[Startup Bharat] Kochi-based Medtra Innovative Technologies' AR tool makes it easier to locate veins
Most of us have gone through the discomfort and pain when doctors and nurses try to find our veins to draw blood or inject medicines. The scenario is worse in case of the elderly, babies, or obese people, where vein tracking is even more difficult.
This is where Kochi-based Medtra Innovative Technologies comes into play. Founded by Rajesh Nair and his friend Saj Sulaiman in 2017, the startup has discovered a way to find your veins before poking around half a dozen times to find the spot. The device, named Veineux, uses AR (augmented reality) to find the veins of a person.
The product has been found useful in hospitals, defence, primary health centres, laboratories, etc. It can even be used at home for patients who require injections daily, says Rajesh.
The team claims to have already sold 100 units of VEINEUX AR100 across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai.
“Our aim is to deliver cost effective yet advanced healthcare devices to the public, especially the rural people. That is where we stand. We have a social cause,” says Rajesh.
Medtra Innovative Technologies hopes to alleviate the pain of patients with its non-invasive, near-infrared vein viewer called Veineux that is based on augmented reality.
It super-imposes a computer-generated image on the patient’s body and gives the medical practitioner a composite view for tracking a vein.
The device works by emitting near-infrared light, which is absorbed by the haemoglobin in the blood and then reflected by the surrounding tissue. The information is then processed digitally by the unit and projected in real time onto the skin. The team claims this also provides an accurate and real-time image of the patient’s blood pattern.
“Whatever experience the practitioner has, identifying the vein has to be immediate. With our product, they will find the vein in the first attempt and the meditation can be started instantaneously. That is the advantage,” says Rajesh.
The founding story
Rajesh says he got this idea from his childhood friend, Saj Sulaiman, who was developing and supplying medical devices to multiple companies in the Middle East.
From that standpoint, Rajesh got information on what all products can be developed and delivered at low cost. Once the duo identified the demand of devices like vein detectors in the market, they decided to tap the opportunity, which led to the birth of Medtra Innovative Technologies in 2017.
Medtra was bootstrapped with about Rs 4 crore by both of them.
It took almost three years to develop various prototypes of the product. “We have had multiple trial and errors with various hospitals. We make and solve prototypes and we have observed the customer satisfaction,” explains Rajesh.
Today, Medtra is a team of 20 employees. The startup has got support from KSUM (Kerala Startup Mission) and was selected by Nasscom for its cohort this year.
The market and future
According to IBEF, the healthcare market in India is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022. Rajesh claims that his product differentiates itself from other players such as AccuVein and VeinProbe in terms of the success rate, pricing, quality, and algorithm.
“We have succeeded in making this product at 1/3 cost of the American counterparts. While other similar products cost around Rs 7.5 lakh, our product is priced for just Rs 2 lakh. So, you can see a difference of about Rs 5 lakh per piece for the same technology. This way, we are actually revolutionising the industry,” claims Rajesh.
The team is, however, confident it will be able to touch one lakh units in two-three years’ time.
“We are in the next growth stage. Next year, we are planning 20,000 units. But to achieve this, our production capacity should go up by at least by 2,000 to 3,000 units per month. We are also getting a lot of inquiries from various countries. We are planning to set up digital marketing offices across the world, especially MENA and Asia Pacific regions, and focus more on country distributors and dealer network,” says Rajesh.
The startup is looking to raise investment to grow its production and sales front. It is also in talks with the investors for the same.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)