Doctors and engineers hack for 30 hours non-stop to develop novel medical devices at Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur

Nagpur : The Medical Device Hackathon (MEDHA) on 27-28 July 2019 at G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering Nagpur (GHRCE) witnessed ten high-energy teams of doctors and engineers. They worked continuously from Saturday morning through the night all the way till Sunday evening to develop novel medical devices to solve pressing clinical problems.

Each team had four participants – from medical, design, mechanical and electronics – mentored by senior innovators. They were shown curated videos of clinical problems faced by doctors, who were present to explain the issues in detail. The teams selected ten problems, brainstormed novel solutions and created proof-of-concepts.

The novel proof-of-concepts included solution to heating effects in bone drilling, broken dental file retrieval, mouth mirror with illumination and camera, bite force measurement, broken intramedullary nail removal, wearable cardiac rhythm monitoring, motorized stretcher for heavy patients, damaged screw removal from bone, pre bed wetting indication, and protection of doctors from x-ray beams in OT.

The hackathon was jointly organized by the Biomedical Engineering & Technology incubation Centre (BETiC) of IIT Bombay, VNIT Nagpur and DMIMS Wardha. Dr. Usha Dixit, NSTEDB, Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi, inaugurated MEDHA in the presence of Prof. A. M. Kuthe, head of BETiC cell at VNIT and Dr. Preeti Bajaj, Principal of GHRCE. Dr. Usha praised the activities and motivated the participants. Dr. Kuthe highlighted the role of BETiC in translating academic research into marketable products.

The host institute GHRCE inaugurated their own BETiC cell on Sunday in the hands of Dr. Viral Kamdar, Director, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Institute of Medical Science Research & Human Resources, Nagpur, and in the presence of jury members – most of them senior doctors from local hospitals. These included Dr. Mrunal Pathak, AIIMS; Dr. Vijay K. Mahobia, GMC; Dr. Lokendra Singh Dr. Hemant Chhajed, Dr. Shekhar Laghvendu from Wockhardt; Dr. Archana Sarda, Sarda Physio Clinic; Dr. Pankaj Harkut, Meditrina; Dr. Sushil Mankar, NKPSIMS & LMH; Dr. Devendra Palve, SDKS Dental College; Dr. Harish Rathi, Advance Dental Hospital; Dr. Prashant Naik, Dr Naik`s ENT Hospital; Dr. Prashant Rathi, RATHI Hospital; Dr. Raju Deshmukh and Dr. Bhavesh Barde, Suretech Hospital; Dr. Parimal Tayade, Endocare Clinic; Dr. Ajay Khade, Swargiya Dadasaheb and Kalmegh Smruti, Dental College & Hospital; Dr. Anil Golhar, Golhar hospital; and Dr. Irshad Qureshi, Dr. Abhay Gaidhane and Dr. Punit Fulzale from DMIMS Wardha. All of them were delighted with the efforts put in by the teams as well as the organizers, saying such hackathons are the need of the hour, and assured their support for further development.

Prof. B. Ravi, Institute Chair Professor of IIT Bombay and founder of BETiC network gave tips on effective presentation to the participants on Saturday midnight. He thanked GHRCE for organizing the hackathon twice (7th MEDHA on 21-22 July 2018 and 11th MEDHA on 27-28 July 2019) and said, “Most of the innovators at BETiC were participants of earlier MEDHA organized in collaboration with partner institutes in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Wardha. In the last four years, they developed and filed patents for 50 novel devices, incubated 11 startup companies and licensed 5 technologies to local companies. We now look forward to such success stories from GHRCE and their local partners.”

Dr. Viral Kamdar, chief guest of the valedictory function gave away the prizes to the winners in the Vivekananda Hall of GHRCE, packed with participants, mentors, student volunteers, jury panel and faculty members. Recalling the great sage (Swami Vivekananda), Dr. Kamdar exhorted all those assembled to remember that only those who live for others, truly live. Medha implies intelligence plus emotion, and coupled with willpower, anything can be achieved as shown by the participants of the hackathon. The real goal is to take such products to the end-users. He shared that the government is putting in place the right eco-system for this purpose, through the Ministry of MSME, guided by Shri Nitin Gadkari.

One of the participants, Dr. Aayush Bhadani, who travelled all the way from Kolkata to participate in MEDHA was one those who won a special certificate of excellence. He declared that he would have come even if he had to travel via the moon. All participants heaped lavish praise on the organizing team of Raisoni, ably led by Dr. Santosh Jaju and Dr. Vibha Bora. Dr. Vibha summed up her experience, saying “We had organized MEDHA last year also, and hence it is not surprising that our top management, led by Mr. Sunil Raisoni and Dr. Preeti Bajaj, supported us fully and even spent time with each team. The surprising part was the unbelievable response from the local medical community – medical students came in as participants, senior doctors shared their clinical problems, and the senior-most of them gave their valuable feedback as jury members, that too on a Sunday afternoon.” Dr. Preeti Bajaj, Principal of GHRCE added, “We are particularly grateful to Dr. Viral Kamdar, who keenly listened to the presentations of all the teams. He inspired them to keep in touch with each other as well as the mentors, and take their projects farther.”

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