Jugaad-a-thon Tackles India’s Maternal, Child Health Care Challenges
Just as hack-a-thons are making their mark within the technology sector, healthcare providers are also looking to develop innovative health technologies through their own version of these coding events.
Jugaad-a-thon, the first ever medical technology hack-a-thon in Bangalore, India, was held on July 18-20. It united clinicians, entrepreneurs, engineers and designers to solve pressing clinical challenges in India by moving from ideas to prototypes within 48 hours.
GE and Glocal Healthcare partnered with Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) India, which is sponsored by USAID, Omidyar Network and BACCA Foundation. The partnership aims to accelerate medical technology innovation for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in India.
“The Jugaad-a-thon is a new way of elevating the experience and know-how of local experts, and using strategies from not just engineering, but also public health and business, to develop new tools to improve health,” Elizabeth Bailey, director of CAMTech at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Global Health, told Express Healthcare. “We’re focused on finding impactful, marketable and innovative ways to provide care to women and children in India.”
In India, “jugaad” is a colloquial Hindi word that can mean finding an innovative and rational solution to a problem with limited resources. At the inaugural Jugaad-a-thon, teams did precisely this when determining solutions for the local challenges of at-home care, Post partum hemorrhage, primary health centers and medication compliance.
Over 1,000 individuals participated in the event alongside 153 organizations, creating a total of 106 innovations.
“As a healthcare provider to those most at risk for poor health and early death in India, hack-a-thons help us become a part of a unique community of innovators who share our vision of ensuring the best health care is available to all,” said Soura Bhattacharyya, Glocal’s Chief of Medtech.
The winner with the most innovative creation would earn Rs 250,000 with first and second runner-ups winning Rs 150,000 and Rs 75,000, respectively. A list of winners has not been released.
The event is expected to return to Banglagore in the summer of 2015.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”