heart situation characterised by a gap within the septum, the wall that separates the guts’s higher chambers (atria).

She was identified fairly late and was in a important situation. The hospital was charging Rs 4 lakh for the surgical procedure, and her brother couldn’t afford it. Whereas the physician volunteered to do it without cost, the hospital didn’t.

“His brother requested for a while and tried to lift the cash, however sadly, I by no means heard from them once more. To be trustworthy, it nonetheless haunts me,” Dr Sudhir remembers in a dialog with The Higher India.

This incident left him with sleepless nights and a mission — to develop an economical system that may assist folks from each background within the nation.

The end result was the creation of a surgical robotic known as SSI Mantra. This modern know-how assists docs in conducting advanced surgical procedures with precision and ease, decreasing prices by one-third in comparison with guide surgical procedures.

A science firm with a mission

Born in Rajasthan, Dr Sudhir moved to the US in 1972 for his postgraduate research. He accomplished his residency in Cardiothoracic Surgical procedure on the College of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

He practised for some years in Texas earlier than changing into the founding chairman of Alliance Hospital, a centre for heart problems in West Texas, together with 10 different physicians.

The surgical robot reduces risks in surgery and increases recovery rate.
The surgical robotic reduces dangers in surgical procedure and will increase the restoration fee; Image credit score: SSI Improvements

“I used to be at all times excited about minimally invasive approaches when it got here to surgical procedures and never splitting open the sternum. That is the place I obtained the possibility to carry out numerous robotic surgical procedures and 30 % of the sufferers went residence in a day,” he remembers. “Having carried out so many robotic surgical procedures, I might come to India to coach folks in robotic surgical procedures. Again then, India didn’t have its personal robotic system.”

In 2002, he carried out his first robotic surgical procedure in India. “I stored coming again to the nation however in 2011, I obtained a suggestion from a serious hospital to launch their robotic surgical procedure programme,” he says.

Dr Sudhir says he had at all times longed to be again residence, so he jumped on the alternative, packed his luggage, and moved again along with his household.

“At the moment, there have been solely six to seven robotic methods, that too exported, so there weren’t many sufferers that would afford to pay these two to a few lakh rupees extra for robotic surgical procedure. It was round this time once I met the 22-year-old affected person’s brother,” he says.

The entire incident made the physician realise that the nation wants a system that’s cheaper. “Due to the excessive prices we can not provide the perfect therapy to the sufferers, and to cut back the fee, we now have to develop it within the nation itself,” he says.

So the physician made a dedication to the trigger and determined to place his apply on maintain in 2013. “Having executed over 1,400 surgical procedures and with my data of robotic surgical procedures, I made a decision to make use of my life financial savings of 4.5 million {dollars},” he says.

“Initially, I went to Germany to satisfy a few of their scientists for an change of know-how. Nevertheless, it was not successful. Then, I got here again to India and shaped a crew of 10 engineers and began the event out of my residence,” he says.

Why robotic surgical procedures and the way do they work

Dr Sudhir explains why robotic surgical procedures are vital. “Depth, precision and security. These are three issues that surmise why we’d like robotic surgical procedures. With the assistance of know-how, the surgeon will get an in-depth image of the affected person’s elements to be operated on,” he informs.

The technology has successfully assisted doctors in performing 500 surgeries so far
The know-how has efficiently carried out 500 surgical procedures thus far; Image credit score: SSI Improvements

“The high-end pictures make the surgical procedure extra exact and therefore safer. The surgeon must fear to be correct with one thing as easy but dangerous as stitching a wound with a beating coronary heart beneath,” he provides.

The physician initially developed SSI Mantra, however after some time, he launched an enhanced model known as SSI Mantra 2. The objective of the system was to make it user-friendly, ergonomic, and with extra options — each for the surgeons in addition to for the table-side helping crew.

“What we now have designed known as an open-face console, that includes a big 32-inch 4K high-definition decision 3D monitor. This design enhances magnification, offering surgeons with the aptitude to carry out procedures with distinctive precision. It’s a outstanding development for surgical procedures,” he says.

Moreover, he says they’ve built-in security options with a head-tracking digital camera. “The surgeon wears glasses with particular markers which can be tracked by the digital camera. This ensures that if the surgeon seems to be away from the monitor, even whereas transferring their palms, the system won’t reply. It’s a security measure that requires the digital camera view to be close by for operation,” he explains.

The know-how additionally has a 23-inch massive monitor with all controls simply accessible to the surgeon. This enables the surgeon to retrieve any of the DICOM pictures from the server, whether or not within the radiology division or elsewhere within the hospital and show them conveniently. 

Moreover, the crew has developed proprietary know-how that allows them to transform these pictures into 3D fashions. Following this, a surgeon or a trainee can manipulate and slice by the photographs, basically having your complete anatomy of the area you’re working on proper in entrance of them.

“This not solely makes the process safer and quicker but additionally simplifies it by eliminating guesswork,” he says.

Dr Sudhir once sold his car and furniture to fund the research for the robot.
Dr Sudhir as soon as bought his automobile and furnishings to fund the analysis for the robotic; Image credit score: SSI Improvements

Giving a real-life instance, he says, “Whereas performing a surgical process in South Korea in 2008, a nurse by chance inserted a knife proper by the guts. After I inquired later, she defined that she couldn’t precisely gauge the depth.” 

To handle issues like this, SSI Mantra 2 offers a greater view of the organs as depth notion is essential in surgical procedure for bringing in devices and provides, avoiding accidents, and shortening the training curve. Since its launch in 2022, the system has already assisted docs in performing 500 profitable surgical procedures in India.

Speaking about future plans, Dr Sudhir says, “We now have developed quite a few single-arm purposes. Our strategy entails smaller and lighter robotic arms, and the objective is to develop several types of arms that may carry out completely different capabilities.”

He provides, “Our essential purpose is to decentralise excellence wherever potential, make the know-how cheaper and simple to entry in order that we are able to attain each rural nook of the nation.”

Calling their strategy holistic, he opines that utilising know-how is essential for advancing medication right this moment. In lots of rural areas, the inhabitants stays underprivileged when it comes to accessing the very best medical care, usually attributable to physicians’ reluctance to go there for numerous causes.

Dr Sudhir Srivastava with his surgical robot
Dr Sudhir Srivastava along with his surgical robotic; Image Credit score: SS Improvements

Their crew is at present within the means of increasing and modifying a truck to accommodate the robotic system in it. The truck would enable them to conduct camps within the remotest areas of the nation, he informs.

Wanting again at his journey thus far, Dr Sudhir remembers, “There was a time once I had no cash. Tasks like these require hundreds of thousands and billions of {dollars} in funding whereas I used to be there with my meagre financial savings. Regardless of trying to hunt funding from the federal government and personal traders, I struggled to make headway. Resorting to promoting my automobile and furnishings, I injected funds into the challenge and borrowed cash from mates within the US, with the intention to repay them upon returning to apply if issues didn’t work out.”

“Nevertheless, these challenges didn’t deter me. Fueled by a imaginative and prescient, my objective was to create one thing for my nation, making important healthcare accessible to all,” he emphasises.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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