NASSCOM CoE for IoT/AI launched the Healthcare Innovation Challenge (HIC) for the Healthcare sector, which is under immense stress due to increased costs, reduced utilisation, regulatory restrictions and reduced patient footfall to the Hospitals due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Dhammapal Chawhan, MD, HARTRON, said: “We want to focus by supporting start-ups in their infrastructure needs not just by giving them space but by providing them low-cost Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) also in the data centres. “
He added: “Most of the start-ups we are supporting are IT, IoT and Fintech start-ups and they need these GPUs as they spend a lot of money to develop and train their solutions. We are working hard for creating this proposal of providing low-cost GPUs, high-end storage, and provision of other testing facilities; these kinds of support will help them comeup with innovation faster and reduce their time to market.”
He said that what we need to think about is that all start-ups should build businesses that are going to sustain in the long run and not just exit. “Looking for the exit should not be the aim of any entrepreneur. So the incubation we are taking will be fruitful for the economy and overall ecosystem in India. Most of the innovation that we are doing is towards benefitting technology companies, but we should focus on the holistic health side. We should start this challenge with the focus on how to improve technology to reduce medical intervention in people’s lives.”
Mentioning that COVID-19 has also turned out to be an opportunity for the healthcare, Dr. Saket Kumar, IAS, Special Secretary Industry & Commerce, Government of Haryana, said, “Before COVID-19 we realized the importance of technology in healthcare as we have Ayushman Bharat initiative which helped three lakh families in Haryana as it is the biggest public delivery system; it is entirely done through online system. Everything was done through various software and technology intervention.”
Talking about Haryana Government’s support to startup network, Dr Kumar said, “We are going to start incubation centres in other cities also apart from Gurugram. The start-ups should identify the need, and then make a product that is user-friendly and cost effective.”
In post-COVID-19 scenario, Dr Kumar said, “In the movement of the patient when patient lands at the airport or Railway station, the IT system where he has to register himself have all created a huge demand. The supply chain management is also an essential part as all of it has to be done through a supply chain management system and dealt in an online manner so that everything can be tracked and utilized. These are new emerging areas where the need was felt for innovation.”
Maintaining that people rely heavily on hospitals to solve the problems created by the pandemic and the hospital staff is under tremendous pressure, Mr. Pramod Bhasin, Founder Genpact, Chairman Clix Capital and Past Chairman & Member of NASSCOM Executive Council, said, “Technology can play a role in all areas where hospital faces challenges such as supply chain, patient registration, physician assistance etc. We cannot solve the healthcare problem without the use of technology, nor can we reach all parts of India without the assistance of technology. We (India) are number 2 or 3 in start-up network, and Gurugram is now number 1 in India in the creation of start-up as we all have come together to create the most innovative country in the world. The startups in India are innovating at a pace which is unparallel, and no other country comes close, may be Israel to an extent.”
The hospitals that took part in HIC included Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre, Delhi, Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad, Institute of Medical Sciences & SUM Hospital, Bhubhaneshwar, Mehta Multispeciality Hospital, Chennai, KIMS Hospital, Hyderabad, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, and Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru.