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Med-Tech Innovation for Make-in-India to meet the needs of people

New Delhi: A Press Conference was organized by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India on 12th Jan, 2016 from 12.00 noon at the CSIR science center, New Delhi. Hon’ble Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Hon’ble Minister for State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr. Y. S. Chowdary presided over the Press Conference and shared details on new affordable products developed which are of societal and public health relevance. Dr. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT, and other senior DBT officials were present at the event.

The DBT has pioneered in promoting Biotechnology sector in the country through competitive support to bioscience research, education and entrepreneurship programs. Realizing the need for Medical Technology innovation, the Department is promoting this sector by supporting various programmes across the country. Through the support of DBT a large number of Medical technology innovations have successfully resulted in affordable products which are of societal and public health relevance. This area has seen a large numbers of successful scientists’entrepreneurs and young start-ups building their own enterprises. The complete value chain form product innovation to commercialization has been facilitated and today we have about 40 medical devices and diagnostics some of which have received USFDA clearances. Biodesignprogramme is one of the examples of inclusive medical technology innovation. This is based on a novel approach of end-to-end process that begins with idea generation through clinical immersion up to commercialization by a multi-disciplinary team comprising a physician, engineer, product designer, and an entrepreneur. The objective of this programme is to train next generation of medical technology innovators who will in turn focus on invention and early stage development of low cost new medical technologies for the Indian population. The aim is to develop simple, rapid, indigenous, low cost medical devices and implants by applying 4 components i.e. affordability, accessibility, availability and appropriateness.

The Biodesignprogrammes of the Department is an example of the successful pilot innovation model to bring together medical school with IIT expertise to create a pool of medical technology innovators focused on implants and devices. This has created a complete ecosystem to facilitate development of innovative healthcare technologies in the country by generating innovative ideas through strong interaction with academia, clinicians and industry. This programme has been successful in encouraging medical device innovations to address the unmet needs of India, promoting entrepreneurship in medical device sector by formation of start-ups, indigenous development of medical devices and dissemination of innovations in India and globally.

Under this initiative, several indigenous technologies have been developed to address unmet medical needs of India. As an outcome, more than 100 innovators have been trained. Several national and international patents have been filed. Various prototypes have been developed. Some of the Fellows of this programme have established their start-up companies for further refining, testing, validating and converting the prototypes into the products. They are: Consure Medical Pvt. Ltd.; Windmill Health Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; Sohum Innovation Labs Pvt. Ltd.; Indio Labs Pvt. Ltd.; Brun Health Private Limited; Observe Design Pvt. Ltd.; JC Orthoheal Pvt. Ltd.; MGM Associates, New Delhi; Mecmaan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Haryana; Inaccel Consulting Services, Bangalore.

Some of the technologies developed and transferred to the industries are: Fecal Incontinence Device;Limb-Immobilisation Device; Neonatal Resuscitation Device;Patient Transfer Device; Fetomaternal Parameter Monitoring System;A Portable Hand Sanitization Device; Auditory Impairment Screening Device;Soft Tissue Biopsy device; Device for concurrent Biopsy and Hemostasis; Abdominal Paracentesis Device, Assistive Device for Enteral Tubes; Aspiration Device; etc.

In order to train a large number of medical technology innovators in the country,Indigenous International Innovation Fellowship (‘i-Fellowship’)in frugal medical technology innovation has been launched by the Department at AllMS and IIT, Delhi in collaboration with global partnering institutions. The i-Fellowship is an interdisciplinary, team-based, experiential hands-on training program where physicians, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs and researchers come together to identify needs of the healthcare system in India with a frugal approach and develop an affordable solutions.

The Department has also established Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) at IIT-Madras. This Centre is delivering innovations and technologies that are reaching the field through government and industry partnerships, bringing benefits to lives and our society. Some of the technologies developed under HTIC are: a) Eye-PAC, the comprehensive ophthalmic image computing platform; b) ARTSENSTM, the vascular screening technology;  c) an improved design for a Neonatal Transport Unit, d) a highly efficient, practical and useful technology for performing accurate contouring of surgical plates used in reconstruction surgery; e) to evaluate feasibility and appropriateness of LBC in cervical cancer screening in resource-constrained settings of India; and f) wearable health status monitor for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. The HTIC has established collaborations with various industries.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) set-up by the Department has supported nearly 300 Start-up’s and SME”s and 150 young entrepreneurs for innovation, research and product development.The biotech startup scenario in India was transformed by BIRAC’s flagship schemes- BIG, SBIRI, BIPP, CRS and SPARSH which have resulted more than 30 Products, 20 Technologies, 16 Early Stage-Technologies. 2 Process Innovations, 40 IP.

Medtech Products (devices & diagnostics) supported by BIRAC that have been commercialized:

  1. Fluorescence Reader for detection of multiple infections simultaneously by Designinnova in partnership with ICGEB
  2. Fibroheal: facemasks for burn wound management by Healthline
  3. Aina: to measure blood glucose/Hb/lipids/creatinine by Janacare
  4. Laser system for photodynamic therapy for cancer by Vinvish Technologies
  5. Rapid point of care diagnostic kit for malaria/dengue & typhoid by Bigtec
  6. Maxio: device for tumour ablation/cancer treatment by Perfint
  7. Oncoscan: digital oncopathology slide scanner with image view by Optra Systems
  8. Immunodiagnostic Kit for autoimmune diseases by Amar Diagnostics
  9. Malaria detection kit by Genomix Molecular Diagnostics
  10. Autochem Ingenious: low cost chemical analyser by Span Diagnostics
  11. Malaria diagnostic kit by Bhat Biotech