N-ovative Health Technologies (NHT) is Pakistan’s first research driven medical devices manufacturing facility based at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). The ISO 13485 certified, state-of-art facility is manufacturing coronary bare metal stents, drug eluting stents and PTCA balloon catheters specifically targeting the deprived population of Pakistan, where more than 70% of the population do not have access to these lifesaving devices. Diagnostic angiographic catheters, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) and Ventilators have also been developed for commercialization and their production lines are being installed.
Dr Murtaza Najabat Ali, Founding CEO N-ovative Health Technologies (NHT), and Col (R) Dr Muhammad Mumtaz Mirza, Head of Corporate Strategic Office NHT, visited the USA in July where they attended 45th Annual Convention during 13th to 17th July, and visited Graham Engineering facility on 20th July. The 45th Annual Convention, a five-day event, was arranged by Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) at Atlantic City, USA, where around 4000 doctors and dignitaries attended the event. During this visit, Dr Murtaza Najabat Ali and Col (R) Dr Muhammad Mumtaz Mirza represented NHT as Pakistan’s first facility for the production of medical devices. He delivered a talk at "King Edward Medical College Session” on 16th July, presented as an Expert Panelist at APPNA MERIT convention and had Dinner with Ambassador H.E. Mr. Masood Khan and Federal Minister of Planning & Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on 18th July.
Figure 1: a) 45th Annual Convention b) CEO NHT with H.E. Mr Masood Khan, c) briefing the Audience about NHT d) presenting as an expert panelist
1. Activities during the 45th Annual Convention
Talk at King Edward Medical College Session at APPNA 45th Annual Convention - 16th July
In the King Edward Medical College Session at APPNA 45th Annual Convention, Dr. Murtaza Najabat Ali gave a brief introduction of NHT - Pakistan's first research driven industry, which is manufacturing cost effective Cardiovascular Implants and Electromedical Devices. He also shared his journey on how he took an initiative to establish N-ovative Health Technologies to manufacture high-quality, cost-effective cardiac stents and catheters for the first time in Pakistan. He also briefed about the challenges he faced and surmounted during this journey. The establishment of the facility started with the construction of an 18,000 sq ft (covered area) building in the capital of Pakistan, technology transfer from Germany, procurement of imported production machinery from EU countries and development of highly skilled Human Resource. Since the products are of bioengineering nature and they were being produced for the first time in Pakistan, there was a lack of highly specialized and skilled human resource. To overcome this challenge, he developed, trained and managed a multidisciplinary team comprising of engineers and scientists. This journey began by teaching basics to his students in class, through providing them with extensive research experience and recruiting them as interns or trainee officers and getting them trained by the international collaborators in EU for industrial operations and relevant international standards, to later building and managing the project team and motivating them to complete the deliverables within deadline. This venture also led to employment generation in Pakistan, creating jobs for 150 direct and indirect employees.
Since NHT is Pakistan’s first research driven medical devices industry, there was no specific body authorized for the regulation of medical devices at the time of its establishment. The launch of this venture called for a massive change in Pakistan, where an additional division was appended to Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for the regulation of the medical devices.
Presented as an Expert Panelist at APPNA MERIT convention - 16th July
Dr. Murtaza Najabat Ali presented medical devices landscape of Pakistan as one of the expert panelists at APPNA MERIT convention chaired by H.E. Mr. Masood Khan Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Washington DC on 16th July 2022. He also briefed the audience about how the NHT team took the matter into their own hands after seeing Pakistan’s situation in the Covid-19 crisis and how they left no stone unturned to develop N-Savior (mechanical ventilator) and Prestine-Air (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) in the limited resources during the 2020 lockdown. He also stated that the NHT facility is actively working on some projects and will have more products in the market by the end of 2024. With the efforts being put and the example being set by NHT, Pakistan is expected to visualize self-sufficiency in the healthcare sector, soon.
Figure 2: CEO NHT presenting as an expert panelist
Dinner with Ambassador H.E. Mr. Masood Khan and Federal Minister of Planning & Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal - 18th July
At the dinner hosted by Ambassador of Pakistan H.E. Mr. Masood Khan at Washington DC in the honor of Federal Minister of Planning & Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Dr. Murtaza Najabat Ali CEO NHT NUST as the domain expert of medical devices industry briefed about his nationally ground-breaking initiative aims to make healthcare more affordable for patients, by locally manufacturing high-quality medical devices that will bring advantages for the entire healthcare system, thus eradicating instability in Pakistan.
Figure 3: At dinner with H.E. Mr. Masood Khan and Prof. Ahsan Iqbal
2. Visit to Graham Engineering - 20th July
CEO N-ovative Health Technologies (NHT), Dr Murtaza Najabat Ali, along with Col (R) Dr Muhammad Mumtaz Mirza (Head of Strategic Office NHT) visited Graham Engineering in Pennsylvania United States, where their visit was hosted by their Vice President Mr. Michael Duff and Director International Sales Mr. Vladmir Ilutovich. Graham Engineering is the leading extrusion solution providers in the world related to medical tubing and medical catheters. During the meeting, a strategic alliance was established by both NHT and GRAHAM ENGINEERING for improving the efficiency of their operations and efficacy of their products.
Figure 4: a) and c)Dr Murtaza and Col (R) Dr Mumtaz being presented with Souvenirs. b) Presentation at Graham Engineering, d)Visiting Graham Engineering Facility d)
Establishment of NHT has been a steppingstone towards making Pakistan self-sufficient in the area of medical devices. Team NHT is working tirelessly to develop and manufacture new medical devices that Pakistan is in dire need of and to bring NUST and Pakistan to new heights of success. This visit proved valuable as it not only brought to limelight this first of its kind facility based at NUST and highlighted the struggle behind its establishment but also opened new avenues that will help in achieving NHT’s vision which is “Healthcare for all”.