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The much-awaited annual event – Medical Device Innovation Camp (MEDIC), an initiative by BETiC – Biomedical Engineering and Technology incubation Centre at IIT Bombay, kick-started today at the IIT Bombay campus.

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

Over five days and four nights (Fri, 28 Sep to Tue, 2 Oct 2018), 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 said in his inaugural address, “ individual research alone rarely nurtures an innovation environment. However, the MEDIC formula of group research is extremely important. It is only through this that you can translate fundamental research into application domain.”

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra said at the inaugural, “ there are times when the individual’s energy can get eroded. However, we must make sure that the energy of a system such as this, to foster innovation to solve problems, never gets eroded.”

From LtoR – Prof. A.K. Suresh, Dr Manish Agarwal, Dr Anil Kakodkar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Prof B Ravi

Prof. B. Ravi, Head of BETiC, IIT Bombay, the architect of MEDIC added, “Participants of the Medical Device Innovation Camp start off with four uncertainties – they do not know the place, do not know the problem, do not know who they will work with, and do not know the tools they will use. Yet over the next four days and nights, it all magically comes together, and they will present brilliant proof-of-concepts for unmet clinical needs. 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.”

Winners of past MEDIC have developed inventions such as the Ayulink smart stethoscope (to record and send heart & 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 immobilize 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). 16 such innovations are chronicled in Prof B Ravi’s book ‘Essence of Medical Device Innovation’, which was applauded by Hon. PM Narendra Modi during his visit to IIT Bombay last month.

The second edition of this book, was inaugurated at MEDIC today by iconic filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

“We need to rapidly traverse the path from idea to invention to innovation to impact in healthcare domain. This requires all relevant stakeholders to come out of their comfort zones and work together. Our experience at BETiC shows that this is now possible in India – thanks to the market pull by doctors, technology push by researchers and conducive environment created by the government for entrepreneurs” added Prof B Ravi.

Prof. A.K. Suresh (Deputy Director of IIT-B) said “an innovative approach to device development is absolutely of essence, and the ability to do this on scale, so that the fruits can be reaped by a large section of the society in quick time is equally important.”

Dr. Manish Agarwal (Orthopedic Surgeon, Hinduja Hospital, co-PI of OrthoCAD project) also spoke at the inaugural, highlighting the need for an innovation ecosystem in the country.

BETiC Biomedical Engineering and Technology incubation Centre is located at IIT Bombay, with satellite centres in five engineering colleges (VNIT Nagpur, COE Pune, KJSCE Mumbai, MIT-ADT Pune and Symbiosis Pune) and three medical institutes (MGMIHS Sanpada, DMIMS Wardha and BKLWH Dervan). The initiative is envisioned and supported by RGSTC, Govt. of Maharashtra, Mumbai and DST, New Delhi, to accelerate indigenous development of affordable medical devices suitable for local manufacture and use.

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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