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ICMR Seeks Collaborations for 'Made in India' Non-Invasive Haemoglobinometer Devices to Combat Anaemia

Written by : Jayati Dubey

December 11, 2023

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The primary objective of this initiative is to expand the network for effectively screening anaemia across various age groups throughout India.

To address the persistent challenge of anaemia in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) from eligible companies or startups to manufacture 'non-invasive haemoglobinometer' devices.

Once these devices are 'Made in India,' they will be validated by the ICMR to ensure effective anaemia screening, aligning with the national health priority.

The primary objective of this initiative is to expand the network for effectively screening anaemia across various age groups throughout India.

The ICMR, in collaboration with eligible organisations or companies, aims to provide 'Make in India' non-invasive haemoglobinometer devices for efficient anaemia screening. The last date to submit the EOI document containing qualification details and the scope of work is December 20, 2023.

Under the proposed agreement, the ICMR will collaborate with selected companies, referred to as "Companies," governed by the ICMR Intellectual Property (IP) Policy. The intention is to validate the 'Product' for diagnosing anaemia, addressing the national health priority.

To ensure the credibility and efficacy of the non-invasive haemoglobinometer devices, the ICMR plans to conduct a hospital-based clinical study. This study will validate the devices against the gold standard method of haemoglobin measurement.

The ICMR will provide technical support through its team of experienced scientists, covering study planning, product validation, development of study protocols, results/data analysis, outcome assessment, and product improvement.

An agreement following the EOI is set to be executed with single or multiple companies to enable a wider outreach of the non-invasive haemoglobinometer for societal benefit and public health use. The ICMR IP Policy will govern all pertinent issues.

Despite the comprehensive efforts of the government and the ongoing Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) program, anaemia remains a significant public health issue in the country.

According to the National Family Health Survey 5 (2019-21), the prevalence of anaemia is alarmingly high, affecting 25.0% of men (15-49 years), 57.0% of women (15-49 years), 31.1% of adolescent boys (15-19 years), 59.1% of adolescent girls, 52.2% of pregnant women (15-49 years), and 67.1% of children (6-59 months).

The AMB program focuses on a 6X6X6 strategy, encompassing six target beneficiaries, six interventions, and six institutional mechanisms. Testing and treating anaemia using digital methods and point-of-care treatment, specifically on pregnant women and school-going adolescents, form a crucial part of this strategy.

Implementing the test and treat strategy requires a simple, easy-to-use, non-invasive haemoglobinometer that is acceptable to all, especially young children.

While several 'Make in India' non-invasive haemoglobinometer devices have been introduced in recent years, their validation is essential to establish accuracy, bias, and precision before recommending their use in the AMB program.

The ICMR's call for EOI reflects a commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration to combat anaemia, addressing India's critical public health challenge.


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