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Healthcare

Published on: June 17, 2020, 3:24 p.m.
Dual protection
  • File picture of a Healthium office

By Sumit Ghoshal. Contributing Editor, Business India

Everyone understands that doctors, nurses and others involved in the care of Covid-19 patients face a substantially higher risk of contracting the infection themselves. At the moment, most hospitals have postponed surgeries on these patients, unless it is a medical emergency. But that will change very quickly in the coming weeks as more and more hospitals begin scheduling operations on a non-emergency or ‘elective’ basis.

One global study estimates that India’s hospitals have postponed almost 600,000 elective operations on account of Covid-19. And when they resume, there will be a need for prevention of Corona Virus infection at several levels. Healthcare workers will not only have to ensure that they remain healthy and safe themselves but also that non-Covid patients who come for other surgeries do not catch the virus from someone else.

To facilitate this process, Bengaluru-based Healthium Medtech, has launched a variety of surgical gloves known as Anti-Microbial Gloves (AMG). The term “microbe” includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and various other micro-organisms that tend to cause disease in the human body. AMG therefore is designed to prevent all these life-forms from infecting the hospital staff.

The gloves are coated both inside and outside with a unique, non-tech based material, for which Healthium holds a global patent. Since the coating is also present on the outer surface of the gloves, it avoids the possibility of the surgical team accidentally infecting the patient being operated upon.

Needless to say that while the Covid-19 pandemic will pass in the next few months or at least it will become less intense, products like AMG would continue to protect hospitalised patients from catching a new infection from within the hospital.

Novel mechanism

As Healthium’s chief medical officer, Ashok Moharana points out: “Studies have shown that Surgical Site Infections account for 15 per cent of all Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) and 37 per cent of HAI in surgical patients, putting patients at risk. Also when surgeons’ gloves get damaged while operating, only 25 per cent notice the puncture during surgery, presenting a hidden risk for healthcare professionals. Enhancing protection from contact transmission for an extended duration is an unmet need today. To address this, we have launched TRUSHIELD Anti-microbial gloves. With a novel mechanism of action, this is an effective solution that protects both health workers and patients against a range of microbes. TRUSHIELD AMG is non-leaching and offers 99.99 per cent microbicidal protection lasting up to eight hours.”

Dwelling on the subject further, Healthium Medtech Managing Director Anish Bafna says: “We constantly endeavour to serve the medical fraternity through innovative precision-based medical devices manufactured indigenously across our five production facilities in India. As an Indian player delivering to global standards with US FDA (510k), CE and ISO approvals and 52 patents in India and the US, we are working relentlessly to reduce the dependence on imported medical technology”.

The recently launched product is merely the latest of Healthium’s offerings but by no means the only one. The company has been in the market for over three decades and a significant player in the surgical gloves range. From time to time, it also introduces devices that help the surgeons of various specialties perform their tasks better.

Thus in the past six months, Healthium has come out with a suture-needle combination that gynaecologists can use to control the heavy bleeding that women often suffer after delivering a baby. Sutures are a kind of special material that surgeons use for sewing up the wound of an operation. What is more, the package of sutures is embedded with a QR code which the doctor can scan in case there is a need to watch a training video on the surgical procedure!

Healthium is a global leader in the field of surgical sutures and needles as well. Until now, it has produced and marketed as many as 18,000 varieties of sutures and needles in the international market!

A third range of new products is intended for shoulder surgeons to repair injuries often sustained by sportspersons. These are needed for surgeons to conduct Minimal Access Surgery (earlier known as Keyhole Surgery) on the shoulder. These are marketed through Sironix, a subsidiary of Healthium.

All these products have placed the company in a leadership position among the Indian producers of medical devices and consumables, even though 85 per cent (by value) of medical devices sold in the country are imported.

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