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Health-care technology from IIT Madras

Here’s some good news to share about Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), a DBT supported R&D centre of IIT Madras. Dr. Mohanasankar Sivaprakasam sends us this report. HTIC brings together engineers, doctors and healthcare professionals, industry and government to develop healthcare technologies specifically addressing accessibility and affordability. HTIC collaborates with more than 15 organizations in its goal to develop these technologies, thus evolving into a leading med-tech collaboration platform in the country. HTIC is driven by its vision to create impact and drive innovation in healthcare and be a leader in this area known for technical excellence and collaborative spirit. A recent summary of HTIC’s work is featured here.

HTIC has already delivered three working solutions since its inception in late 2011.

a) A mobile eye surgical unit that can travel to remote locations that provides a safe, stable and sterile environment to perform cataract surgery. This first-of-its-kind technology and delivery model in the country consists of several engineering innovations to meet safety and sterility requirement’s while operating in rural setting. Following the demonstration of clinical feasibility and viability through pilot of 486 surgeries, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has given approval to continue operations. A video documentary of the project is here

b) HTIC has developed Eye-PAC™, a computing technology for extracting information from eye images. HTIC’s Eye-PAC™ technology consists of image computing and analytics modules built upon advanced mathematical and computational techniques. HTIC partnered with Forus Health, a young Indian med-tech company, to develop a solution based on Eye-PAC™ technology for their indigenous multifunctional ophthalmic pre-screening device, 3nethra. The computational intelligence capabilities of Eye-PAC™ have helped 3nethra reach more than 100 locations in 8 different countries.

c) Evaluation of arterial stiffness requires measurement of changes in arterial dimensions. State of the art methods use ultrasound imaging for this. The requirement of expensive technology, and extensive technical expertise to use that technology limits wide spread use of image-based arterial stiffness. HTIC has developed ARTSENS™ – an image-free technology for non-invasively measuring arterial stiffness in an automated manner. Pilot studies have demonstrated the ability of ARTSENS™ to measure arterial stiffness under in-vivo settings, even by personnel with limited training. An extensive clinical study of the device is currently underway.

Do take a look and send us your ideas about how engineers and scientists can work with medics to get affordable healthcare to the field: K. VijayRaghavan