Education Plus

Ray of hope

The NeoLight team  

I came to the US to pursue my master’s in management from the Arizona State University and did have a great education, continued with my research in Supply Chain Management and had a great time with classmates from over 12 countries and 65 different professions.

During grad school, my friend Sivakumar Palaniswamy (Biomedical Engineer) and I applied for a start-up idea competition and won the award for the year 2014. We were provided with a grant, office space, lab space, work stations and access to $250,000 worth of resources. We decided to take the path of entrepreneurship then. We opened a firm and took more people gradually. We are presently a team of 10 and have additional funding resources.

NeoLight

At NeoLight, we develop medical equipment that can treat jaundice. Jaundice is one of the world’s most common problems and six out of every 10 new born babies, all around the world, have jaundice. If left untreated, it could lead to serious brain damage or even death, eventually. The treatment is actually very simple — shower light on the baby at a specific wavelength. Although the treatment is this simple, over 300 babies die all around the world everyday from jaundice and 99 per cent of this number is from countries like India and underdeveloped countries like Africa. The prime reasons for this scenario is that the existing medical equipment, on average, costs more than $5,000 and bulky. It also consumes a lot of power.

Neolight has filed a patent for the device. Our device costs only a fraction of the existing equipment, 90 per cent smaller in size, and runs on 2 per cent of the power that the existing devices need. We have developed a clinical prototype and are currently working on clinical trials now.

We are in conversation with the Gates Foundation to do a pilot programme in Assam. Assam contributes to 66 per cent of jaundice casualties. They have only 21 per cent electricity connection and 90 per cent of the population lives in the rural areas (mostly remote), supported by 37 hospitals. We wish to manufacture and provide 37 beds to these hospitals free of cost. Our vision is to eradicate 66 per cent of jaundice casualties in India in a span of 18 months. Soon, we will be launching globally.

What drives me and my team is that we have invented the key to wipe out Jaundice from the face of this globe once and for all.

The writer is the co-founder and CEO of NeoLight.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 8:25:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/ray-of-hope/article6603057.ece

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