Program description: To tackle the abysmally poor doctor-to-patient ratio and the demographic divide, our country need technology to come as an enabler in ensuring quality healthcare and tackle inequity. The challenges faced in ensuring accessible, affordable and appropriate healthcare to all are in fact many as well as complex.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP) is the first IIT to start a School of Medical Science & Technology and a super specialty hospital with technology development focus is coming up fast in the campus. Currently, about forty faculty members, drawn from different departments are working on more than twenty five projects in this area that involve physicians, life science domain experts of collaborating institutions.
With an aim to encourage cross-disciplinary interaction of young students / researchers of medical and engineering domain, under the ICMR-IITKGP MoU, a student exchange program has been introduced. This student-student interaction is expected to enrich either side and make the team come up with new ideas and solution strategy on a given healthcare challenge. The students are introduced to skill of identifying the needs of healthcare system with the help of mentor/s, develop ideas/designs to resolve the health challenge and introduced to regulations and intellectual property right and soft skills of presentation. Besides travel and stay related support for the 8 weeks internship period, selected teams at the end of internship period will be awarded Rs 2 Lakhs each to develop something in the form of prototype over a period of next one year. An indirect benefit of this internship program is seen at mentor level collaborations and two institutes, one from technology domain and the other from medical domain, coming together. This is to promote greater synergy in healthcare solution development space towards development of technology based solutions and meet the unmet needs and tackle inequity.
Students undertaking MBBS, clinical postgraduate degree courses (e.g., M.D., DNB) or Ph.D. students in clinical/life sciences subjects from ICMR institutes or medical colleges/ Scientist B working at ICMR institutes will be working with fellow engineering intern and other students in the labs of the IIT Kharagpur for short durations. Vice a versa, individuals undertaking BE/ BTech (in a stream of engineering with a potential of having impact on health through technology), engineering postgraduate degree courses (MTech), PhD (engineering) from IIT Kharagpur will be provided support for a supervised internships at the ICMR institute/medical college. The applicants will be required to provide names of a mentor from their institute. In order to accommodate students of certain medical colleges who are keen to join but have documented evidence of issues at their respective colleges making it difficult to conclude the whole of internship in summer break, the internship period of 8-10 weeks will be spread out over summer and winter break.
Around 10 teams (one engineering and one medical or life sciences student/Scientist B at ICMR institute) will be formed once applications are received from the interested candidates. The team of interns will initially be placed at ICMR laboratories/ medical colleges/institutes for a short duration (around 2 weeks) where they will identify the problem with the help of medical and engineering mentors (through audio/video conferencing). The team will then come to IIT Kharagpur laboratories along with their medical/lifesciences mentors. A one day workshop will be held at IIT Kharagpur to introduce the interns to the idea of internship, identification of healthcare needs, IPR issues and discuss the idea to be developed during the internship period with medical and technology experts. The intern teams will then work with engineering students under the guidance of engineering mentor with inputs from medical mentor to formulate a design (mandatory) and build a stage 1 prototype (if possible). The intern teams will submit their reports at the end of internship period. Applicants are required to fill out ICMR - IIT Kharagpur MedTech Internship Award Application Form and submit it along with necessary documents by 3rd March, 2017. A list of mentors at ICMR, IIT Kharagpur and medical institutes where Internships are available will be provided based on the interest shown by individual laboratories through proper channel.