Mumbai: Students create healthcare devices

  • Dimple Bhavsar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 12, 2015 16:39 IST

On January 31, more than 100 students and faculty members from the engineering, design and healthcare arenas got together to create functional prototypes for innovative diagnostic devices, to develop high-quality and low-cost medical solutions, at WeSchool. The initiative, called the ReDx camp for Redesigning Diagnostics, an initiative of the MIT Media Lab, was aimed at creating devices that could be used without the help of a doctor.

Students from across the country brainstormed to create 14 prototypes of devices, which were then displayed for public viewing. The event was organised jointly by WeSchool, the Tata Center for Technology and Design, Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay and Hinduja Hospital.

The finished products include a low cost X-ray machine, a retinal labelling web app, a wound analysis device, a digital stethoscope, a dental imaging device, a smart toilet and an otoscope. “An early diagnosis is a priority for every family and we need to provide facilities to enable them self-care and avoid hospitalisation,” says Vinod Tawde, minister for education and culture, who inaugurated the event.

Students were divided into groups and assigned a few mentors from the ReDx camp to work on the ideation. While the Dental Imaging Device aims at resolving teeth care problems, the Smart Toilet tests stool samples for nutrients and diseases. A portable otoscope scans your ear and lets you diagnose ear problems and the x-ray machine enables imaging at home itself.

“We are trying to bring together talent, technology, finance and innovation to create viable devices in the healthcare field,” says Uday Salunkhe, group director of WeSchool.

“Technology in healthcare is often steeply priced and inaccessible to the economically weaker section,” says Jigna Parekh, 32, a post graduate student of healthcare at WeSchool. “This will help provide low-cost healthcare to the people in need.”

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