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IIT-J, AIIMS Jodhpur tie up to scale up medical technologies

Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur (IIT Jodhpur) and AIIMS Jodhpur (AIIMS J) have created a robust multidisciplinary framework to spawn deep-tech innovation-based healthcare products. In order to achieve India’s Vision Viksit Bharat@2047 goals with ‘health’ at its center, the two institutes have developed a pipeline of prototypes of novel medical technologies, developed out of joint academic programs in MedTech, which is training future MedTech entrepreneurs.

Explaining the salient features of this collaboration, Prof. Santanu Chaudhary, Director, IIT Jodhpur said, “Indian patients receive medical technologies that were created for the developed world and are now adapted for local needs. This method of introducing novel medical technologies in India needs significant improvement as it cannot capture the diverse needs of Indian patients. This collaboration is a step in that direction to bring about solutions to cater to Indian needs. This first-of-its-kind joint degree program offered by IIT Jodhpur and AIIMS Jodhpur lets students identify needs from real-life problems and create deep-tech solutions.”

IIT J and AIIMS J offer joint programs in medical technologies to students from engineering, medicine, nursing, bioengineering and allied fields. Students from these diverse backgrounds are mentored through three phases of this academic program: Identify, Invent, and Implement. In the last phase of implementation, the students earn Biodesign fellowships, Prayas grants, and startup seed support to build small enterprises.

Both Institutes have created an ecosystem of innovation and have also incentivized it to promote the conversion of deep-tech research into products and technologies. Some of the startups and technologies that spun out of the joint MedTech program have created futuristic technologies in the areas of novel syringe design, digitally designing maxillofacial prosthetics, device to correct nasal septal defect without surgery, 3D cell models for precision oncology, non-animal disease models for drugs/formulation testing, nanosensor technologies for early disease diagnosis.

In a short span of time, under the leadership of IITJ and AIIMSJ Directors, Prof. Santanu Chaudhury and Prof. Goverdhan Dutt Puri, students and faculty of the joint program have created several medical technology startups, patents, technology transfers, and published research papers besides winning prestigious academic and entrepreneurship awards such as Prime Minister’s Research Fellow (PMRF). On Oct 5, 2023, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi highlighted this unique collaboration between IIT Jodhpur and AIIMS Jodhpur in his speech.

In this spirit, IITJ, AIIMSJ and JCKIF organized the yearly conference, Indian Conference on MedTech Innovations in Feb 2024. This conference is a melting pot of scientists, engineers, physicians, MedTech startup founders, and leaders of the MedTech industry. Prof. Sanjay Behari (Director, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology). Spoke on problem identification, innovation and how to protect MedTech innovations through IPs. Other highlights were insightful talks by academic leaders in the area such as Dr Kalaivani Ganesan, a Scientist at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) among seven academic talks. Seven MedTech startup founders and industry leaders shared their Tech-entrepreneurial journey. The coordinators of the joint MedTech program, Prof. Sushmita Jha (IITJ) and Prof. Shilpi Dixit (AIIMSJ) said “we continuously strive to encourage students to work beyond publishing research papers and build technologies that are needed by patients in India ”. India Education Diary

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