Dr. Vishal Rao – His Rs. 50 Device is Giving Back Voice to Patients

Dr. Vishal Rao – His Rs. 50 Device is Giving Back Voice to Patients

If you have got your voice box or larynx removed, chances are high that you will have trouble talking again, and will not be able to swallow a morsel of food. So what would you do to fix the problem?

Probably you’d opt for voice prostheses, and the ones available in the market will leave a deep hole inside your pocket – they cost in the range between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 30,000, and you have to get them replaced every six months. In short, the cost-cycle would be unending.

Is there any other remedy or low-cost device available?

Good news is, there is. All thanks to Bangalore-based Dr. Vishal Rao, an oncologist and head and neck surgeon. He has designed a voice prosthesis that can help throat cancer patients speak after surgery. And the device costs only – wait for it – Rs. 50!

The device is called Aum Voice Prosthesis, foundation of which was led two years ago, when a patient ailing from throat cancer, came all the way from his village to meet Dr. Rao.

The device is placed between the space of wind-pipe and food-pipe, created when the two pipes are separated from each other during surgery. Explaining how the device works, Dr. Rao said “If you send air into the food pipe through the lungs, it will vibrate, create noise, and that can be converted into intelligent speech with coordination from the brain. As food or water should not fall into the lungs, it is a one-way valve device,” he elaborates. The device weighs 25 grams and is 2.5 cm long.”

Dr. Vishal Rao: Website


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