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ICMR-DHR centre at IIT-G eyes last-mile healthcare delivery

The ICMR-DHR (Indian Council of Medical Research-Department of Health Research) Centre of Excellence at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) here is eyeing to cater to the technological needs of rural India with a focus on delivering last-mile healthcare.

Set up for meeting the societal needs related to diagnostics and healthcare delivery, the centre is presently operating from the Centre of Nanotechnology and Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology of IIT-Guwahati.

The multidisciplinary initiative is also in line with the National Education Policy 2020 wherein professors, researchers, entrepreneurs, doctors and students from multiple departments 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.

“This centre is working towards realising the vision of the Prime Minister that all IITs will be involved in helping the nation in terms of achieving the goals of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the domain of healthcare technology development,” IIT-G director T.G. Sitharam said.

“It is envisioned to excel in 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,” he said.

Among the key objectives, the ICMR mission secretariat at IIT-G include detection of biomarkers using micro-fluidic and semiconductor nano-biosensors to detect various non-communicable diseases such as chronic kidney disorders, post-diabetic complications, liver or pancreatic malfunctions, cardiac illnesses and urinary tract infections.

The centre aims to develop frugal point-of-care diagnostic devices for the collection, storage, security and analysis of data specific to rural India.

It also aims to develop three indigenous products in the domain of healthcare that can be commercially successful in the near future besides innovating indigenous alternatives to healthcare devices imported from other countries under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, head, Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology, IIT-G, said, “Cutting-edge scientific inventions form the basis of all modern-day technologies, which help in improving the quality of life of a human being.”

“However, the benefits of such innovations are yet to reach the rural population of India. In the next few decades, especially keeping the post-pandemic scenario in perspective, the focus of healthcare innovation would be to develop frugal technologies to cater the needs of the last-mile population,” Bandyopadhyay said. The Shillong Times

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