Forus Health to save 3.5 million premature babies from going blind

K Chandrashekar and Shyam Vasudev of Forus Health have done it again. Their penchant for building affordable healthcare devices that make an impact in delivering care has received further validation from the Retinopathy of Prematurity Society, with their new product all set to play a role in eradicating preventable blindness in premature babies.

forus-health-co-foundersForus was born – in 2010 – to make medical devices in India reach those who needed affordable care in government primary healthcare centres and private hospitals. Their current product was built to treat 3.5 million premature babies who may, because of excess of oxygen or the effect of drugs used to save them, go blind. Every year, there are 100,000 premature babies in India  who suffer from blindness which can actually be cured if treated within 30 days of birth.

“We tested the product on 1,000 babies in four zones in Karnataka,” says K Chandrasekhar, co-founder of Forus. The pilot, which lasted over the last six months, was conducted after receiving a soft loan of Rs 1.9 crore from the Department of Biotechnology.

The company has filed for two patents in optics, optomechanics and illumination. The company will now sell this product commercially across the world.

The advantage of Forus’ new device:

  • Affordable cost: Costs only one-fourth of what international devices do, which cost anywhere between Rs 67 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
  • Portable: This device is only 300 grams, while the competitors’ device is 25 kilograms.
  • Visualisation: The images are rich and are a match for those of the most expensive devices.

The problem of retinopathy

This hospital-born disease began to be noticed in India around the year 2009, when the government set up 600 special new born units to cater to 700 districts in India. Eye specialists began to notice that the number of cases of retinopathy of prematurity (RoP) in neo-natal care centres began to increase and that there were no devices readily available to detect the disease.

Very few doctors are trained to deal with this problem,” says Dr Bhujang Shetty, CMD of Narayana Nethralaya. He says that products like these – from Forus Health – can change the game by preventing RoP and therefore reducing the burden on the government’s exchequer to treat disabled children.

With this validation, Forus could perhaps become one of the most valuable hardware companies in India.

K Chandrasekhar says,

Everyone thinks it is easy to make hardware. It took us three years to roll out the product because the R&D takes that long. The 40 member engineering team has to be thanked for the hard work.

Forus has released four products and is currently working on a fifth commercial product. Its products have over 1,200 installations across the country. Forus has raised two rounds of funding worth Rs 80 crore.

According to the US-India Business Council, the device market in India is worth $7 billion. There are several startups trying to crack the healthcare devices market, but they have not been able to move beyond pilots. In that regard, Forus is a made-in-India story that is only going to encourage many more companies to succeed.

Can I reuse a plastic water bottle?

I have this one plastic water bottle I take to the gym, and I don’t want to buy another one because a) the environment and b) I’m cheap.

plastic water bottle

I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I wondered: Is that safe?

Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved PET for single and repeated use, so that’s a good sign.

But manufacturers make these plastic bottles for the purpose of a single use, so they don’t last forever.

Two things can happen as you reuse plastic bottles over and over: They can leach chemicals, and bacteria can grow in them.
It turns out chemical leaching happens in such small amounts that we don’t have to worry about that.

Researchers from Arizona State University collected nine different brands of bottled water and measured how much of a particular chemical, antimony, the bottles released.

Antimony is commonly found in the plastic used to make water bottles. If ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but it’s not considered a carcinogen. The US Environmental Protection Agency has set the maximum concentration for antimony in drinking water at 6 parts per billion (ppb).

The researchers found the water in the plastic bottles had only 0.195 ppb at the beginning of the study and 0.226 ppb three whole months later — way below the EPA limit. (They also tested the local tap water for comparison and found antimony levels of 0.146 ppb.)

The study can’t say how much antimony might leach into the water after more than three months, but the results suggest that — with reasonable water bottle use — the levels in your water will remain well within what’s considered safe.

There have been reports of DEHA, a possible carcinogen, leaching into bottled water, too, but the Natural Resources Defense Council says this is an “urban legend.”

So we don’t have to worry about leaching.

Bacterial growth, however, is a problem if you’re reusing a plastic a water bottle again and again.

The PET Resin Association, a plastics industry group, recommends washing water bottles after each use with soap and hot water, and thoroughly drying them, to get rid of the bacteria. They say consumers shouldn’t reuse bottles if they have scratches inside, since bacteria can get stuck in there.

I haven’t been washing that gym water bottle, and I doubt I’ll go through the trouble of hand washing it. It’s nice to know that I can reuse it, but I’ll probably recycle this one and start using a dishwasher-safe permanent water bottle instead.

So you should recycle your plastic water bottle if it has scratches or if you haven’t washed it.

Experts, writing in the journal Practical Gastroenterology, say that recycling that bottle is the safest option, but that it’s okay to keep using it — as long as you keep it clean.

Lethal Sexually Transmitted Disease that Cannot be Stopped by Protection

Tesla tower built and tested in Russia

This “Tesla baby” can produce enough power matching all power generation facilities in Russia when lightning is discharged onto a platform.

A team of Russian scientists are already working on the restoration of the “Tesla tower” for wireless power transmission, developed by Tesla in 1901-1902. The Wardenclyffe Tower, also known as the Tesla Tower, was built near the island of Manhattan (USA) at the beginning of the 1900’s but was not completed for reasons unknown so far. Some speculate that the original Tesla tower was closed due to the lack of funding. Tesla believed that this project was, if completed, one of the most effective electric systems in the world allowing him to produce and transmit electrical energy across great distances.

Nikola Tesla was a  genius, a brilliant inventor and the pioneer of wireless power transmission who in 1891, developed the principles of an antenna which is capable of supplying electricity to ANY device without the use of cables or connectors.

Tesla’s project was based on variations in the magnetic flux and, despite the incredible potential of the project, he apparently never managed to thrive beyond mere trials.

The Russian version of Tesla’s tower is located about 40 kilometers from Moscow. Currently, the research complex dubbed as the “High Voltage Marx and Tesla Generators Research Facility” is truly one of a kind and its generators can meet the energy demand for the entire country, although only for a period of around 100 microseconds.


In Russia, experiments or practices related to energy are anything but new. In the 1980’s the Soviets built a tower which “channeled” the energy created from lightning storms and use it for numerous purposes.

this incredible Russia project is unique, and it is something that you probably won’t find anywhere else in the world. Why? Because of its incredible design and even greater charging capacity.


As we described above, this “Tesla baby” can produce enough power matching all power generation facilities in Russia when lightning is discharged onto a platform. Given the high maintenance cost, this “secret” Russian Tesla facility is not operational 24/7 but is only turned on on special occasions.

According to Rossiya-1 TV; When the facility is operating, the static charge in the “hot zone” is so large that the hair of anyone present bristles.

To find out more about this “crazy” electrical facility check out this video where you can appreciate, from the air, the elaborate design of this super-cool facility.

Contaminated breast implants linked to rare cancer, plastic surgeons warn.

Yolinda Cramm talks to a doctor

Yolinda Cramm’s implants were removed, and had significant levels of bacteria attached to them.

Plastic surgeons in Australia have found breast implants contaminated with bacteria may increase women’s risk of developing a rare type of cancer.

Doctors already know infection during surgery can cause the most common complication associated with breast enhancement, known as capsular contracture.

Contracture is the hardening of scar tissue around the implant, causing physical deformity and pain.

However, this is the first time scientists have linked infected implants to the cancer, known as Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL).

Associate professor Anand Deva from Macquarie University’s Health Sciences Centre led the research.

“Once you have a contaminated prosthetic in the body, the body can’t get rid of it,” he said.

“This chronic irritation goes on and on, and over a period of time, it stimulates the immune system where some of these cells can potentially transform into cancer.”

The surgeons studied tissue samples from 22 women who developed the rare form of lymphoma after undergoing breast enhancement procedures.

Researchers also found that implants with a textured surface, which are popular in Britain and Australia, were 70 times more likely to harbour bacteria than smooth surfaced implants.

No cause for panic: doctor

An infected breast implant

PHOTO Doctors say contaminated implants can increase the risk of contracting a rare form of cancer

It is estimated between 5 million and 10 million women around the world have breast implants, but the study’s authors said only a small percentage had gone on to develop cancer.

“I don’t want anyone to panic because across the world, there’s probably about 300 cases worldwide,” said Dr Deva.

“In Australia and New Zealand, we’ve got around 40 documented cases.”

Most women with ALCL have made a full recovery after surgery, but in some cases they also needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Dr Deva recommended a 14-point plan for cosmetic and plastic surgeons performing breast augmentations to minimise the risk of infection, including antibiotic regimes, thorough wound irrigation and minimal handling of implants.

Bacteria on implant

PHOTO A close-up of bacteria that has formed on an implant.

Yolinda Cramm got silicone implants 30 years ago, but in 2004, she had them replaced when she developed capsular contracture and the implants started to leak.

Within a year, her second set of breast implants also began to harden.

“I went to three different surgeons before I found Dr Anand Deva, but I just knew something was wrong. My whole passion is to be healthy and I always felt like I wasn’t quite as healthy as I should be,” she said.

Dr Deva removed Mrs Cramm’s implants, and found significant levels of bacteria attached to them.

“The implants were black,” Mrs Cramm said. “You could actually see a growth all over them. It was like looking at a drain that’s filled with black gunk and that was sitting in my body.”

Dr Deva had to remove some of Mrs Cramm’s breast tissue to ensure the bacteria did not remain in her body.

“I was never warned about this risk,” she said.

“I would tell women that it really is worth going to see a good surgeon to find out exactly what’s going on because their health is potentially in jeopardy.”

Physicists Combine Gold with Titanium And Quadruple Its Strength

When it comes to bone replacements, the go-to material is still titanium. Hard, wear-resistant, and compatible to the body, titanium looks like the best alternative to actual bone, maybe even better. Who knew that you could improve the ‘gold standard’ by just adding actual gold?

Rice University physicists have discovered that an alloy of titanium and gold is three to four times harder than steel, and may actually be better as a material for replacement body parts. The study, published in Science Advances, described the properties of an alloy of the two metals, a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold, called Titanium-3. They found the alloy to be four times harder than titanium.

When they checked the biocompatibility and wear rate of the alloy, the researchers knew that it would rank high, since its parent metals are already biocompatible and used in medical implants. Surprisingly, Titanium-3 performed well over their expectations, actually being morebiocompatible and wear resistant than pure titanium.


These unexpected properties stem from the structure of Titanium-3. The researchers previously did not know a harder version of the alloy comes out when higher temperatures are used. High temperatures create an almost purely crystalline form of the beta version of the alloy.

The structure of Titanium-3 

According to the study’s abstract, the alloy’s hardness can be attributed “to the elevated valence electron density, the reduced bond length, and the pseudogap formation. Understanding the origin of hardness in this intermetallic compound provides an avenue toward designing superior biocompatible, hard materials.”

In contrast, making the alloy at lower temperatures arranges the atoms to another structure, the alpha version. This version is as hard as regular titanium, and is most likely the previously documented form of Titanium-3.

Professor Mark Clemens says cancer risk of breast implants ’10 times higher than first feared’

%d bloggers like this: