In a new development aligned with the upcoming 400-bed superspecialty hospital at IIT Kharagpur, the Institute is going to set up a Common Research & Technology Development Hub (CRTDH) on Technologies for Affordable Healthcare.
The initiative which is being supported by the Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India, will address the issues of accessibility and affordability challenging the modern healthcare system through technological innovations. Another key area of focus of the Hub will be supporting growth & development of precision manufacturing of innovative technologies through MSMEs so that India can reduce its massive burden of imported healthcare technologies and spread technology available in the last mile.
“Access to quality primary healthcare remains a major challenge in rural parts in India with over 80% of healthcare technology being imported and escalating the cost of delivering healthcare services. Also, the concentration of leading healthcare units being in urban areas lead to accessibility issue,” remarked Dr. Satadal Saha, Visiting Professor at the School of Medical Science and Technology at IIT Kharagpur.
“With more than 45% of rural jobs are created within MSME sector In India and the presence of 5.0 million MSMEs in West Bengal alone, this hub at IIT Kharagpur will unleash the potential of MSMEs in West Bengal and beyond in productizing and commercializing indigenously developed healthcare technologies – solving a major problem for the common people, fostering manufacturing growth, strengthening the MSMEs, creating rural jobs, introducing advanced technologies,” he added.
Various departments of IIT Kharagpur are working on multiple healthcare technologies which can be licensed to the MSMEs. Also, the MSME may also approach the Institute with their own ideas. On completion of successful laboratory tests, scientific validation studies and prototype creation, projects will be undertaken at CRTDH for further product-level development and ethnography. MSMEs will be selected and productization will be assigned to them. The MSMEs will be incubated and trained in the particular technologies till the stage of successful commercialization.
Over the years, IIT Kharagpur has developed niche healthcare technologies and medical devices, out of sustained endeavours in deep scientific and technological research. This Project is eventually aimed towards disseminating the outcome of such high-level research to eventually the population that needs the urgent intervention of quality healthcare services at affordable costs. This requires a sustainable model of transferring our technologies to commercialized products.
“We will endeavour to build capacity within the MSME to enable it to manufacture high-quality products that can compete in the global market and has the potential to scale. We expect to build an ecosystem which will enable the MSMEs to establish the infrastructure and start manufacturing once the product/solution is validated, market size understood and all regulatory barriers are overcome,” said Prof. Suman Chakraborty, Head of School of Medical Science and Technology as well as Associate Dean, Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy, IIT Kharagpur, and the Principal Investigator of this ambitious Project.