Nick Passey and Anil Kukreja look at how our India health innovation hub is collaborating with leading start ups to address areas of unmet need and develop patient-centric solutions that are accessible and affordable.
From collaboration comes innovation – breakthrough ideas that challenge conventional thinking, push the boundaries of science and help us make a difference to our patients.
Through our A.Catalyst Network, a global network of more than 20 of our health innovation hubs, we bring together diverse collaborators to forge non-traditional partnerships worldwide.
The network aims to address global healthcare challenges, increase affordable and equitable access to healthcare, and scale and showcase patient‑enabled innovation.
With these ambitions in mind, India is emerging as a top location for technology start-ups, attracting innovators and investors from all over the globe. Now the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world, there are currently more than 63,100 recognised start-up companies operating across the country. Moving forward, estimates suggest that the Indian health tech market will reach $5bn USD by 2023, and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 39%, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, our India health innovation hub, which was established in 2019 in partnership with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi and Jodhpur, has already partnered with 27 start ups to help us transform outcomes for our patients.
Leveraging innovation to revolutionise heart and lung screening
There is an urgent need to bridge the gaps in existing healthcare infrastructures and ensure that support reaches underserved communities. To address this, our India hub, in partnership with Tricog, a start-up and medical technology manufacturer, implemented Project Heart Beat – an initiative which has had such a positive impact that it has already been replicated in Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Egypt and the Philippines.
With Project Heart Beat, Tricog’s InstaECG machine enables local healthcare professionals to take electrocardiograms (ECGs) and upload them to the cloud, where the data are interpreted by specialists using a purpose-built app. If the screening process confirms the diagnosis of a myocardial infarction, the patient is directed to a suitable health facility for treatment.
On average, detection using this technology takes just three minutes, and has helped physicians at poorly equipped primary healthcare centres to correctly diagnose over 17,000 patients – with a total of 9,000 cases of myocardial infarction identified and referred to tertiary care centres for appropriate intervention by cardiologists in 2021.