In Darkness We See That Hides In Light

In Darkness We See That Hides In Light


Photo by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash

Recently, this potent expression, “In darkness we see that hides in light”, by Mr. Mukesh Kwatra in the recent Times of India Coronasutra entertainment section got me thinking hard. The last line of Mr. Kwatra’s poem on the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was brought to my attention by my mother, a poetess herself, so she can help me understand the depth of it. And when I did, the essence of it remained with me through the day.

This year has been so different. I, and I am sure many of us, have never witnessed anything like this before where the world, with all its faiths, technology, and might is brought to a halt and is unable to cope with the challenge that nature has presented it. While it has been a relief to slow down a bit and consume less in many ways, it has also been tough in recognizing what we are going through in terms of our existence vis-a-vis our relationships, career, health, contribution to society, etc.

My generation has learnt how to get from being busy to becoming busier with all the technology that has evolved in our lifetime. Now when we are forced to use all of it by staying indoors, one realizes that technology cannot fill the emptiness that is caused by lack of access to nature and people one loves. However, one can hope to get some relief by looking inward and by counting our blessings, by appreciating what nature has given us and that which we haven’t had the time to appreciate thus far. And in these times of aloofness, darkness, see that we never really see – search soul, acknowledge the treasures we own in terms of relationships, friends, health, and the treasures we must seek such as peace, trust, goodwill, knowledge, compassion.

Today is 107th day of being at home and I have been thinking of all these things over the last few months. While life has been extremely hectic, I have utilized this phase to thank the cosmos for the innumerable good that exists around and that has kept me going. Here are a few things I am grateful for:

  • Having means to earn a living, and sustain
  • Having a family that’s always there for me (spouse, parents, inlaws, cousins)
  • A secure, peaceful, ventilated abode
  • Being fit enough to carry on
  • Friends that are there, yet are absent : )
  • Being able to provide sustenance to the house help
  • Having access to walkways I can use daily to connect with nature
  • Plants I can care for
  • The ‘giving’ sentiment God has blessed me with
  • Opportunity to read books that I have been wanting to read
  • The revival of nature, reduction of pollution
  • Learning to be empathetic
  • Being blessed with decent will power
  • Experiences that taught me patience
  • A fulfilling life thus far.

I will add to this as I focus more on counting my blessings. If you want, share your list in the comment and we can together realize how much we have to thank for!

A Lost Wing

A Lost Wing


Losing a wing is so devastating for a butterfly! I wonder what happened to the beautiful one which lost its wing yesterday  —  I saw a fallen wing on my way to the office and it made me think of what could have happened for one to lose a wing like this. The wandering thoughts led me to admire the grit of all those among us who live life despite losing a wing!

ButterflyIt is amazing how millions of differently-abled people continue to be brave towards life, and all its struggles, and yet remain far more positive in their outlook and perseverance than the rest of us who take everything for granted.

I cannot imagine what it would mean if I lose a wing! It’s a scary thought indeed. At times I feel my eyes are most important because as an editor I read all day and I need healthy eyes to do that, to earn. But then the day you get a leg sprain and are unable to move, you realize you need every ounce of your human body to be in good working condition to be able to function properly.

The realization reminds me of millions of things that we take for granted, without being thankful for any of them at any time. All the material comfort, a good job, family, friends, network — all of that rather weigh less against the fact that so far I have lived life as a physically and mentally fit individual.

I have seen my mother live with dignity and a true zeal for life despite being paralyzed below the waist. I have seen her struggles but I have never seen her feeling restricted because of her condition. I cannot stop admiring the will power that makes people fly despite losing a wing! More power to you!

New Portable Device Can Detect Diabetes, Kidney Failure, Chronic Anemia, Malnutrition

New Portable Device Can Detect Diabetes, Kidney Failure, Chronic Anemia, Malnutrition


Bangalore-based PathShodh Healthcare, a startup at the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Indian Institute of Science, has developed a hand-held device to measure eight vital parameters for diabetes, kidney failure, chronic anaemia, and malnutrition.

The device, called anuPath, has been developed by Dr. Vinay Kumar along with Professor Navakanta Bhat of Indian Institute of Science and a friend, Gautam Sharma.

According to a recent International Diabetes Federation (IDF) report, diabetes currently affects over 425 million people worldwide, and the figure is expected to reach 629 million by 2045. With 73 million diabetics, India ranks second in the world after China.

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems. Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to serious diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In addition, people with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing infections, says the IDF report.

Currently, anuPath can test for hemoglobin, HbA1C, glycated albumin, blood glucose, serum albumin, microalbuminuria, urine ACR, and urine creatinine. It will be extendable to other markers (glycated albumin, serum creatinine, serum bilirubin, etc.) in the future. It works on a non-enzymatic- and non-antibody-based electrochemical biosensing technology. The measurement is done on electrochemical disposable test strips that contain a membrane infused with patented sensing substances. For each biomarker there is a separate disposable strip. When the user places the required sample on the electrochemical disposable test strip, anuPath detects the electrochemical outcomes and the deciphered results are displayed on the digital monitor within a minute. This enables the patient to get a comprehensive report of the status of the disease, which is essential in disease management. Read full research paper.

Presently, it can store one lakh patient reports, making it easier to share with doctors. With one international patent and eight in process, anuPath costs Rs. 50,000. The team is working on a cost effective model of about Rs. 5,000 – Rs. 10,000 for individual users to use it at home. Read more

India’s First Vein Detector ‘Veinus’ Promises Better, Surer Cannulation

India’s First Vein Detector ‘Veinus’ Promises Better, Surer Cannulation


 

Veinus
The Veinus displays vein map of a man’s hand during the pilot at St. John’s Hospital, Bangalore.

A Bangalore-based startup has developed India’s first vein detector, ‘Veinus’, a non-invasive device that could help doctors locate good veins for inserting venous cannula. Veinus is likely to cost about 80% less than the imported vein detectors. Better cannulation with the help of Veinus may mean less number of needle pricks for millions of patients worldwide.

According to a report, even though venous cannulas are often needed for a week or more, they frequently fail before the end of treatment because of irritation of the vein and therefore necessitate cannula removal and replacement. Replacement requires additional needle pricks for patients, increases work for clinical staff, and contributes to insertion of cannulas being the most common invasive medical procedure and therefore a substantial contributor to healthcare costs.

In a step to aid this medical procedure, Bangalore-based Infraeyes Private Limited developed Veinus, a vein detecting device that uses infrared light to display map of good, thick, as well as thrombosed veins under the skin.

Founded in 2011 by Priyank Saxena, 38, along with Mayank Saxena, his brother, and  Saurabh Gupta, Infraeyes now has a team of six engineers who have contributed in  making Veinus. The device is set to be launched in the market this month (July  2014). Read full report on Page 2

Health-Care Industry Mines Networking Data

Health-Care Industry Mines Networking Data


MedNetworks, a startup that grew out of the Harvard lab of sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis, is mining anonymized medical-claims data to identify which doctors may be the strongest influencers of their colleagues. The company uses computational tools developed at Christakis’s lab to look at the prescribing patterns of large groups of doctors, build maps of professional ties, and track how the popularity of a new drug grows.  Read more