The first round of Medical Device Hackathon (MEDHA) 2017, organised by the Biomedical Engineering and Technology (incubation) Centre (BETiC) at IIT Bombay, took place at K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering in Mumbai.
It received an overwhelming response from working professionals and students of medical and engineering streams. The event took place on July 14, 15 and 16. On the last day of the event, eight prototypes of medical devices were presented before the jury panel which offered innovative solutions to the unmet clinical needs.
MEDHA is a platform which works on indigenous medical device innovations; it is where interested doctors and engineers can team up to create innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs. Three more rounds of MEDHA are remaining. They will be held respectively in Pune, Wardha and Kolhapur.
In the first round, 20 medical problems identified by the doctors were presented before the participants. From these 20 problems, eight problems were selected by the teams to work upon.
Innovative solutions to solve these problems were offered in the form of prototypes. It included- Wearable ECG leads for unskilled health workers, automated blood glucose monitoring prototype for health kiosks, skull cutting device to access brain during craniotomy and automated continuous measurements of cervical spine flexion etc. Participants worked overnight to finalise their prototype and offer an innovative solution for a problem.
“I am a mechanical engineer. So I have always looked at the human body as a machine. When we handle a machine it is stopped but doctors operate upon a running machine. I was interested by the concept of working with doctors to find an innovative solution for a clinical problem. I had attended a workshop on Bio-Engineering at IIT Bombay. So I registered for MEDHA 2017 and had a very nice time,” said Harshlata Harshad one of the participants at the event.
Dr Nagesh Waghmare, a cardiologist from Sir JJ hospital’s also participated in the event. While speaking about his experience he said “It was my dream to have one medical device named after me. The MEDHA event and BETiC provided this opportunity. I want to express my gratitude towards the organisers.”
Dr Lavina V Mirchandani, HoD Respiratory Medicine and Dr Radha Verma, Professor and Unit Head- Department of General Surgery at K J Somaiya Medical College and Research Centre were jurists in the panel. “Technology facilitates the treatment of a patient. Sometimes doctors have to face a lot of troubles because of a small problem. In order to improve healthcare system such initiatives are important where doctors and engineers can team up to offer solutions to indigenous health care difficulties,” said Dr Lavina V Mirchandani.
Prof. B. Ravi, who heads the BETiC initiative, expressed satisfaction over the enthusiasm of the participants. “On Saturday they worked overnight so that they could properly prepare the prototype. The second round of MEDHA will be held at B.J. Medical College Pune next weekend. I am certain to see such enthusiasm there as well,” he said.