Affordable Healthcare Technologies for Rural India

Friday, July 17, 2015

Imagine a three-year-old child suffering from severe pneumonia, which leads to insufficient oxygen in the blood, at a primary health centre (PHC) in a remote village. The centre has no reliable supply of oxygen. So what does one do? How about a low-cost method for oxygen production in rural areas?

Or what about technology that can help doctors provide effective video consultation to patients in rural areas with low bandwidth, and affordable medical gases for life-supporting procedures in hospitals. These were some of the top innovations that emerged at the recent hackathon conducted by GE Healthcare in Bengaluru.

Sensors that detect hearing impairment among newborns, and applications that aid in identifying vision impairment in children were other top affordable technologies that drew attention at the event.

Over 300 people, mainly students, techies and entrepreneurs from across India, Africa and the U.S., collaborated in a 48-hour hackathon titled — CAMTech India Jugaad-a-thon.

“Many of these innovations address healthcare problems at the grassroots level. At some point, GE will partner with these innovators, provide mentoring, funding and help them convert their ideas into startups,” said Vikram Damodaran, director of healthcare innovation at GE Healthcare. “Three teams from last year’s hackathon have already converted their innovations into startups.”

The Jugaad-a-thon, derived from the Indian word ‘jugaad’ (an innovative fix), was conducted by GE Healthcare India at the John F. Welch Technology Center in Bengaluru, in collaboration with Lattice Innovations and Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Global health. A purse of over Rs. 10 lakh was distributed among the top teams.

Source: The Hindu (link opens in a new window)

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