You know Phoenix to be the pioneering manufacturer of neonatal and maternal care equipment in India. But the company is also utilising its strengths to develop other different products and to make these widely available. The initial response to one of these products suggests that they will potentially improve the lives of millions of people in India and around the world. This product is SmartCane.
SmartCane was developed by Phoenix in collaboration with IIT Delhi and Saksham Trust. The product was developed to allow visually challenged people to move independently with safety so that they can travel to school, work or social gatherings. ‘Smart Cane’ uses a system of vibrations to convey information to the user about obstacles in his or her path. These vibrations also convey to the user how far the obstacle is, permitting him or her to take appropriate action and navigate gracefully. SmartCane allows a visually challenged person to walk with safety, confidence and dignity.
SmartCane has the potential to help a very large number of people. In India alone, the number of blind people is 15 million—and there are another 70 million individuals who are afflicted with significant visual impairment that cannot be corrected fully by any means. Phoenix has set itself the goal of empowering every visually challenged person in India with SmartCane. Hence, the company has embarked upon a mission to conduct awareness and training workshops in all the major cities of India. The first of these dissemination events was held at Chennai on 21 March 2015. The event brought together visually handicapped persons from colleges and welfare organisations, caregivers, students, medical professionals and community volunteers from Chennai and places nearby. Phoenix Medical Systems was supported by its partners, IIT Delhi and Saksham Trust, in conducting this event. The venue was IIT Madras, the alma mater of Mr. V. Sashi Kumar, Managing Director of Phoenix.
Speakers at the programme included Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director of IIT Madras, Dr. Rohan Paul, who conceived the idea of SmartCane and nurtured it into a product, and Dr. R. V. Ramani, founder and Managing Trustee , Sankara Eye Foundation . Dr. Rohan Paul and the SmartCane team at Phoenix were felicitated on the occasion. Mr. Patrick Rosario, visually challenged musician, playing on the accord captivated the audience with a number of compositions.