Interview with Amrish Nair: BIORITHM

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Born and raised in Singapore, Amrish Nair received his B.Eng. and M.Eng. from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University. His graduate studies research led him to numerous international publications and a US Patent on ECG signal analysis and monitoring. His research collaboration with TTSH cardiologist, Dr. David FOO and NTU supervisor Assoc. Prof. Pina Marziliano led him to spin-off BIORITHM, a medtech startup providing cutting-edge signal processing solutions in the fields of remote monitoring and wearable technology. Amrish Nair is passionate in developing medical device technologies for the well-being and health of patients. As one of the founding members of BIORITHM, Amrish and his team set out with the aim of making medical technology more affordable and available whilst pushing technological limits to greater progression. Amrish Nair will be speaking at our upcoming event 3DHEALS Startup Showcase: Singapore.

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?

Amrish: We used 3D printing to prototype the first two versions of the device. The process was critical in getting us to establish our clinical proof of concept quickly. Especially for 1-20 units, 3D printing is critical from a cost/time/flexibility perspective.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey?

Amrish: We use a mix of processes for our final fabrication but 3D printing is essential especially as we venture into more ambitious and complex shapes and devices to fit the pregnant belly. The concept of mass customization, developing printed electronic ‘skins’ is a concept we are exploring for our second version of our device.

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey ?

Amrish: It was the first industrial designer we worked with, Ian Myles. He introduced us to the concept of using multiple modalities as we moved from 1 to 10 to 100 to 1000 devices. From hobby to prototype to product essentially. 3D printing was a mainstay for us for about a year in prototyping.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Amrish: The fact that we could make the lives of pregnant women better and that we could improve pregnancy care with data and novel devices.

People often focus on the sexier topics of AI, but easily forget that Ai depends on data that is sensed and generated/acquired from these devices. And if devices are not well designed, there will be no data to work with.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?

Amrish: Introducing a new care modality. Medicine is incredibly conservative and pregnancy care even more so. Taking of not one, but two lives is a heavy responsibility for doctors, midwives, and nurses and we understand that. It is up to Biorithm to prove we are safe to use and will improve their lives.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Amrish: Scale. 3D printing both in terms of production velocity and costs is prohibitive for large-scale applications. Understandably so given it was not designed for that purpose. Finding the value that 3D printing provides (flexibility of design, speed of iterations, etc.) and how we can align that with what patients/doctors are willing to pay for. Certain industries like implants, surgical simulation, etc. have found success but other industries such as sensors and wearables still have a way to go.

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?

Amrish:

1. Data sharing between stakeholders. Value can be unlocked if we unlock our silos.

2. Fast, cheap, iteratable design at scale. (all 3. Haha)

3. Understanding the value of hardware and how hard it is. Investors have forgotten the roots of innovation in hardware that sparked our data revolution. We are heading towards a lack of understanding of how data is generated, and are only focusing on how data is processed, and that could be dangerous.

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?

Amrish: Every idea is worth exploring, to a point. Know when to cut losses, iterate/pivot, and move on.

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