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Doctors, engineers innovate for low-cost healthcare at IIT-B’s MEDIC

The Biomedical Engineering and Technology incubation Center (BETiC) at IIT-Bombay on Friday kickstarted a Medical Device Innovation Camp (MEDIC) to enable doctors and engineers innovate for low-cost healthcare.

This year, MEDIC has brought together 60 participants from across the country, including doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, managers and teachers to brainstorm and develop novel solutions for 15 unmet clinical needs curated from different hospitals.

Over a five-day period from September 28 to October 2, these participants will form inter-disciplinary teams, brainstorm ideas, develop proof-of-concept, and demonstrate to an eminent panel of senior doctors as jury.

Padma Vibhushan Dr Anil Kakodkar, scientist and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, while addressing the event said individual research alone rarely nurtures an innovation environment.

“However, the MEDIC formula of group research is extremely important,” he said, adding, “It is only through this that you can translate fundamental research into application domain.”

Winners of past MEDIC have developed inventions such as the Ayulink smart stethoscope (to record and send heart and lung sounds of rural patients to urban doctors for correct diagnosis), diabetic foot scanner (to prevent long-term ulceration and amputation), hybrid plaster splint (to immobilise fractured bones to prevent further damage during transport) and patient-specific anatomical models as well as surgical jigs (for better planning and execution of surgeries).

Professor B. Ravi, head of BETiC, IIT Bombay, the architect of MEDIC, said, “Winners of past camps have gone on to fully develop their ideas into medical products, file patents and license the technology to their own startup companies or to the industry.”

He has written a book chronicling 16 such innovations in ‘Essence of Medical Device Innovation’. Its second edition was inaugurated at MEDIC Friday by filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

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