India gets relief from expensive and complex neurosurgeries as neuronavigation comes to rescue

Although 12 million people in India suffer from epilepsy, it still remains a debilitating issue due to the high social stigma and huge treatment gap compared to the western world. According to a report published by the World Health Organization, “It has been estimated that 80–90 percent of people with epilepsy in developing countries are inadequately treated”. Despite being a preventable and treatable condition, epilepsy remains a relatively under-researched area in the Indian healthcare system.

A step in the right direction

Neurosurgery is widely accepted in the western world as a treatment option for epilepsy where surgeons remove the part of the brain responsible for seizures. However, due to the cost of surgery, fear of complications, and lack of awareness, neurosurgery for epilepsy is not a widely accepted treatment in India. With the latest technological advancement in the medical devices industry in the last few years, the complication rate in neurosurgery has significantly improved.

Neuronavigation is one such advancement where surgeons use a patient’s MRI to make a customised map of the brain to make the smallest incision. It is similar to a GPS which provides its users with the shortest path to reach from location A to location B. The benefits of neuronavigation in epilepsy surgery and other neurological surgeries are precision in targeting small and deep-seated lesions and safe manipulation of critical brain areas. Many published study reports have stated that the use of neuronavigation reduces complications and provides a favorable outcome in seizure control.

Although the use of neuronavigation is fairly routine in most neurosurgeries in the western world, only a handful of neurosurgeons or top-notch hospitals in India use it. As most of such devices are imported from the US, Japan, and Europe, affordability is still a challenge for neurosurgeons in rural and small cities. About 80 percent of the medical devices across all medical specialties used in India are imported, as per reports. This is mainly due to the fact that there wasn’t much evolution happening in the medical device industry in the last few decades as compared to the pharma industry (generic medicine). The lack of clinical research, unclear regulatory pathways, and no clear government policies and initiatives are the major challenges why the medical device industry holds back.

NeuroSAPIR Surgical NeuroNavigation System

For years, patients dealt with expensive neurosurgeries. As the brain is the most complex organ in the human body, neurosurgeries are not always affordable and require extreme precision for neurosurgeons to navigate through brain structures to avoid complications. And that’s what the RXOOM Healthcare team aims to challenge.

With a vision to make world-class surgical devices available in India at an affordable cost, Dr Nilesh Kurwale, an epilepsy neurosurgeon with a solid clinical research background, Dr Sundar Rajan with his serial entrepreneurship expertise, and I developed NeuroSAPIR Surgical NeuroNavigation System. It is a customisable innovative solution in the hands of the neurosurgeon, easy to set up, and matches the best in the world, feature for feature. The NeuroSAPIR System introduces an advanced virtual trajectory system and no pining technology first in the category which helps to make patients more comfortable during the lengthy surgeries and fasten recovery time.

We believe that India has the most talented pool of doctors in the world. However, due to lack of advanced surgical tools, they are unable to deliver the best surgical outcomes, especially in the rural or small cities. With RXOOM Healthcare, we aim to make advanced healthcare affordable for all patients. With the application of NeuroNavigation, the rate of epileptic surgery can be increased by 70 percent. By adopting NeuroNavigation, the number of cities where epileptic surgery can be performed – along with the number of neurosurgeons that can perform it – can be significantly increased. In addition to that, the surgical cost can be reduced by tens of thousands of rupees.

Cohort 10 of NetApp Excellerator

RXOOM Healthcare was a part of cohort 10 of the NetApp Excellerator Program. Through it, we interacted with industry experts and leveraged their expertise in many aspects of analysis and presentation skills. NetApp is an industry leader in storage and cloud and NeuroSAPIR uses a petabyte of imaging data ( MRI/CT) that needs backup, or needs to be restored in real-time with minimal latency. Through NetApp’s HIPAA-compliant cloud storage with caching architecture, we are looking to scale.