IIT Teams Capture Top Positions at Healthcare Innovation World Cup

Indian Institute of Technology

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New York – Team IIT-KGP, a team of researchers from the Kharagpur campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, secured second place at the finals of the Healthcare Innovation World Cup held in New York on May 10, while the IIT Bombay team placed third. The IIT-KGP team presented a novel solution for non-invasive blood glucose measurement based on a photoacoustic spectroscopy technique. The Kharagpur team of three post-graduate students, Satyabrata Sarangi, Pradyut Kumar Sanki, and Praful P. Pai, from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, was mentored by the head of the department, Prof. Swapna Banerjee.

The World Cup challenges innovators in healthcare and information technology to develop creative solutions for global public health issues. This year, the competition focused on improving the health of patients with diabetes, inviting critical thinkers worldwide to propose innovative concepts for enhancing prevention, early diagnosis, and management of the condition.

“Our team presented DReAM (an acronym for Diabetes Recognition Assessment and Monitoring), a non-invasive blood glucose measurement device, which is aimed at enabling painless, sample-free and accurate glucose measurement for people suffering from diabetes,” reported the IIT Kharagpur alumni network website.

Such a monitoring device would eliminate the pain and discomfort faced by diabetics when pricking fingertips to draw blood for glucose measurement. The device would require minimal user intervention and enable continuous monitoring of the glucose levels of the patient. The measurement apparatus constructed has been verified in vitro on glucose solutions and has been tested on an initial group of thirty subjects. The team is currently working on device calibration and development of a portable prototype for commercialization.

The IIT-KGP team was selected for the finals over three rounds of submissions. followed by a semi-final round held at IIT Delhi in New Delhi, India on April 26. Competing against five other teams from throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the Kharagpur team won the semi-final round along with another team from IIT Bombay, and were invited to present at the finals against two more finalists from Europe and the Americas.

The Kharagpur team placed second in the finals, held at the German Center for Research and Innovation in New York City, while first place went to Team AdhereTech, a three year old New York-based start-up, for their innovative smart pill bottle. Team SmartSense from IIT Bombay, presenting a solution for diabetic ketoacidosis, came in third. The Kharagpur team received the second place prize of $10,000 in the finals, in addition to an earlier award of $2,500 at the semi-finals.

The Healthcare Innovation World Cup was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim (http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/) and organized by the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Lab (http://www.hitlab.org/).

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