Category — Information Technology

Indian Startup Markets Neonatal Hypothermia Alert

Bangalore-based company Bempu has devised the Bempu Hypothermia Alert Device – a continuous temperature monitoring bracelet with an inbuilt thermometer, which indicates whether a premature baby or one with a low weight at birth, is maintaining a healthy temperature.

Hypothermia alerting braceletsThe device is wrapped around the neonate’s wrist, and in five minutes an inbuilt algorithm indicates if the baby is hypothermic or is slipping into a state of hypothermia. If the baby is warm, a blue light starts blinking every 30 seconds. If the baby is cold, the bracelet sounds an alarm and an orange light starts blinking. This means the baby is entering the first stage of hypothermia, giving care givers enough time to take action. As an initial step, care givers are advised to keep the baby warm by holding him/her against the skin or by swaddling. If the device continues to beep it means that the baby is slipping into hypothermia because of some infection that needs medical attention, reports The Better India.

“In India,  92% of newborns  become hypothermic. One of three babies is born with low birth weight and 18-42% newborn deaths can be prevented with thermal care,” says Gini Morgan, Public Health and Partnerships Manager at Bempu.

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June 22, 2016   No Comments

Stanford Spurs Med-Tech Startups in India

By using experiential teaching methods with cross-disciplinary teams, the Stanford India BioDesign fellowship has managed to create a cohort that is focused on creating new, cost-effective, devices customized to India’s healthcare needs.  Products include devices for pregnant mothers and newborn babies and those that help with biopsies and fecal collection.

1) Brun, a term in Sanskrit that means “fetus” is a fetomaternal monitor with a patented technology which was developed by 2012 Fellows of the Stanford Innovation Design program, Dr. Prashant Jha, Anirudh Chaturvedi, and Balaji Teegala.

Brün Fetomaternal Monitor

With inadequate monitoring during labor, there is a chance of the baby going into distress that can potentially lead to stillbirth. India unfortunately accounts for the largest number of stillbirths in the world with official figures greater than 330,000 every year. The solution landscape is littered with tools that are not designed to face the rigors of high patient volumes, inadequate power supply and lack of skilled workers.

Brun can be used by even the least trained worker in the field. It automatically captures the vital parameters of the mother and child and displays an easy-to-interpret graph of the safe progression of labor. An alarm is sounded for any parameters going out of range enabling timely interventions.

2) Specialized technologies for soft tissue biopsy were invented by a team of 2012 Fellows led by Siraj Bagwan, along with Dr. Jonathan Pillai, Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi and Siddhartha Joshi. IndioLabs, a startup company founded by Siraj Bagwan, has acquired an exclusive global license of these technologies from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, for further development and commercialization.

The BioScoop invention comprises a method that significantly improves on the technique of aspiration needle biopsy as well as a device that automates the entire biopsy procedure while improving the tissue sample size.

The BxSeal is safety feature of the invention of the biopsy device to assist in concurrently delivering a hemostatic agent inside the biopsy track to significantly reduce the risk of internal hemorrhage.

BxOne with Bioscoop and BxSear Technologies

The system enables physicians to achieve safer and definitive tissue capture during liver biopsy using advanced needle-tissue characterization and automated control.

3) Windmill Health was co-founded by Stanford India Biodesign Fellows of 2011. The first innovation NeoBreathe was conceptualized by founders Dr. Avijit Bansal and Ayesha Chaudhary, PhD at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

NeoBreathe

NeoBeathe is the world’s first foot-operated resuscitator system for new born babies that does not require electricity and is simple enough to be handled by caregivers of all levels.

“Birth asphyxia causes 811,000 deaths every year, most of which can be prevented by resuscitation. But resuscitation is difficult using current devices, and requires skill that is scarce in the developing world, leading to death and disability,” said CEO Avijit Bansal.

4) Nitin Sisodia, founder & CEO of the Sohum Innovation Lab is a 2010 Stanford India Bio-design fellow. The device Sohum provides early screening for congenital hearing loss, one of the most common birth disorders. In resource constrained settings, hearing impairment goes undiagnosed until the child is about 4 years. By then, it is too late for the care cycle to be effective. This leads to speech loss, impaired communication skills, and possible unemployment. Early screening, leads to timely treatment and rehabilitation, as well as savings in healthcare expenses to the system.

Sohum Early Hearing Screening device

The device is non-invasive, with high sensitivity and specificity and is specially designed for mass screening of neonates. It uses brain-stem auditory evoked response (BAER or ABR) technology which is the gold standard in auditory testing and is recommended as the test of choice by the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Health Services, UK.

5) Fellows of 2008, Nishith Chasmawala and Amit Sharma spent more than 1,000 hours in hospitals, ambulance rides, and patients’ homes, both in India and across the United States, to understand any unmet clinical need, and build a solution around it, reports Economic Times.

On realizing that the only solution to fecal incontinence was a diaper or pad, Sharma and Chasmawala decided to build fecal management kits for millions of patients in advanced nursing or critical care at their company Consure Medical.

Qora Applicator

The Qora Stool Management Kit features an odor-proof collection bag, a sampling, irrigation and withdrawal port and a hygienic device applicator. It is a USFDA cleared, closed- system stool management system that hygienically captures liquid to semi-formed stool and directs it into an odor proof collection bag offering security and protection to bedridden patients by minimizing painful and costly complications often arising from fecal incontinence.

“An untapped market is basically a gap in the value chain; it is a pain point and that is where innovation is created,” said Padmaja Ruparel, president, Indian Angel Network, which has backed Consure and other healthcare startups. “There is clearly a need in our country. If a venture is flourishing and successful, it becomes a hugely investable proposition.”

The Stanford India Biodesign Fellowship Program is centered at India’s premier public hospital and medical school, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. It is an academic collaboration between Stanford University, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and AIIMS. The program is jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and Stanford University, in partnership with the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum.

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June 15, 2016   No Comments

President Obama and PM Modi Affirm Convergence in Strategic Perspectives

During an official working visit of Prime Minister Modi to the United States, and marking the third major bilateral summit between him and President Obama, the leaders reviewed the deepening strategic partnership between the United States and India:

US and India Flags

  1. India’s ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, has laid a strong foundation for a long-term partnership between U.S. and Indian companies for building nuclear power plants in India.
  2. The United States and India share common climate and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change. Leadership from both countries helped galvanize global action to combat climate change and culminated in the Paris Agreement reached last December.
  3. The leaders welcomed the signing of an MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change, and an MOU on Cooperation in Gas Hydrates
  4. Reflecting Prime Minister Modi’s call to embrace wildlife conservation as a development imperative, the leaders welcomed the signing of an MOU to enhance cooperation on Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking.
  5. The United States supports the Government of India’s ambitious national goals to install 175 GW of renewable energy which includes 100 GW from solar power.
  6. The United States and India will jointly launch the third Initiative of the International Solar Alliance which will focus on off-grid solar for energy access at the Founding Conference of ISA in September, 2016 in India.
  7. The U.S. and India today are announcing: the creation of a $20 million seed U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance initiative, equally supported by the United States and India, which is expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020.
  8. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on research and development, including through the announcement of an upcoming $30 million public-private research effort in smart grid and grid storage.
  9. Both countries will work together to combat the threat of terrorists accessing and using chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological materials.
  10. The United States called on Nuclear Suppliers Group Participating Governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary.  The United States also re-affirmed its support for India’s early membership of the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement.
  11. The leaders applauded the completion of a roadmap for cooperation under the 2015 U.S.-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which will serve as a guide for collaboration in the years to come.
  12. The United States hereby recognizes India as a Major Defense Partner.  India will receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives. Also, in support of India’s Make in India initiative, and to support the development of robust defense industries and their integration into the global supply chain, the United States will continue to facilitate the export of goods and technologies, consistent with U.S. law, for projects, programs and joint ventures in support of official U.S.-India defense cooperation.
  13. The leaders welcomed the progress toward establishment of an ISRO-NASA Heliophysics Working Group as well as toward finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding for exchange of earth observation satellite data.
  14. They committed to deepen cooperation on cybersecurity and welcomed the understanding reached to finalize the Framework for the U.S.-India Cyber Relationship in the near term.
  15. The two heads of state announced further steps to deepen collaboration against the full spectrum of terrorist threats.
  16. In order to substantially increase bilateral trade, they pledged to explore new opportunities to break down barriers to the movement of goods and services, and support deeper integration into global supply chains, thereby creating jobs and generating prosperity in both economies.
  17. The United States welcomed India’s interest in joining the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, as India is a dynamic part of the Asian economy, as well as India’s hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
  18. The leaders affirmed their nations’ mutual support in exploring the most fundamental principles of science as embodied in the arrangement reached to cooperate on building a Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India in the near future and welcomed the formation of the India-U.S. Joint Oversight Group to facilitate agency coordination of funding and oversight of the project.
  19. The leaders strongly endorsed expansion of the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program, which is fostering public-private research partnerships focused on the development and evaluation of vaccines to prevent tuberculosis, dengue, chikungunya and other globally important infectious diseases.
  20. The leaders recognized the global threat posed by multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and committed to continue collaboration in the area of tuberculosis and to share respective best practices.
  21. The leaders reaffirmed their support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.
  22. They looked forward to opportunities to deepen the U.S.-India global development cooperation in Africa, as well as in Asia and beyond.
  23. Both sides committed to open additional consulates in each other’s country. India will be opening a new consulate in Seattle and the United States will open a new consulate at a mutually agreed location in India.
  24. The leaders also appreciated their governments’ joint efforts through the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship to develop a cohort of climate scientists to confront the shared challenge of global climate change.
  25. The leaders intend to renew efforts to intensify dialogue to address issues affecting the citizens of both countries that arise due to differences in the approaches of legal systems, including issues relating to cross-country marriage, divorce and child custody.
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June 13, 2016   No Comments

U.S. and India Develop a Framework for Cyber Cooperation

Cooperation on cyber issues is a key component of the bilateral relationship between India and the United States. Both sides intend to complete a framework of shared principles and intended forms of cooperation.

Some of these principles have been mentioned below. ( The complete list is available here.)

Internet

The cyber relationship is committed to:

  • an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace environment
  • promoting the Internet as an engine for innovation, economic growth, and trade and commerce
  • promoting the free flow of information;
  • promoting cooperation between and among the private sector and government authorities on cybercrime and cybersecurity
  • recognizing the importance of bilateral and international cooperation for combating cyber threats and promoting cybersecurity
  • promoting international security and stability in cyberspace through a framework that recognizes the applicability of international law, in particular the UN Charter, to state conduct in cyberspace and the promotion of voluntary norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace
  • accepting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance that is transparent and accountable to its stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector, and promotes cooperation among them
  • recognizing the leading role for governments in cyber security matters relating to national security; cooperating cyber security research and development

The complete Framework for the U.S.-India Cyber Relationship, is expected to be signed within 60 days.

 

 

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June 13, 2016   No Comments

Templeton Sees India Growing at 10% Shortly

Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging MarketsGroup, is positive on India and believes the Indian economy is on a strong footing. “I can see India growing at 10% in the next few years if reforms continue to kick in,” he said in an interview with Business Standard. “We have  $2 billion plus investments in India and we want to increase it,” he added.

Mark Mobius

Mark Mobius

Excerpts from the interview below:

The  investment sectors of interest in India:  “Given the fact that the country is growing and with the on-going reforms, banking is the obvious selection to begin with. And some of the conglomerates, companies that are involved in a number of sectors and getting a wider exposure of the markets will be another area. We also like technology and pharmaceuticals. We have a mix of both public and private bank stocks in our India portfolio.”

Two years of Modi’s Government:  “The emphasis of the Modi government on the low income segment of the population is very good. I believe it not just a populist move but is also a key element in making the Indian economy healthy because you are creating a whole new generation of consumers and people who are becoming more productive. The Modi government’s emphasis on empowerment rather than hand-outs is very good.”

U.S. Federal Reserve is  expected to increase rates; trajectory down in India; FIIs pulling money out of Indian debt. How do you see things playing out?:  “This trend will continue. As long as you continue the reforms of the financial system in India and make it more transparent and efficient then rates will come down. If you see a more efficient productive society with less restrictions, your inflation will come down and interest rates will fall. This should have been done a long time ago. The emphasis of the government on the less fortunate segments of the society is very critical. The fixed income side will see some impact.”

Whether GDP growth of 8% is possible in India:  “It (8% growth) is quite possible. I can see India growing at 10% in the next few years if reforms continue to kick in. I believe the numbers are reasonably accurate, give or take half a per cent.”

 

 

 

 

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June 6, 2016   No Comments