As an increasing number of childless couples adopt medical treatment to achieve parenthood, the multi-billion-dollar IVF market continues to flourish worldwide.
However, the lack of transparency in IVF procedures, and their sky-high costs, make this an alternative that remains out of reach for a majority of the target population.
The average cost for IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) procedures can cost around Rs 50,000 and
Rs 80,000 respectively. But these costs may soon be brought down.
Subhag, a medical device engineering company, is trying to address the affordability problem. Their solution is to entirely eliminate the costs of performing the artificial insemination procedure. Their device, DIY Spermofuge, is a home-based IUI treatment tool, which can be operated without the assistance of a medical professional.
The device has the potential to redefine the value chain in the domain of infertility treatment, and differentiates itself from other such devices by eliminating the need for unnecessary clinical intermediaries and by being 50-500 times cheaper than IVF/IUI procedures that are available at present.
Vikram Rajput, CEO of Subhag, says, “To perform IUI, you need to have two separate procedures that comprise the washing of sperms, which is done in labs in traditional IUI; and the second is placing the washed sperms in a woman’s uterus, which is done by doctors through a skilled procedure. the Subhag home IUI kit enables the washing of sperms at home and also the placing of washed sperms can be done through self-insemination by the couple at their home.”
Subhag’s business model follows a three-pronged strategy.
First, bridge the supply-demand gap relative to the need for home-based IUI treatment through cutting-edge research.
Second, implement a global strategy supported created through product excellence, distribution efficiency and aggressively acquiring regulatory approvals.
And third, aggressively focus on R&D and new product development after creating a sustainable operation serving as a one-stop solution for the infertility treatment market.
The research work for the device was initiated after Subhag members read the WHO’s 2013 manual that elaborates on the guidelines for diagnosis, management and interventions for IUI treatment, along with other international research papers on this subject. The Spermofuge’s first prototype alpha design was produced in May 2017.
Subhag has successfully done the clinical validation for the device and has submitted their application for clinical trials in India. They are currently searching for investors who can fund the trials and intend to hit the market by January 2019. They have been incubated by TATA Social Alpha and AIC 36 INC Chhattisgarh.