Coronary artery disease (CAD) now claims more lives in India than communicable diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, which were the leading killers in the 1990s. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet aid to prevent it, monitoring the same is not as easy as say measuring your blood glucose levels with glucometers. Many people who suffer chest pains pass them off as gastric troubles, thereby augmenting the severity of their situation.
However, one disruptive device is aiming to change that promising to revolutionise cardiac care like never before. A credit card sized heart monitor called Sanket, which acts like a portable, economical ECG machine will make it possible to monitor one’s heart condition as simple as monitoring one’s body temperature with a thermometer.
Rahul and Neha Rastogi, developed Sanket under their company, Agatsa, along with their co-founder Nishith Chandra, Director, interventional cardiology, Fortis Escorts and Advisor Col Jitender Minhas, CEO of JSSSTEP. The inspiration to launch such an device came from a personal experience. In 2009, Rahul’s father suffered from CAD and was put on medicines to regulate his condition. However, monitoring his condition was a gruelling experience as he had to be rushed frequently to the hospital whenever he complained of chest pains, given that there was no other way to do so.
The duo looked for some devices to monitor his condition, but finding there were none available in the market, thus they decided to build one on their own. Both the husband and wife are engineers and this is where they leveraged their expertise to develop a prototype. Says Rahul, “We wanted to develop a device which would give one prima facie evidence of the severity of the chest pain, without going to the hospital.”
However, the job was easier said than done. Realizing the complexities in building the prototype, Neha was the first one to quit her job and work full time for this endeavour. It took some dedicated 10 months to develop the first version. The duo painstakingly interviewed over 200 doctors and some 400 families afflicted with the disease. Last month, the finished and productised version of Sanket went on sale and 10 samples were lapped up in mere 2 days, this points out to the efficacy of this type of product. This version of Sanket is similar to the first and has a 5 mm width that is less than the slimmest iPhone but more than a credit card.