Cardiovascular diseases and sudden cardiac arrests are increasingly becoming a global burden. According to a report by Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology Review (AER), sudden and unexpected cardiac death is the most common cause of death across the world, leading to 17 million deaths every year.
In order to empower doctors to treat cardiac arrests, entrepreneurs and childhood friends Ashish Gawade and Aniruddha Atre have come up with battery-less hand-cranked defibrillators, which can be powered by electricity as well as manually.
Founded in 2013, Pune-based Jeevtronics has developed a battery-less defibrillator, named SanMitra 1000 HCT, which can be used even in the absence of electricity. These devices are used to restore normal heartbeat using electric shocks.
“These machines mostly operate on battery and/or electricity. This can however present a problem in case of battery failures or lack of electricity. Due to this reason, we have replaced the battery with a hand-crank generator to enable manual operation in case of emergency and lack of electricity,” Ashish tells YourStory.
[Image Credit: Jeevtronics]
Ashish explains that the duo always wanted to build solutions for rural India. Both of them have served as volunteers at Manashakti Research Center, Lonavala, in their younger days, where they were required to volunteer for one hour every day. Owing to this experience, they wanted to work on something that will help them do social work full time.
Their entrepreneurial journey began with the development of a human-powered generator to solve electrical issues in rural regions. Later, they launched Jeevtronics and incorporated this mechanism in defibrillators to save people suffering from cardiac arrests.
Illustration: YS Design
Dual powered bi-phasic defibrillator
Ashish reveals that SanMitra 1000 HCT is a hospital-grade defibrillator that has been designed in a way to operate both on electricity and on a hand-powered generator.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is such a dangerous condition that it can kill the patient in 10 minutes. At that time, a defibrillator is used to provide electric shocks to restore heartbeat and at that time, the hospitals will need rock solid electricity to ensure emergency care,” he says.
Claiming SanMitra to be the world’s first hand-crank defibrillator, he adds that even if the electricity fails, medical staff can immediately power the machine using a hand-crank generator. This is especially helpful for hospitals from the rural regions where continuous electricity might not be available.
Ashish claims that SanMitra has a long durable life and can fire up to 16,000 electric shocks.
Apart from this, Jeevtronics is also deploying its machines in COVID-19 hospitals. Last year, it received the Department of Science and Technology’s Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (DST CAWACH) grant to deploy its solutions for fighting against COVID-19.
“According to studies, about 16.7 percent of COVID-19 patients can go into arrhythmia and such patients will need defibrillator support,” he adds.
Image Credit: Jeevtronics
Business and more
The Venture Centre incubated and BIRAC supported startup is looking to raise external funding, and also get CSR support to ensure the product reaches across the country.
Speaking about the business model, the co-founder reveals that the startup earns its revenue from the sale of its product. Ashish claims that the defibrillator is available for around Rs 1 lakh, which is one-fourth of the cost of the existing defibrillator machines in the market.
Ashish reveals that about 187 installations have been done to date. It is currently being used across many hospitals and COVID training centers across Maharashtra, including AIIMS Nagpur, CPR Hospital Kolhapur, Sassoon Hospital, Sub District Hospital Manchar. Their device is also being used in Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan.
Apart from this, Jeevtronics has also supplied a couple of machines to Africa. “Going forward, we would like to expand our presence in Africa and the SE Asian region,” he adds.
According to an IBEF report, the Indian medical device market is expected to increase at a 37 percent CAGR to reach $50 billion in 2025.
In the defibrillator manufacturing market, Jeevtronics competes with companies such as Phillips, BPL, ZOLL, and Schiller, among others.
Speaking about future plans, Ashish reveals that Jeevtronics recently got its ambulance-grade defibrillator certified, and is looking to commercially roll it out soon. This version will be used for emergency treatment inside the ambulance.
“We are also looking to partner with distributors across India, Africa, South Asia to expand our presence,” he adds.