MEDHA Hackathon at Venture Center, Pune Yields 10 Novel Medical Devices

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Pune: The Medical Device Hackathon (MEDHA) at Venture Center, Pune during the weekend of 20-21 July witnessed brainstorming by 10 teams comprising doctors, engineers and designers who put together proof-of-concepts for groundbreaking medical device innovations. These prototypes were then presented to a jury of senior doctors and engineers.

The hackathon was organized by the Biomedical Engineering & Technology innovation Centres (BETiC) of IIT Bombay, COE Pune and BJ Medical College Pune. Out of 18 unmet clinical needs posed by local doctors, the teams picked up 10 and came up with innovative solutions. One team came up with a device to measure the accuracy in the measurement of the effectiveness of anti-bacterial microbiology with the help of a Petri dish. Another was portable ventilator for patients who require assisted respiration in a non-ICU set-up.

Other unmet clinical needs that were also addressed include the development of a multifunctional bronchoscope, an ergonomic suction tube for microscopic surgery, an auto suturing device, a system to prevent the occurrence of bedsores, a trocar valve, a haemorrhage control device, an endotracheal tube and a nerve locator.

From over 100 applications, 40 participants were chosen and mentored continuously through day and night of the hackathon by senior innovators of BETiC and Venture Center. Beginning on Saturday morning and continuing through the night, the event concluded with the prize distribution on Sunday evening.

Dr. V. Premnath, Director of Venture Center which hosted the hackathon said “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 Center, DST’s NIDHI Center of Excellence, and the DST Prayashala at Venture Center, Pune — an incubator hosted by CSIR-NCL.”

Diksha Zutshi from the School Of Bioengineering Sciences and Research, MIT-ADT shares her experience at the hackthon, “We completed our prototype at 4.30 am in the morning and we were still all charged up and energized just by looking at the model that we managed to create overnight. This hackathon introduced us to working under pressure and coming up with a viable solution considering all aspects of the problem at hand.”

Dr. Mayura Mawalge from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences and Dr. Surabhi Pujari from B J Govt Medical College added “This hackathon made me come out of my comfort zone and work in an inter-disciplinary team of doctors, engineers and designers.”

The proof-of-concept along with formulated prototypes was presented before a panel of jury members comprising Dr. B.B. Ahuja – Director, College of Engineering Pune, Dr. V. Premnath – Director, Venture Center, Pune, senior doctors from BJ Govt Medical College including Dr. Dasmit Singh, Dr. D.R. Kabre, Dr. Rajesh Karyakarte, Dr. Ramesh Bhosale and Dr. Sanjay Gaikwad, Air Cmde Dr. S Shankar – AFMC, Pune, Mr. A B Ramteke – Ex-Regulator at CDSCO, Dr. Renu Vyas – MIT-ADT University and Dr. M V Shankar – Vice President- Mahindra & Mahindra.