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.
Introducing Dosis - the AI powered dosing platform
Cloud-based platform Dosis uses AI to help patients and clinicians tailor their medication plans. Shivrat Chhabra, CEO and co-founder, tells us how it works.
When and why was Dosis founded?
Divya, my co-founder and I founded Dosis in 2017 with the purpose of creating a personalised dosing platform. We see personalisation in so many aspects of our lives, but not in the amount of medication we receive. We came across some research at the University of Louisville that personalised the dosing of a class of drugs called ESAs that are used to treat chronic anaemia. We thought, if commercialised, this could greatly benefit the healthcare industry by introducing precision medicine to drug dosing.
The research also showed that by taking this personalised approach, less drugs were needed to achieve the same or better outcomes. That meant that patients were exposed to less medication, so there was a lower likelihood of side effects. It also meant that the cost of care was reduced.
What is the Strategic Anemia Advisor?
Dosis’s flagship product, Strategic Anemia Advisor (SAA), personalises the dosing of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). ESAs are a class of drugs used to treat chronic anaemia, a common complication of chronic kidney disease.
SAA takes into account a patient’s previous ESA doses and lab levels, determines the patient’s unique response to the drug and outputs an ESA dose recommendation to keep the patient within a specified therapeutic target range. Healthcare providers use SAA as a clinical decision support tool.
What else is Dosis working on?
In the near term, we are working on releasing a personalised dosing module for IV iron, another drug that’s used in tandem with ESAs to treat chronic anaemia. We’re also working on personalising the dosing for the three drugs used to treat Mineral Bone Disorder. We’re very excited to expand our platform to these new drugs.
What are Dosis' strategic goals for the next 2-3 years?
We strongly believe that personalised dosing will be the standard of care within the next decade, and we’re honored to be a part of making that future a reality. In the next few years, we see Dosis entering partnerships with other companies that operate within value-based care environments, where tools like ours that help reduce cost while maintaining or improving outcomes are extremely useful.
What do you think AI's greatest benefits to healthcare are?
If designed well, AI in healthcare allows for a practical and usable way to deploy solutions that would not be feasible otherwise. For example, it’s possible for someone to manually solve the mathematical equations necessary to personalise drug dosing, but it is just not practical. AI in healthcare offers an exciting path forward for implementing solutions that for so long have appeared impractical or impossible.