Kanpur | Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow and IIT-Kanpur on Tuesday signed an MoU to advance innovation in accessible healthcare through indigenous solutions. Under the MoU, the institutes will set up a Centre of Excellence in Telemedicine and Healthcare robotics to nurture smart healthcare with an overarching objective of strengthening healthcare systems.
The MoU signing ceremony was graced by key members from both institutes, including Prof R. K. Dhiman, Director, SGPGI and Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur.
Professor Abhay Karandikar in his address said, “Through this initiative, two leading institutions of India have joined hands to uphold their vision of a robust, indigenous healthcare system, focused on promoting interdisciplinary innovation. The MoU is a timely step in the right direction to enable exchange of ideas across engineering and medicine, as professionals from IIT-Kanpur will receive the opportunity to collaborate with specialized doctors at SGPGI, Lucknow.”
Through this MoU, IIT Kanpur and SGPGI Lucknow have agreed to establish an R&D setup for promoting telemedicine aided by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and 5G, and point-of-care testing and diagnostics. An integrated network of mobile health vans in rural areas and smart kiosks in urban locales will ensure last-mile connectivity to ascertain availability of emergency healthcare services.
Commenting on the initiative’s vision, Prof. R. K. Dhiman said, “We will jointly launch courses in various fields of Digital Health which is not available in any engineering and medical educational institution in the country at the moment. Current Corona pandemic has made telemedicine technology very popular and also a very useful tool to bridge the gap between care providers and citizens, so there is a need to develop indigenous technology platform and systems in large scale which can be affordable and made available widely.
He said that this will promote entrepreneurship and develop a rural health system which can be deployed far and wide to strengthen the health system. The future holds the key for hybrid healthcare system for which the bond between engineering and medical discipline needs to be strengthened.
Prof Karandikar said that any telemedicine system is about creating a network of expected beneficiaries and medical experts and integrating them together in a digital platform. A cost-effective platform consisting of hardware sensors and IOT controller devices needs to be developed for collecting patient health data. The system has to be integrated with cloud servers and mobile apps. In this regard, the role of IIT Kanpur will include Development of such portable IoT enabled health care systems along with point-of-care testing and diagnostics, designing customized mobile vans and kiosks equipped with AI-based diagnostics, integrating multi-lingual avatars with systems to give patients the feel of the presence of a doctor or a care giver. The avatars would especially be essential for patients with mental health disorders and elderly care.
Prof Dhiman said that with the collaboration with IIT-Kanpur the engineering aspects of clinical application of digital technologies can be addressed. Backed with two decades of experience in application-oriented telemedicine research, development, and deployment, SGPGI’s collaboration with IIT Kanpur will foster synergies to cultivate an ecosystem at the intersection of technology and healthcare through capacity development.
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