There are three professionals in the first batch of the fellowship program, already underway. As part of the training, the trio will undergo two months of clinical observation at the trauma and emergency care unit of St. Johns National Academy of Health Sciences in Bengaluru, Siraj Dhanani, InnAccel founder and CEO said.
“Although there are qualified engineers, science and medical professionals engaged medical-technology innovation, the start-up ecosystem needs massive awareness. In this regard, we had also organized a week-long workshop for engineering and medical students to highlight the promising prospects for startups to focus on innovation in medical and diagnostic devices,” he added.
There is critical need to create an ecosystem for medical technology entrepreneurs in India. This requires setting up of a common infrastructure. In fact, a dedicated laboratory-cum fabrication center can provide medical-technology startups a platform for developing products designed specifically for the Indian market, said Dhanani.
India has four potential innovation hubs at Bengaluru, Mumbai-Pune, NCR and Chennai, which account for the bulk of startups. Of these, Bengaluru is known for its ecosystem with both med-tech start-ups and venture capitalists. Moreover, the presence of multinational companies like GE Healthcare , Phillips and Siemens have created a pool of trained med-tech professionals, a key requirement for a startup ecosystem. Despite Bengaluru lacking an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), there are several healthcare technology products designed and developed from the area that have a global presence, he said.
Global trends point to increasing interest by U.S. and European companies to partner with Indian med-tech entrepreneurs as they search for more affordable medical solutions to stem rising healthcare costs. About 86 percent of world needs affordable, high quality med-tech solutions, but the industry caters only to the developed world (14 percent), Dhanani noted. “India’s qualified talent pool of engineers and doctors need to maximize the advantage of our cost and efficiency and start developing innovative products and solutions for the underserved 86 percent of the world population,” he said.
However, there are challenges like access to physical infrastructure, financial and human capital, the InnAccel chief contended.