Bangalore, December 27: Bengaluru-based ENT surgeon, Dr Kumaresh Krishnamoorthy, embarked on a mission to bring down the cost of medical equipment to make healthcare easily affordable for all. One of his first developments is a video laryngoscope that costs just Rs 22,000 (including GST). An internationally-known brand costs around Rs 5 lakh, excluding taxes. This huge difference in cost brings down the charges for patients needing any surgical procedure.
A laryngoscope is used not only in operation theatres but also in ICUs, emergency departments, post-surgical documentations and even in ambulances. It is critical equipment used to look at the voice box and insert a tube that enables breathing when a patient cannot breathe on their own.
Many hospitals have just one, used in the operation theatre. Smaller hospitals don’t even have one, and anesthetists being their own flexible one that also costs around Rs 5 lakh. Only one laryngoscope in the operation theatre means it cannot be moved around to areas in the hospital where needed.
The laryngoscope developed by Dr Krishnamoorthy circumvents these limitations. It is a video laryngoscope that uses an android mobile phone for light and as a camera. It is a miniature model and can be carried around in the doctor’s pocket. The camera in the laryngoscope can be changed based on the needs of the procedure.
This laryngoscope has a unique attribute in that it can document the entire procedure on the phone. This can be sent through email or as a message to whoever needs it. This facility also makes it possible for real time guidance from a remote location by a specialist in case of emergencies. This can be life-saving as a patient in an ambulance gets help even before reaching the hospital.
For example, in a knee replacement surgery, some times, a patient’s voice gets affected temporarily. This could be due to some viral inflammation of the nerve. The documentation possible through this laryngoscope makes it possible for the doctor to prove to the patient and attenders that the voice box was not affected during the surgery.
The entire procedure of inserting and removing the laryngoscope will be recorded on video on the phone. An ENT surgeon often does procedures such as removing a foreign body such as fish bone from the throat. Biopsies are done often. All these procedures can be recorded and documented. At times, in an ICU, a patient cannot be maintained on a tube inserted through the throat to facilitate breathing. In such cases, an insertion is made at the throat (tracheotomy) and alternative breathing tube inserted.
The patient and attenders can now be shown videos of the changes in the voice box because of prolonged tube insertion and therefore the need for this procedure. This documentary evidence convinces patients and avoids the mistrust they nurture.