Family Planning,Telemedicine win at CAMTech INDIA Jugaad-a-thon

Hundreds of innovators come together to hack solutions to pressing maternal and child health needs in India


Participants worked around the clock to pitch healthcare problems, form teams, prototype solutions, and develop business models

More than 300 participants, industry mentors, organizers and volunteers came together at the second CAMTech INDIA Jugaad-a-thon to co-create and develop affordable health technologies that address reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) in India. Organized in partnership with Lattice Innovations and hosted by GE Healthcare India at the John F Welch Technology Center in Bengaluru, the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Mass General Hospital's Center for Global health called on innovators from across India, Africa and the US. Through this USAID-sponsored initiative, a diverse group of clinical, engineering and business participants convened around one main goal, improving the lives of women and children in India.

"We believe that co-creation is the future of health care innovation, where clinicians sit side-by-side with engineers, entrepreneurs and industry to develop disruptive and impactful solutions. This year's Jugaad-a-thon brought that diversity of stakeholders in India together to show that you can accelerate the whole process of innovation," said Ms Elizabeth Bailey, CAMTech's Director.

The Jugaad-a-thon (derived from the Hindi word "jugaad" meaning an innovative fix or work-around), invites some of the world's brightest minds to collaborate over a 48-hour period and develop solutions to identified clinical challenges through an open innovation platform. Prior to the Jugaad-a-thon, CAMTech INDIA held a Clinical Summit with clinicians, healthcare workers, government public health experts and patients from around the world to identify and discuss pressing maternal and child health challenges, as well as best practices in delivering care. The Summit also included a Technology Showcase for early-stage and newly-marketed medical technologies that aim to improve quality and access for RMNCH in India.

From low-cost female contraceptives to novel ways to deliver oxygen to remote health centers to gamification of family planning education, this year's event saw 65 innovations developed, a record number from CAMTech's hack-a-thons.

"In this year's Jugaad-a-thon, we gave the participants three challenges that represented three of the most pressing needs in the area of maternal and infant care. The record number of quality ideas generated at Jugaad-a-thon clearly validates our belief that the way forward for innovating meaningful and impactful healthcare solutions is by co-creating these solutions with all stake holders of the healthcare eco-system," said Mr Milan Rao, president and CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia.

Participants worked around the clock to pitch healthcare problems, form teams, prototype solutions, and develop business models before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges from public health, engineering and business, reflecting CAMTech's cross-sector approach to innovation.


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