Suman Mulumudi is not your average 15-year-old high school student.
A self-professed "science enthusiast," Mulumudi discovered 3D printing and did what a lot of people do when they first encounter the technology – he decided to make an iPhone case.
But rather than print out a case adorned with skulls or characters from The Hunger Games, Mulumudi built his case to function as a stethoscope. Called the Steth IO, Mulumudi's creation includes a diaphragm on the back of the case through which low frequency sounds are collected and channeled by a series of tubes into the phone's onboard microphone. The phone is then used to collect, interpret, and record the sound of a human heart beat.
After creating a series of prototypes, Mulumudi decided it wasn't enough to see his device work, he went on to form his own company, Stratoscientific, and then submitted the Steth IO to the Food and Drug Administration for approval.
Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that Suman's dad, Mahesh, happens to be a cardiologist, and it was following conversations with his father that Suman came up with his idea for the Steth IO. Suman's father invented the LesionSizer, an optical mouse-based device which helps doctors select the right stent for patients undergoing angioplasty, and it served as inspiration to his son's efforts.
Mulumudi first encountered 3D printing technology as a sixth grader via a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic.
"We put it together," Mulumudi said. "We used it for about half a year. That got me exposed, to the extent that I could see the power 3D printing would have. The first thing that came to mind for prototyping was 3D printing."
Mulumudi, now a student at The Lakeside School in Seattle, aspires to be an entrepreneur cut from the same cloth as some other Lakeside alumni like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and those gentleman did okay for themselves.
"People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz – mostly Washington people – they all did one thing," Mulumudi says. "They took an idea and expanded that concept into something that changed the world."
And Mulumudi's interests aren't limited to medical topics. Along the way, he's cast his inquisitive mind toward using algae as a source of biodiesel, postulating on the efficacy of extending human life with cryonics and thinking about how allergic reactions might effect human evolution.