Krishan and Koshilia Sachdev launch startup to serve overlooked patients suffering from pressure ulcers!
Laredo, Texas natives, these siblings have a passion for serving others through medicine. Both medical students, Krishan and his younger sister, Koshilia, learned at an early age the impact of accessible medical care on their community.
When asked what spurred him to attend medical school, Krishan explained his experience growing up in a health professional shortage area (HPSA). His goal of becoming a physician began when he saw how limited access to care impacted his South Texas community.
Krishan and Koshilia completed their undergraduate degrees at the University of Texas at Austin before parting ways for medical school.
“In August 2020, I moved to Lubbock to attend medical school at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center's School of Medicine,” shares Krishan, “A year later, Koshilia moved to Galveston to attend UTMB Galveston.”
Five years ago, the siblings experienced something that hit close to home. “We (Krishan and Koshilia) witnessed our cousin suffer from recurring Sitting Acquired Pressure Ulcers.”
A pressure ulcer is a lesion caused by constant pressure on the skin for long periods of time. Every year, 2.5 million people develop pressure ulcers. (AHRQ.gov) Complications from pressure ulcers lead to approximately 60,000 preventable deaths each year.
“With each ulcer came months of hospitalization, multiple procedures, and exhausting physical therapy regimens.” This pushed the two medical students to act and create a preventative solution to pressure ulcers.
The Overlooked Patient
In the United States alone, there are 11.8 million wheelchair users. This includes 2.7 million paraplegics and tetraplegics the siblings aim to help. These individuals often lack the sensory function to detect discomfort and alleviate it by shifting their weight. Because of this, these patients' comfort is often overlooked.
"Our goal is to improve the lives of patients who use wheelchairs,” Koshilia explains, “We're grateful to have a strong network of advisors and supporters who are empowering us to do just that.”
Their first technology alleviates discomfort. The HiPR Sense is an adjustable, minimally obtrusive wheelchair cushion that positions users to prevent pressure ulcers. It's not just a fancy seat cushion though. The siblings' patented technology communicates directly with its users, their caregivers, and their doctors through the HiPR Sense mobile app.
“Access to previously unavailable patient data can lead to a better understanding of the patient's wheelchair habits and needs that help to establish informed treatment plans.”
Saving Others is Worth the Hustle
Last fall Krishan met with TTUHSC faculty that pointed him to the Innovation Hub. The team was encouraged to apply to the 2021 Prototype Fund, which offers startups funding to develop a minimum viable products (MVP). The $7,800 awarded to HiPR Innovation, Inc. was dedicated to producing 10 beta prototypes.
From there, Krishan and his sister applied to the Fall 2021 iLaunch Competition. Their story and technology inspired community members, iTTU mentors, and the Hub staff. The sibling duo was awarded 1st Place.
In April 2022, the siblings were awarded a place in the sixth cohort of the Texas Tech Accelerator Program and $25,000 to support their venture. During the first quarter of the year-long program, HiPR Innovation, Inc. has made strides in solidifying manufacturing channels and validating their idea through partnerships with medical centers across the state.
Krishan emphasized HiPR Innovation, Inc.'s passion by saying, “The journey ahead will have a multitude of challenges. We believe that each challenge will further enable us to be successful!”