Siddharth Nair with Xeuron
Siddharth Nair with Xeuron

Smart footwear to oral 3D scanner: Med-Technovation initiative sees novel ideas

The Med-Technovation initiative saw participation from 103 innovators who pitched their ideas.

India’s healthcare system is witnessing heightened attention, thanks to the exponential increase in government and private spending on healthcare. India’s growing population and life expectancy, the prevalence of new diseases, and rising public awareness about health creates the need for innovative products that will help the healthcare system to become more efficient, especially in light of the current pandemic.

Healthcare Innovations are not only complex and challenging but need a lot of handholding and support to shorten the longer gestation period to commercialisation. Med-Technovation was an experiment to explore an incubation-industry marriage to support healthcare startups. 

DERBI Foundation in partnership with IESA (India Electronics & Semiconductor Association) led this unique initiative that knit a strong platform and brought together Texas Instruments, Micron, ARM, Mathworks and Forus Health in this endeavour. The primary objective was to identify, mentor and nurture potential innovators in Medical Electronics and empower them to build enterprises, to propel Swasth-Atmanirbhar Bharat.

First edition of Med-Technovation saw pan India participation from 18 states with 103 innovators pitching their ideas. The three-stage evaluation process involved 27 eminent experts with a diverse background in healthcare, technology and investment. A boot camp was organised for 16 shortlisted innovators covering “nuts and bolts of a health-tech product and nuances of raising funds for health-tech startups”. Post the boot camp, with their refined pitch, the innovators pitched to the final jury to be selected either for the Med-Technovation Awards or for the Idea to PoC Grant from the NIDHI PRAYAS program.

The first prize under the Med-Technovation Awards was won by Kozhnosys Pvt Ltd which has developed Can Scan –a VoC (volatile organic compound) based breath analyser for cancer screening. It is an affordable cancer screening device that can detect early biomarkers of disease from exhaled breath. The device analyses chemical composition of breath and tells whether cancer is present or not. 

Jilma Peruvangat with CanScan

Heamac Healthcare Pvt Ltd won the second prize for Sensibil 360 — an intelligent discharge monitor for newborns. Sensibil uses cloud-connected solutions using a data-driven approach to predict and analyse the newborn chronic conditions and deliver the best in care to every neonate.

Akitha Kolloju with Sensibil

The third prize was won by Xfinito Biodesigns Private Limited, which has come up with Xeuron — an intelligent platform that supports early diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. The special designed smart footwear not only solves the problem in the leg movement but also comes with an advanced facility to track the progress of the patient with the help of batteries, vibrators and sensors attached at the precise foot pressure points.

Dr. Lakshmi Jagannathan, CEO, DERBI Foundation said, “Med-Technovation has reinforced our confidence in collaborative approach to foster innovation and startup culture in India. We are happy that with the NIDHI Prayas support from NSTEDB, we have joined hands with corporate houses, to enable the startups to scale up faster.”

The Idea to PoC Grant from the NIDHI PRAYAS Program, is supported by Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, Micron Technology, India said, “We at Micron, are excited about the use of artificial intelligence in precision, personalised medicine. Tailoring treatments according to patients’ DNA requires lots of data, more than conventional computers can process in a lifetime. AI can crunch the numbers in minutes—but it needs fast, high-density memory.”

A total of 11 winners were selected for the NIDHI PRAYAS Grant. Some of them include Arun Somasundaram for his proposed idea of a low-cost bone densitometer to estimate bone density; Dr. Vishal Rao for a hands-free voice prosthesis speaking device for throat cancer patients; Dr. Ganesh Rao for his idea of an indigenous low cost intra oral 3D scanner to make non-invasive dentistry affordable and convenient for the elderly; among others. 

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