“It’s Good to Do Business in Xi’an”—An Interview with Hu Yuankai, Inventor of “Changeable Lead Clothes”


Hu Yuankai (second left) stays with Russian experts

“The ‘Changeable Lead Clothes’ you invented has made a great contribution to the world. We in Russia do not have such products, but with the increased awareness of self-protection among physicians, we all hope to use this as soon as possible,” said the President of St. Maria Urban Children’s No. 2 Hospital of St. Petersburg, Russia yesterday to Hu Yuankai, the Xi’an inventor who is visiting Russia.

The “Changeable Lead Clothes” is actually a walking device that supports lead clothing, which distributes the weight of lead plates in the traditional lead clothing following the contour of the human body, with flexible upper garment, lower hem and helmet attached, and achieves the combination of protection and convenience to provide shelter to medical staff working in operating theaters.

The inventor Hu Yuankai told the press that his reason for choosing “Changeable Lead Clothes” as the research subject is that he wanted to solve the problem and that it takes nearly 30 years to complete the research work ranging from concept to products.

In 1990, Hu Yuankai worked in a post associated with X-ray. “At that time I was so young and without self-protection awareness that I used to operate bulb tube collimator converter of CT scanner without any protective device on me. You know radiation is an accumulative process which did not cause any notice from me until the physical checkup when I found the numbers of white cells and blood platelets in my body was half that of a normal person. My survival could be said to be a narrow escape,” said Hu Yuankai, who then made up his mind to make an invention to this end, “Only with physicians protected can the health of everyone guaranteed.” Yet owing to the restriction of reality, his thought had to be shelved for a while and the while lasted as long as 20 years. 

According to Hu Yuankai, a common mistake many medical protection companies make is that they want to make the protective garment look beautiful, but that is not the point. “It doesn’t matter whether the dress looks nice or bad, the point is it is able to prevent rays.” What degree of ray prevention can the “Changeable Lead Clothes” invented by Hu Yuankai reach? The answer is there will be zero radiation received by the wearer. Previously, a doctor doing an operation had to wear a lead clothing as heavy as 15 kg which provides partial protection only, with head, arms, and thyroid exposed to radiation. In addition, “Changeable Lead Clothes” is zero in weight, which means very light to a doctor.

Hu Yuankai also said that the difficult point of the invention is that first no successful precedent could be referred to so the structure is difficult to make, and that second it was hard to have mass production owing to the difficult processing. “To make the imagination come true is too difficult.” But the optimistic Hu Yuankai gradually overcame the difficulties. Going through the implementation in 2012, the application for patent rights in 2014 and being granted award of patent in 2016, the invention now is in mass production.

On January 4 this year, the news item “The Hard Technology of Great Xi’an Watched by a Shanghai Company” issued by this newspaper also got the attention of the authority of Xi'an High-tech Industries Development Zone, which now offers supports to the 66-year-old Hu Yuankai for the preparation of a more ambitious project based on his invention “Changeable Lead Clothes”. It is expected that a “unicorn company” will appear in Great Xi’an in the near future.

“The value of a person lies in the contribution he makes to the society but not in the personal gain. I want to serve the society with my invention which helps ultimately relieve the pain of the sick.” For a long time, Hu Yuankai has set his eyes on the innovative efforts and the process has made him a happy man. Being a man of belief, Hu Yuankai often says, “What makes a person happy is that he can make all happy.” So far he has put all his financial gains in earlier years into his research and development in, say, wrinkle removing spray, working hard to cultivate innovative human resources and making contributions to the development of Great Xi’an.

At the end of the interview, Hu Yuankai said with passion: “Shaanxi as my homeland has brought me up, I was cultivated by the army, my medical background cannot be separated from Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicines, my career has been cared by the former Fourth Military Medical University which was based in Xi’an, and all of my family and friends are in Xi’an too. Since last year, Xi’an has undergone great changes, with environment for innovation and entrepreneurship becoming better and better, and it is good to do business in Xi’an! I am very confident about the future here!”

[Source:Xi’an Daily]