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IIIT Delhi & IIT Delhi Jointly Inaugurate India's First 'Medical Cobotics Centre' to Boost Health Innovation

Written by : Jayati Dubey

September 25, 2023

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This collaborative medical centre is equipped to offer hands-on simulation training to medical professionals nationwide, ensuring they stay abreast with the latest advancements in the medical field.

The iHub Anubhuti-IIITD Foundation, the Technology Innovation Hub of IIIT-Delhi, and the iHub Foundation for Cobotics (IHFC), the Technology Innovation Hub of IIT Delhi, unveiled the 'MCC-Medical Cobotics Centre' at IIT Delhi campus on Friday.

This joint medical facility, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS), promises to be transformative in the field of medical education, research, and innovation.

The MCC is set to become India's first technology-enabled medical simulation and training facility. It caters to a wide range of professionals, including doctors, paramedics, technicians, engineers, biomedical researchers, and entrepreneurs.

The inauguration ceremony of the MCC was attended by Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, secretary of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and senior advisor to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

Dr Gupta said, "This inauguration marks a unique convergence of engineers and doctors, symbolising the deep collaboration within this MCC and the importance of simulation in testing various medical technologies. In general, most people believe that doctors have unlimited abilities. However, it is important to understand that doctors are also humans who rely on technology to deliver effective treatments."

This centre is equipped to offer practical, hands-on simulation training to medical professionals across the country, ensuring they remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of medicine.

The training programs offered by the MCC are crafted in collaboration with doctors and experts, primarily from AIIMS. These programs cover various skills, from foundational knowledge to advanced medical techniques. The centre is also equipped to support advanced research and development in robotics and digital healthcare.

Prof. Rangan Banerjee, director of IIT Delhi, noted merging healthcare and engineering as the next frontier.

He said, "We believe the medical simulator will add to our existing initiatives on medical devices like mPRAGATI to create an innovative ecosystem to provide modern healthcare and create partnerships between IIT Delhi, IIIT, AIIMS and other hospitals. We look forward to our Innovation Hub in Cobotics creating new cobotics-based interventions and innovations for affordable healthcare".

Moreover, besides its educational role, the MCC promises a conducive environment for emerging startups at the forefront of developing innovative solutions across various domains of medical technology, including digital healthcare and healthcare technologies that incorporate Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), cobotics, robotics, cognitive sciences, and more.

For this, the MCC has launched its inaugural Call for Proposals to invite young startups to submit their projects for potential funding, with up to INR 1 Cr available for projects in digital healthcare and medical healthcare encompassing the mentioned innovative technologies.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ranjan Bose, Director, IIIT Delhi, said, 'œThere are some well-known advantages of medical cobotics where humans work alongside intelligent and automated technology to improve accuracy and efficiency without losing the human touch. I believe there is a natural synergy, as well as complementarity, in this partnership. Besides translational research leading to product development and startups, the Centre would also facilitate the training of healthcare professionals.'

The Centre aims to develop smart solutions to improve patient care, operational efficiency, and healthcare practitioner safety.

The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of government officials, leading medical practitioners, and industry partners from organisations such as TCS, AIIMS, Apollo, Max Healthcare, and many others.


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