CAMTech-X: Jugaadathon convenes India's brightest minds to improve healthcare for country's urban poor

ANI New Delhi [India]

Hundreds of global health innovators gathered in five cities across the country this past weekend for India's largest multi-city healthcare hack-a-thon, hosted by The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Global Health. During CAMTech-X

Participants formed 92 teams at the five simultaneous hack-a-thon sites and pitched over 250 problem statements, targeting a broad range of challenges faced by India's urban poor, including newborn health, air pollution, access to clean water, diabetes, and decentralized healthcare systems.

The event was organized in partnership with Lattice Innovations and with sponsorship support from GE Healthcare. CAMTech is a global network of clinical, academic, corporate, and implementation partners whose mission is to build entrepreneurial capacity and accelerate medical technology innovation through an open innovation platform. The distributed concept allows CAMTech to take its successful model of medtech hack-a-thons and expand its reach and impact across India.

"CAMTech-X: Jugaadathon was phenomenal! The energy and overall output from all five sites was fantastic," said Dr. Kris Olson, Director at CAMTech. "We are thrilled and inspired to see this distributed model work across India and to see it mobilize medtech innovation across the globe."

Participants - supported by mentorship and award incentives - worked around the clock to pitch healthcare problems, form teams, prototype solutions, and develop business models before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges from the fields of medicine, public health, engineering and business, reflecting CAMTech's cross-sector approach to innovation.

Below are the five winning teams from each CAMTech-X: Jugaadathon location:

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• New Delhi: Team Mech Tech - a solution that helps reduce both air pollution and mosquito-borne illnesses by combining an air purifier with an electric mosquito/bug zapper

• Bengaluru: Team Respiraid - an affordable alternative to current manual/hand-held ventilation devices that works with existing ventilation bags to ensure safer and more effective care

• Manipal: Team TrackVac: a vaccination and immunization tracking for infants that sends vaccination reminders to mothers and community health workers

• Bhubaneswar: Team SALUBRIOUS - a solution that helps improve micronutrient deficiency among the urban poor by blending micronutrients into commonly eaten foods, such as biscuits

• Mumbai: Team Dash - a system to improve adherence to TB medication among the urban poor

Each of the winning teams will receive mentorship from CAMTech and have an opportunity to travel to New Delhi on June 17th, 2017 to present their innovations to investors, corporate partners, healthcare organizations and other stakeholders, who will award two grand prizes. In addition, all CAMTech-X: Jugaadathon teams from the five sites will have an opportunity to apply for a 100-day post-Jugaadathon award, where up to five teams will be selected to travel to New Delhi and receive USD 250 USD toward their travel to compete in the June 17th finals. The grand prize winner in New Delhi will receive 10 Lakh rupees and six months of incubation support.

"This was a great forum to come and express the problems of the community, because [many of these individuals] cannot come and express them," said Dr. Shashidhara Y N, who participated in Manipal and is Associate Professor at Manipal College of Nursing. "We can advocate their problems for them and propose solutions which are economical and sustainable."

In early January, CAMTech and Lattice selected five CAMTech-X Ambassadors and held a two-day training session in New Delhi to prepare them for leading individual hack-a-thons in each of the five cities.

"I [was] impressed by two things," said Dr. BK Panda, former Director of Public Health for the Government of Odisha and who served as a mentor and judge. "First, the spirit of collaboration I saw in this room - people worked together with such ease. Second, that [everyone] respects the needs of those much less privileged than [themselves.] Don't lose that sense of mission."

"With every collaboration with CAMTech we continue to admire their ability to drive large scale inclusion of the innovation community for med-tech in India," said Vikram Damodaran, Chief Product Officer for GE Healthcare's Sustainable Healthcare Solutions business. "This year's hack-a-thon was another great platform to engage with the community and work together to solve the world's toughest challenges for the underserved. We look forward to continued collaboration with this network of brilliant minds through GE's 5.8 accelerator and future events.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mar 15 2017 | 4:19 PM IST

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