During a surgery, precision is everything. It’s the fine line, the millisecond between recovery and relapse, relief and grief, life and death. Realizing the increased need for precision the first commercial electrosurgical device was created and used in 1926 in Boston, USA. Today, there is still vast improvement and innovation needed in electrosurgery as unintended harm is still caused in the form of electric burns and electric leakage. The locally produced devices are built on outdated technology resulting in unwanted thermal damage and charring of tissues. Imported devices, even after dictating extremely high prices (as high as $10,000) still do not ensure power control that could translate into patient safety. Two inventive and ambitious brothers from Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been working tirelessly to adapt, digitize and transform existing electrosurgical technologies to be more precise, cost effective and user-friendly especially within the Pakistani medical context. The Rafiq brothers, armed with technical degrees in Electrical Engineering and born with the curiosity chromosome, have tinkered with an electrosurgical generator to near perfection since their electrical mechanic father first brought it home some six years ago. These upwardly mobile brothers aim to honor their father’s legacy by re-imagining and catapulting the family business in to the future by keeping their finger on the pulse of technological advancement.
Incorporating tenets of inbuilt ground referencing for greater precision, Muhammad Mohsin Rafiq and Muhammad Nouman Rafiq, have developed an electrosurgical generator that is energy and cost efficient while being much safer than its counterparts available in the market. Their prototype boasts less blood loss, better cost, more precision. More difficult still is the repair of foreign made electrosurgical generators as the parts are either unavailable or pricey in the local Pakistani market. Between shipping costs and untimely repair, the upkeep of these machines costs hospitals not only funds but lives in the interim. APRUS has found a solution to this two-pronged market problem and need by sourcing local raw materials and labor to make an electrosurgical generator at 10 times less then the cost of its American counterpart. The product is not slashing medical costs of hospitals but as the company steadily scales up its operations, will produce a skilled technical workforce and generate jobs within KPK and the country. Their electrosurgical generator has been in use by surgical professionals since the past four years and all eighty devices are operated in different hospitals in Pakistan and to date more than 70,000 successful surgeries are performed on their devices. Surgeons have testified to the effectiveness of the life-saving technology and low cost repairs.
Muhammad Mohsin Rafiq and Nouman Rafiq, the founder of APRUS, has their sights set high as they wants their electrosurgical generator and company to not only be a well-known and reliable tech-based solution in Pakistan but be competitive abroad as well. The company has already started to get media attention locally and have been featured on a number of Television programs such as AVT Khyber channel and PTV Home and on Radio Pakistan FM101. Mohsin Rafiq is pursuing a PhD in Instant response technology from CECOS University to further strengthen his know-how and engineering skills for an even more holistic approach to technology development.
No matter which industry these brothers venture in to, their earnest hard-work, commitment to locally-driven solutions and holistic outlook on product and service delivery makes them a startup on the cusp of revolutionizing the country’s technology sector. APRUS is currently incubated at the National Incubation Center in Peshawar and with the right mentorship and growth support their aspirations are well on their way to reality.