October 8, 2015

We are taking the hospital to patients – Steve Ayanruoh

We are taking the hospital to patients – Steve Ayanruoh

Hospital-in-a box

By Ebele Orakpo

Dr Steve Ayanruoh is a US-based Nigerian physician and  Chief Executive Officer at Ruskat Medical Equipment Corporation based in El-Paso, Texas, USA. He was in Nigeria recently as part of a US team on a trade mission to eight African countries. He spoke with Vanguard on his invention, Hospital-in-a-box and the reason for the visit.


Hospital-in-a box

Hospital-in-a box

According to Dr Steve Ayanruoh, the Commerce Department of the US organised the trade mission, the largest trade mission to Africa from the US. The participating companies both from the US and Nigeria, discussed areas of cooperation with hope of signing contracts in the future.

Speaking with Vanguard Learning, Dr Ayanruoh said Ruskat Medical Equipment Corporation is in the business of making healthcare cheaper and easier to get. “We want to ensure that every citizen of the world has access to comprehensive healthcare irrespective of colour, race, religious belief, sexual orientation and economic status. We manufacture a machine called Hospital-in-a-box so instead of the patient going to the hospital, the hospital goes to the patient.

Driving force:

On what motivated the invention of Hospital-in-a-box, Ayanruoh  said: “As a paediatrician in the US, I went to work one winter morning, only to find out that I was the only one in the clinic to attend to about three patients at the same time. So, I said to myself, ‘If only I could do something that will aid their treatment.’ This was my motivation. People’s lack of access to adequate health care service is my driving force.”


The components include spirometer, electrocardiogram, nebulizer, pulse-oximetry, otoscope, thermometer, cuff, wireless, AC/DC battery. “On the desktop are icons for all the examinations that the machine can perform. When each examination is performed, the results are stored in each individualized folder, which is also on the desktop.

These results can either be stored in a flash drive or sent through the internet to assigned server. Doctors assigned to the locations where the machine is being used can log into the server to review the results and send their recommendations to the site provider.

“The spirometer is used to examine how well people’s lungs are functioning. The lung can have diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive disease, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, croup, pneumonia, hard lung tissue among others. “The nebulizer is used to measure blood pressure. It can also be used to diagnose high blood pressure (HBP), low blood pressure, systolic hypertension and dizziness due to changing blood pressure with changes in the patient’s position.

“The pulse-oximeter measures oxygen level in the blood and heart rate. It can help to differentiate lung disease such as asthma. Also, it helps to diagnose cardiac disease such as Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and endocrine disease such as Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Not every panting patient has a lung disease just as not all bluish patients need oxygen.

“The thermometer is used to measure the temperature of the forehead in seconds. It can be used to diagnose fever, low temperature and febrile seizures. The hand-held device can examine any part of the body such as ears, eyes, nose, and mouth, among others,” he said.

Hospital-in-a-box makes it possible for relevant and crucial  patient information including multiple examinations results and their corresponding digitized images to be shared and compared with others elsewhere in order to properly and accurately evaluate the health of the patient. With Hospital-in-a-box, a patient almost needs not go to the hospital. Rather, the  hospital ‘goes’ to the patient.

“For example, if there is a trained provider using the machine in Lagos, he could send his results to a server in Kano or Maiduguri and the assigned doctor. The assigned doctor who is vacationing in Enugu can log into the server to review the result and send recommendations back to Lagos. The device can also be used in disasters such as hurricane, tsunamis, floods, etc.”

Ayanruoh said the team was billed to visit eight African countries including South Africa, Angola and Nigeria.  “There are a lot of interests. After the meetings, I will write my reports and present to the boards back in the US and then they do some due diligence on some of the companies before they decide on which companies to partner with,” he said.