RestorEar’s work is made possible by our entire expert team of scientists, clinicians, and engineers. But the work of Dr. Suhrud Rajguru, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at RestorEar, may take the cake! Dr. Rajguru’s extensive research experience in biomedical engineering and otolaryngology has driven the design, function, and clinical utility of all RestorEar products. Below, Dr. Rajguru provides insight into starting a company, leading the scientific field, and turning passions into careers with some rapid-fire responses.
What is your background in medical devices and hearing health? I’ve been researching pathologies related to the ear - hearing and balance disorders, physiology and anatomy, and therapeutics for over 20 years. My research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and industry partners with grants totaling more than $10 million.
How did you and co-founder Curtis King become business partners? I have known Curtis for over 23 years as an engineer extraordinaire and with his experience in medical device startups, bringing them from concept to prototype to commercialized products. It was a no-brainer to co-found RestorEar Devices with him.
Can you share the story behind the creation of your company and how it all began? What inspired you to create ReBound? Protecting and preserving the long term hearing of my daughter, and all children like her, who are unknowingly exposed to hazardous noise. My own struggles with tinnitus and decades of research experience studying hearing and balance systems.
How did your background contribute to the development of ReBound? Research for me and engineering expertise for Curtis. Combined we have significant knowledge in startup creation, device development and testing, and preclinical and clinical research
What sets ReBound apart from existing solutions in the market for hearing health? There currently are no solutions for long term preservation of healthy hearing on the market. Various ear plugs and noise canceling devices exist as preventative measures but are poorly and under utilized. ReBound is the only solution of its kind designed to reduce/prevent damage to the sensitive hearing structures. It is backed by significant preclinical data, and therapeutic hypothermia has been in clinics for general neurological protection for decades.
Did you collaborate with any hearing health professionals or experts during the development of ReBound? If so, how did their input shape the final design? We continuously work with audiologists, inner ear surgeons, and other medical device professionals as well as industry professionals to stay abreast of the latest in the field. The collaborations also help us develop and design devices that benefit a variety of patient groups and human conditions.
How do you plan to educate and raise awareness among consumers about the importance of hearing health and the availability of ReBound? There’s growing awareness of the noise-induced hearing loss, particularly in military and protective service members (firefighters, police, paramedics, construction workers etc). New research has shown a link between hearing loss and long term neurocognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Hearing loss is the number one modifiable risk factor for neurological decline. We show through peer reviewed preclinical and clinical studies that the therapy underlying ReBound and RestorEar products is effective and safe. We also work with our clinical and community partners, including firefighters across Florida and the nation, to educate and disseminate this knowledge,
Are there any plans to expand your product line or develop additional medical devices in the future? We plan to grow and extend the product line to benefit patients undergoing inner ear and middle ear surgeries, cochlear implants, hearing protection, tinnitus, noise-induced hearing loss, vertigo and other balance dysfunctions originating in the inner ear.
How do you envision RestorEar contributing to the overall improvement of hearing health globally? Hearing loss is a global challenge and noise is only increasing in our surroundings and the environment. We expect RestorEar and ReBound to benefit patients of all ages across the world with a highly recognizable and safe, effective therapy.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or individuals interested in entering the medical device industry? Run, run away. Just kidding. There's a tremendous need for more entrepreneurs and biomedical engineers to get involved and develop products to benefit human health. There are major global challenges that need addressing. Get involved early, learn from other founders and entrepreneurs who have been highly successful, and grow your network.
You can learn more about Suhrud and his work at RestorEar here and check out ReBound here.