CAMTech India's “Jugaad-a-thon” spurs promising innovations for maternal and child health

Our Bureau, BengaluruThursday, July 24, 2014, 14:15 Hrs  [IST]

CAMTech India along with Glocal Healthcare and GE Healthcare organised ‘Jugaad-a-thon’, an event to test creativity in medical design which brought to the table 34 new solutions ranging from new tools for antenatal care to disruptive technologies for newborn asphyxia. These were designed and developed over two days by 250 clinicians, engineers and entrepreneurs representing the academia and industry.

.The key objective of ‘Jugaad-a-thon’ held on similar lines of hack-a thon event to develop new technology ideas was to find new solutions to pressing maternal and child health challenges in India. The event held at GE’s John F. Welch Research Centre in Bengaluru.

“The innovative thinking in this hack-a-thon surpassed any expectation. Over these 48 hours, we saw clinical challenges drive innovative ideas, which then spawned new life-saving technologies for women and children in India. The Jugaad-a-thon was open innovation at its best,” said Elizabeth Bailey, Director, Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech), Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Glocal Health.

Judges awarded prizes at the close of the Jugaad-a-thon. The Top Prize: Team ‘Baby Steps’ received Rs.2,50,000 (USD $4,100) for developing a unique and integrated mobile app for early diagnosis of developmental delays in children across India. The First Runner Up: Team ‘Pel-Dia’ received Rs.1,50,000 (USD $2,500) for developing a solution to diagnose Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) in pregnancies after 37 weeks by any healthcare worker. The Second Runner Up: Team ‘Pregmatic’ received Rs.75,000 (USD $1,250) for the development of an affordable wearable device that reminds pregnant women about key milestones in pregnancy when they must see a medical professional.

All three of the cash prize winners also received three years of incubation support at the Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Center’s Healthcare Technology Incubator.

There were also prizes awarded by three corporate sponsors. Anheuser-Busch InBev championed the cause of road safety technologies for children. Covidien offered several clinical problems in need of innovation, including newborn asphyxia, fetal/maternal monitoring and post partum hemorrhage. Novartis Foundation came up with new approaches to diagnose Leprosy. Each winning team will receive Rs.50,000 and ongoing support from the companies.

Additional prizes included in-kind support from Dayanda Sagar Institutions (incubation services), InnAccel (acceleration services), and the Wellcome Trust (fundraising and grant writing mentorship).

“We have seen several creative ideas in just 48 hours that can change the way of reproductive, maternal health and infant care. It is a completely new experience for us and we believe co-creation of solutions can accelerate affordable healthcare innovation, said Vikram Damodaran, director, healthcare Innovation, India, and GE Healthcare South Asia.