IIT-Guwahati establishes ICMR-DHR centre for rural healthcare

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has established the ICMR-DHR Centre
IIT-Guwahati establishes ICMR-DHR centre for rural healthcare

GUWAHATI: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has established the ICMR-DHR Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Device and Diagnostics Innovation and Commercialization to cater the technological needs of rural India with a focus on healthcare delivery to the last-mile population.

The Centre of Excellence is presently situated at the Centre of Nanotechnology and Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology of IIT Guwahati.

According to a press release, this multi-disciplinary initiative is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 wherein professors, researchers, entrepreneurs, doctors, and students from multiple departments will join hands under a single umbrella to inculcate research and innovation in the domain of healthcare innovation. The initiative has been led by the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biosciences and Bioengineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, and Design and Mathematics, among others.

Elaborating on the critical work underway at the ICMR Mission Secretariat of IIT Guwahati, Prof TG Sitharam, Director of IIT Guwahati, said, "This Centre is working towards realizing the vision of Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister, that all IITs be involved in helping the nation in terms of achieving the goals of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' in the domain of healthcare technology development."

Further, speaking about how this Centre could have a vital impact on rural healthcare, Prof TG Sitharam added, "The centre is envisioned to excel in the frugal innovations related to biomedical devices and develop a unique academia-industry model for the product development related to the med-tech innovation in the country. The translational innovations proposed in the centre are expected to cater the societal needs related to the diagnostics and healthcare delivery, especially in the rural India. The technologies innovated may also spur import substitution to materialize the dream of Make-in-India and Atmanirbhar Bharat."

The Key Objectives of the ICMR Mission Secretariat at IIT Guwahati include detecting biomarkers using microfluidic and semiconductor nanobiosensors to detect various non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as chronic kidney disorder, post diabetic complications, liver or pancreatic malfunctions, cardiac illnesses, and urinary tract infections; developing frugal point-of-care diagnostic devices for the collection, storage, security and analysis of the data specific to rural India; developing three indigenous products in the domain of healthcare that can be commercially successful in the near future; innovating indigenous alternatives to healthcare devices (such as auto-analyzers and semi-auto analyzers) imported from other countries under the Government of India's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative.

The Key outcomes envisaged from this centre include an array of frugal point-of-care diagnostic devices; a few pilot scale digital health kiosks catering the digital healthcare to the rural population; an array of new inventions and innovations targeting the societal needs of the country; and import substitution and development of Indian technologies for the healthcare problems related to India.

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