He is a successful young man, who we met around a year ago at the National Theatre Garden – favorite place of everyone – playing chess, playing backgammon, in love couples, fancy dressed ladies and gentlemen going to the theatre as well as youngsters singing and having a good time with guitars in hand. This is exactly how we met Vanyo.
No one expected that this actually is the future Dr. Vanyo Vezirov, an already graduated doctor, creator of the company OS IMPLANTS, which changes the outlook of surgeons all over the world with its innovation, that he is about to tell us more about.
How does a day in your life start?
Different everyday. I haven’t built a stereotype. The thing I love the most is to start my day with a walk outside. For a while now my day starts with mediation too.
Hello, Vanyo! How are you feeling today?
Hello, I’m feeling good. Typically there are different types of jokingly answers that I would like to use, so that I can make the person who asks smile. My all time favorite is: “Better that anyone”. But to be specific, I feel happy and inspired.
You recently received the award for innovation in medicine, just a few minutes before getting your doctor diploma, how does that feel?
What I can say is that it is extremely exciting to stand up in front of all of your colleagues, already graduated doctors, their close friends and family and diplomats and ministers at Hall 1, NDK. You meet so many people who congratulate you and honor what you are doing. It’s Exciting. I’m thankful to Switzerland’s ambassador here – Muriel Berset Kohen, who herself gave me the price “Innovation in Medicine”. You know that Switzerland is Europe’s innovation leader, this is why it’s a big accomplishment for me.
Will you be missing university? Share a fun story with us.
I don’t think that I will be missing university. To be honest I have never been sentimental about university or school. For me life outside it is much more exciting, because it’s more authentic and “more vulnerable” for innovations and new things. Don’t get me started on business where innovations are everything. Most of the educational structures include a big portion of conservatism and this is a problem for new innovators. One of the funny stories that is imprinted in my mind is from my microbiology exam. This was one of the hard ones, because we had a lot to learn by heart.I remember having to talk about the immune system and I got so fired up that I started using many metaphors. Teacher had the conclusion: “What do you mean by saying that, usually, but not always the outnumbering army of cells wins?” and I said to her: “I mean the movie 300”. After that I slightly smiled with the hopes that she gets the joke. I was lucky that the teacher smiled back and we started discussing the scenography and director’s work. It was a great moment.
What is OS IMPLANTS exactly?
OS IMPLANTS is a biotechnological company made in February 2019. We are producing artificial implants for human and animal usage thanks to a process of 3D printing. We invented our own 3D printing platform that helps us print them using different materials. This platform gives us the opportunity to use it in different ways, however we have focused mainly on the following ones
Our first beta product consists of anatomical models. They are being used during the learning process of students in the fields of humanitarian, dental and veterinary medicine. Using our process of conversion of the image, anatomical models are built in the model of real life patients. T This way the student trains on anatomical models from a real life fracture. The second beta product is the surgery model. They are specially made for surgical residents. Prepared with the help of CT scans of real cases they serve as training models for surgeons and with their help they can plan the pre-operative assessment.In this scenario, complex cases are visually shown while the surgeon has the opportunity to attempt to do the surgery a few times prior to operating the patient itself. Third productive line – these are the customized implants. We can 3D print implants which are personally developed for the patient following its individual features and its pathological fracture lines on the injury. This way we can produce implants for more complex cases in which the implants made of titan are extremely insufficient.
How was the idea of this project born?
Like every other, this one came impulsive and spontaneous.
To be honest I have always been a science lover. Ever since my first years in university, I have been a part of extracurricular science projects. After that I participated in the Science Communication Competition which is called “Famelab” where I took the bronze in 2014. Then I got invited to “Famelab All Stars” and since then I have been active in the science communication field. It is both skill and hobby and share your experience as a scientist and how science can be accessible, easily comprehensible and interesting. I kept on doing presentations for the Sofia Science Festival. Science and biotech business then merged into one in my mind. This is how my love for science led me to opening my startup company for 3D Printing of Bones and bone implants called OS Implants. Step by step with a vision for the future, innovation in science is my passion now.This is how I serve my mission as a doctor – helping the patients in need. I believe that to be a doctor is an inner calling and you can help patients no matter if it is while working at a hospital or paving new paths in medicine.
What are your achievements so far?
So far we have achieved the following:
– Managed to get 15 000 euros invested in the form of grant by EIT/ European Institute of technology and Innovation in the sub-field of clean technology, operated by Cleantech Bulgaria.
– Managed to do marketing research.
– Developed 3 productive lines.
– Developed 3D printing platform with hardware and software parts.
– Sold our first 50 products.
– Developed key partnerships with important organizations in the medical branch.
– Won the award for “Best startup” according to Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria.
– Won the “High achievements in innovation” award given by the President of The Republic of Bulgaria.
– Won the “Innovation in medicine” award, given by the Switzerland’s embassy in our country.
How do you see OS Implants in 10 years?
As a company that can produce artificial joints and bone implants for animals, as well as humans, selling all around Europe and the Middle East.
How about yourself?
I see myself as a happy person who helps others get to the best shape they can.
How do you let loose in your free time?
What a cool question. I have many hobbies, which I really love.
Aquaristics. For many years now I have been doing aquaristic and the breeding of fish(?) and other sea creatures. I even have my own brand in aquaristics. I am an aquarist” In my free time I like to do Aquascaping. This is the Japanese art form of creating sea gardens. Music. My best friend is a singer. When we get together, we love to play instruments and sing. I recently started to play around mastering, this time not a medicine master, but a tambourine one. Traveling. Me and my girlfriend, we love adventures and traveling. Together we are creating a travel blog on Instagram, where we share our adventures in over 10 countries that we have been to. Meditation. For the last 6 months I have been more seriously getting into my personal spiritual growth and I started meditating according to the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Art. From time to time I like drawing sketches and writing blank verse poems, a project that will be coming out later in my life, when it’s fully ripe.
What would your advice to the people who want to go on the path of medicine be?
I would tell them to dig deeper in themselves, so that they can find the true motives that lead them to this path, the path of medicine.
Thank you and we wish you good luck!
I wish you inspiration and may the “fair wind” be with you. I’m saying this particularly because there are no paths, no roads in the sea to follow, however you always do follow a course.And I hope the wind blows in the course you are taking!
Check the original interview here.
Translation credits: Violetta Dimitrova
Author and Photographer: Bozhidar Stoichkov