Updated: November 9, 2021 4:56:26 pm
One of the common ailments faced by sportspersons, the elderly, pregnant women and professionals who either spend long hours sitting at their desks or are constantly on their feet, is oedema or inflammation and pain in the leg. When Kue, a brand of compression socks, was launched by Pune-based start-up Anatomech in August, the sales rose steadily, indicating a heavy demand.
The socks, which enhance oxygen delivery and muscle recovery while reducing spasms and cramps in the legs, are a part of the wearable technology products that Anatomech has been working on since 2020, when the company was founded with a Rs 10 lakh grant from the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology. In September, Anatomech was one of the runners-up at the Pune round of the TiE Women’s Global Pitch Competition, which featured 58 companies started by women.
Currently, Anatomech is building a daily wear, portable sleeve that allows 10-12 hours of continuous lymphatic decongestion for patients of lymphedema, a surgical outcome that follows mastectomy or other aggressive surgeries.
“Forty per cent of breast cancer survivors suffer irreversible swelling in their adjacent arm as an outcome of surgery and radiation. It is incurable and requires lifetime management. The sleeves stimulate and regulate lymphatic flow, promote self-management and have a sleek design that is convenient and comfortable,” the founder of Anatomech, Divyakshi Kaushik, said.
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The wearable sleeve for lymphedema is likely to be available in the market in 2022 as its development was delayed by the pandemic. “We had already started validating our product technology in 2019, but we also intended to visit a lot of healthcare facilities which was not possible owing to the pandemic. Even though the infection rate had stabilised once, it took us a while to get in touch with patients and healthcare facilities as cancer and post-cancer care need to be dealt with a lot of caution,” she said.
Worldwide, 3.1 million women live with lymphedema and, every year, almost 900,000 women are susceptible to it because they have either undergone mastectomy or an aggressive surgery. In India, 1,06,000 women undergo breast cancer surgery every year and around 65,000 women are susceptible to lymphedema. “We are building healthcare wearables to ease rehabilitation and therapy, while recovering from strenuous physical activities or post injury and surgery,” Divyakshi added.
Divyakshi is a lawn tennis player and started the company a few years after graduating in electronics and telecommunication engineering from Pune University and Industrial Design from MIT Institute of Design, Pune. She received the BIRAC Social Innovation Fellowship in 2018.
“The biomechanics of the body, which is about how the human body functions, intrigues me. As a player, I realise that one ends up having some kind of tissue injury or muscle damage, and how much care this requires while you want to keep training. That kind of directed me,” she said.
Coming up from Anatomech are intelligent wearables for rehabilitation and enhanced agility during strenuous daily activities. “The wearables are technology-integrated performance enhancers for an overworked human body. For some, the body could be overworked owing to strenuous physical activity and for others, it could be due to factors such as age, health, lifestyle and genetics,” Divyakshi said.
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