The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, is now offering a fellowship programme in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Stanford University, USA.
The Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) fellowship, aimed at improving the Indian medical technology industry, was launched in the beginning of this year, with the support of Department of Biotechnology and Government of India.
A unique feature of the programme is that it makes a concerted attempt to involve non-medical personnel too in filling up the vast gaps in the healthcare sector.
"The fellowship trains engineers and physicians to identify major healthcare needs in India and develop solutions that are cost-effective and widely deployable across a broad socio-economic spectrum," said Dr Balram Bhargava, executive director (India), SIB.
The first batch of five fellows was selected in January 2008 out of 300-odd applicants and after two rounds of extensive interviews in India and Stanford.
Barring one, the rest have had no proper medical qualification.
"We are engineers and it is the passion we share towards the healthcare system in India that binds us all together," said Nish Chasmawala, a fellow.
The fellows started work in January 2008 and has already applied for five patents on the advanced medical devices in the field of emergency medicine and critical care they came up with during the course of their fellowship.
One of the devices is meant to enable a physician to deliver proper Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), so that the survival rate is maximised. "The way CPR is performed globally today, after two minutes its effectiveness reduces by 50 per cent. Our device will change that," said Amit Sharma, one of the fellows.
Another of the devices, Emergency Endotrachial Intubation, will help paramedics to put emergency cases on ventilation faster and with less trouble.
"As of now, placement of tube in the windpipe correctly is a problem area, but with this device, doctors will not have to bother about the placement of tube and can immediately start the ventilation process," said Jayant Karve, another fellow.
Prototypes of these devices were unveiled at an event in the AIIMS today.