Hacking for India’s Healthcare: leveraging innovation for global health at Saveetha Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology
The majority of patients who seek medical care at Saveetha medical college and hospital are poor and underprivileged, requiring healthcare and assistance. The team at Saveetha is always keen to incubate local innovations that would offer affordable and state of the art health care to serve their most marginalized patients. The opportunities for healthcare innovation are huge in a world where digital tools are giving rise to new health platforms that are increasingly useful to surgeons, community healthcare workers and patients. India is on its way to a future of healthcare that is more predictive, preventive and personalized driven by innovation in healthcare.
SIMATS aims to achieve this goal through the launch of its own innovation body, SEED- Saveetha Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Department. SEED is a healthcare incubation initiative that will translate home grown ideas into practical solutions. The members of SEED hope to make it a major hub for healthcare innovation.
In a Hackathon, a group of students focus on a central challenge and work on to develop an innovative yet feasible and cost effective solutions in a limited space of time. Global surgery innovation hackathons can be transformational in generating powerful discussions, facilitating knowledge exchange, and nurturing multi-disciplinary partnerships, as well as connecting students, trainees, and faculty many disciplines to join forces to tackle local and important healthcare challenges.
The goal of the innovation workshop is the nurture successful, indigenous technologies for solving successful, local technologies for solving surgery and healthcare-related problem facing millions of low-resource patients across South India. The innovation workshop will bring together students from engineering, medical, and management colleges of this institute. The innovation workshop will expose students to global surgery and healthcare, concepts in innovation and empower them with knowledge in technology and design to create impactful an scalable surgical care delivery solutions.
The theme of Saveetha Surgical Innovation Hackathon 2019 was “Hacking for Health” and was held from 11-12 March 2019 at the MM Convention Centre and Saveetha Medical College and Hospital in Chennai, India. The event was held in collaboration with the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Boston Children’s Hospital and Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Science. The event attracted over 1200 delegates with speakers that were both local and international experts in global surgery.
The Medical Director, SMCH, Dr Saveetha Rajesh was instrumental in materializing the idea of the Hackathon. The inaugural address was delivered by Dr.N.M.Veeraiyan, Founder and Chancellor of SIMATS. The guest of honor was Dr Professor Paul Salins, the Medical Director and Vice-President of the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre and Narayana Health Multi-specialty Hospital, one of the biggest cancer center projects in the world. He is also the Chairman of "INCITE" International Centre for Innovation, Technology transfer and Entrepreneurship which is India's first health care related Technology Business Incubator (TBI) funded by the Governments Department of Science and Technology. Dr Paul Salins recognized the importance of student enthusiasm and further ensured the sustainability of the initiative by launching SEED: the “Saveetha Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Department”, a healthcare entrepreneurship initiative. The faculty team from Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) contributed immensely in the successful planning and conduct of the Hackathon.