ICMR, IITs join hands for medical device, diagnostics innovation

The setting-up of the ‘ICMR at IITs’ will bridge the gap in the technology development and commercialisation cycle.

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has collaborated with IITs to establish ‘ICMR at IITs’ by setting up Centres of Excellence (CoE) for strategic Make in India product development in the medical device and diagnostics sector and its commercialisation.

The thematic areas under the CoE have been strategically designed to ensure that the products and technologies developed by the CoEs synergise with the requirements of the National Health Mission, Ayushman Bharat and public health programmes of the government for their potential deployment, an official statement said.

The ICMR Centres for Excellence have been set up at six IITs to begin with – IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur., and IIT Madras.

The setting-up of the ‘ICMR at IITs’ will bridge the gap in the technology development and commercialisation cycle for a larger public health impact.

The medical device sector in India is currently valued at $7-8 billion and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2025 as per industry estimates. As the healthcare sector is heavily dependent on imports of medical devices, the setting-up of ICMR at IITs under the Medical Device and Diagnostics Mission Secretariat set-up at ICMR headquarters will help address this gap by fostering development of robust, state-of-the-art, Make in India Medical device and diagnostics by partnering with IITs.

ICMR Director General, Prof Balram Bharagava said the setting-up of ICMR-DHR CoE at IITs will create a pipeline of innovative medical devices, start-ups and will incentivise and motivate local manufacturing in India and provide holistic support to the technologies and products nearing commercialisation.

As most of the medical devices available in India are not affordable, the philosophy behind the scheme is to develop ‘more for less for more’ to ensure wider product outreach with a mandate to promote ‘Global Affordable Need Driven Healthcare Innovation’ (GANDHI).

He said it will have a significant impact on improving access to affordable quality healthcare, particularly for middle and lower income segments of the Indian population.