The Medical Device Hackathon – MEDHA 2019, held at Ventre Centre, Pune, during July 20-21, saw 10 innovative solutions get awarded by the jury.
The weekend-long brainstorming by 10 teams — comprising doctors, engineers and designers — put together proof-of-concepts for groundbreaking medical device innovations. The prototypes were then presented to a jury of senior doctors and engineers.
The hackathon was organized by the Biomedical Engineering and Technology innovation Centres (BETiC) of IIT-Bombay, COE, Pune, and BJ Medical College, Pune. Of the 18 unmet clinical needs posed by local doctors, the teams chose 10 and came up with innovative solutions. One team came up with a device to determine accuracy while measuring the efficacy of anti-bacterial microbiology with the help of a Petri dish. Another was a portable ventilator for patients requiring assisted respiration in a non-ICU set-up.
Other unmet clinical needs addressed included the development of a multi-functional bronchoscope, an ergonomic suction tube for microscopic surgery, an auto-suturing device, a system to prevent the occurrence of bed sores, a trocar valve, a haemorrhage control device, an endotracheal tube and a nerve locator.
From over 100 applicants, 40 were chosen and mentored during the hackathon through day and night by senior innovators of BETiC and Venture Centre. Beginning on Saturday morning and continuing through the night, the event ended with the prize distribution on Sunday evening.
Dr Rupesh Ghyar, SEO of BETiC, said, “MEDHA can be a life-changing experience for students because they’re introduced to a new way of collaborative thinking. Such cross-disciplinary thinking between doctors and engineers can produce solutions where none existed earlier.”
Dr Dasmit Singh, associated with the new BETiC cell in BJ Medical College, Pune, provided several problems for the hackathon and was present all throughout, encouraging the teams. He said, “With the vision of India becoming a medical device hub, BETiC and its partner institutes have pioneered these hackathons to tap into the amazing creativity of our youths who get exposed to medical terminologies and unmet clinical needs. From a bedside problem to a solution which can again be utilized at the bedside is a journey these innovators learn to appreciate and pursue as fulfilling careers. There’s a huge opportunity for devices beyond the purview of large corporations, whose bottomline doesn’t allow them to address problems faced by a resource-constrained population. We need to continue this activity for generations together to position India as the ultimate solution provider to the world.”
MEDHA Hackathon host says…
“The MEDHA Hackathon and the concurrent Venture Base Camp on MedTech Ideation took ideation and prototyping for medical products to an entirely new level by putting together a diverse group of energetic and creative young engineers, designers and clinicians, along with experienced mentors. They took on real-world clinical problems and used ideation and rapid prototyping techniques to quickly evolve innovative solutions. The event was supported and hosted by the BIRAC Regional Bioinnovation Centre, DST’s NIDHI Centre of Excellence and the DST Prayashala at Venture Centre, Pune, an incubator hosted by CSIR-NCL.”
— Dr V Premnath, Director, Venture Centre
What the participants said
‘We completed our prototype at 4.30 am and were still all charged up just by looking at the model that we managed to create overnight. This hackathon introduced us to the concept of working under pressure and coming up with a viable solution considering all aspects of the problem at hand’
— Diksha Zutshi, School of Bioengineering Sciences and Research, MIT-ADT
‘This hackathon made us come out of our comfort zones and work in an interdisciplinary team of doctors, engineers and designers’
— Dr Mayura Mawalge, Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences & Dr Surabhi Pujari, BJ Government Medical College
The proof-of-concept along with formulated prototypes was presented before a jury, comprising
- Dr BB Ahuja, Director, College of Engineering, Pune
- Dr V Premnath, Director, Venture Centre, Pune
- Dr Dasmit Singh; Dr DR Kabre; Dr Rajesh Karyakarte; Dr Ramesh Bhosale and Dr Sanjay Gaikwad (senior doctors from BJ Government Medical College)
- Air Cmde Dr S Shankar, AFMC, Pune
- AB Ramteke, Ex-Regulator at CDSCO
- Dr Renu Vyas, MIT-ADT University
- Dr MV Shankar, Vice-President, Mahindra & Mahindra