In January 2020, ICMR had given a call for setting up a centre of excellence based on which the had proposed for the set up with thrust areas encompassing artificial intelligence in healthcare, medical devices for screening and diagnostics in healthcare, medical implants, biosensors in healthcare etc.
“We thank ICMR, the apex body of Government of India spearheading biomedical research, for entrusting us with this responsibility. We look forward to working closely with ICMR and making meaningful contributions through these efforts. We had a rewarding experience in engaging with ICMR through a pilot ICMR – IIT Kharagpur MedTech internship program that drew great interest among engineering and medical students,” said V K Tewari, director, IIT Kharagpur.
India’s population size makes her healthcare challenges particularly the needs of the marginalized population in remote areas, unique, which require indigenous solutions. Accessibility and affordability have to be two key pillars of India’s medical technology development efforts. The coming together of ICMR and IIT Kharagpur is expected to give a big boost to already initiated R&D efforts at IIT Kharagpur that aim to lessen the burden of present pandemic. Further in the long run, this association will help the Institute achieve the goals set for the upcoming Dr B C Roy Institute of Medical Science and Research, a R&D driven super-speciality hospital followed by the first of its kind medical college in the IIT system.
“Recently we heard that people residing in nearby areas of West Bengal and neighboring states of Jharkhand and Odisha are feeling hopeful that the burden of accessing healthcare facilities on patients and their families would be reduced with the upcoming superspecialty hospital of IIT Kharagpur. This can be taken further by catering to the need of a patient to visit a hospital through technology enabled healthcare at home and local level. The ICMR-IIT KGP Centre of Excellence will carry this responsibility forward with the much needed boost by bringing medical and technology domains together,” said Tewari.
The centre will target to develop marketable technologies in a mission oriented time frame and use this experience to achieve longer-term goals to address challenging problems in the field of medical devices and diagnostics. Also, new intellectual property generation and a clearly defined licensing path will be the priority of the centre. Further the centre will try to extend medical technology related support to other organizations including different centres of ICMR.