10 Startups Win the Prestigious India Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre Challenge

Winners fly to Dubai EXPO to receive prizes during Health & Wellness Week

India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre (ISHIC) announced the winners of the second edition of Innovation challenge at a virtual event held at the ongoing World Expo Dubai 2020 by Dr. Balram Bhargav, DG, ICMR, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, today. Key dignitaries present during the announcement included Mr. Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Ambassador of Sweden to India, His Excellency Klas Molin, Mr. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary (IH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Mr. Niclas Jacobson, Deputy DG, Ministry of Health & Social Affairs, Government of Sweden. 

The innovation challenge aimed to identify and support innovative solutions that could help regress critical problems in the healthcare delivery landscape of India. Focused on multiple and glaring problems in the healthcare ecosystem, the innovation challenge focused on identifying best solutions across key focus areas including diabetes, heart failure, kidney diseases, oncology, neurology, COVID et al. 

This event also saw a virtual inauguration of incubation centre by Mr. Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and a Centre of Excellence in Comprehensive Cancer Patient Support Service at Jodhpur by Dr. Vinod K Paul, Member Niti Ayog.  Through this Incubation centre the startups could avail the physical co-working space along with getting a real time experience of the patient environment and also to validate their products and solutions once the required clearances are established. 

Centre of Excellence in Comprehensive Cancer Patient Support Service addresses the challenges faced by the cancer patients by providing a holistic cancer treatment. Through this project, all the cancer patients visiting the AIIMS Jodhpur campus will get counselling from dedicated nutritionists, psychologists, physio therapists and palliative counsellors to improve the treatment adherence and overall quality of life of the patients. Dr. Sanjeev Misra, Director, AIIMS Jodhpur said “Cancer is a very complicated and stressful diseases which impact the life of the patients as well as their family. This program launched at AIIMS Jodhpur will help in creating the awareness to these cancer patients by giving them information on the disease and its progression, signs and symptoms and support to tackle some of these changes and thereby helping them in improving the quality of life.“

The innovation challenge included a rigorous evaluation process by a panel of experts from AIIMS Jodhpur, Business Sweden, NASSCOM, AstraZeneca and other partners. This committee had shortlisted 10 compelling solutions including that of Acorai, AiNDRA, BrainSightAI, EzeRx, Genitico, Neurofy, relink (Tada Medical), TeraLumen and innovative ideas from Dr. Pradeep Bhatia and Dr. Naveen Dutt. The winning start-ups will now work with the India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre platform for a sustainable and faster scale-up, by providing them access to cross-country mentorship, guidance on funding, and ability to ideate with like-minded innovator, access to state-of-the-art incubation centre located within AIIMS Jodhpur campus, their lab facilities and beyond. On boarded start-ups can also avail the incubation facility at NASSCOM, Bengaluru. 

India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre is designed to enable and implement the shared vision of developing innovative solutions aiming to solve various healthcare problems that exist in the country. As a part of the initiative, the start-ups as well as the partner organisations will work towards the shared vision of propelling and integrating innovative healthcare solutions into the ecosystem to bring about progress in the way healthcare is delivered or managed currently. Cecilia Oskarsson, Swedish Trade Commissioner to India said, “The aim of this initiative is to enable collaboration between innovators and knowledge bearers for effective exchange of best practices. We are confident that the holistic approach of India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre will enable an impactful engagement with the winners announced today that can aid swift change and addressal of problems at the ground level”.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS Delhi said, “This innovation challenge has come at a good time as we continue to face many challenges in the medical field due to the pandemic. Many of the participants have come up with relevant innovative solutions. Innovations identified during the first cohort of startups have really shown a greater impact on the healthcare delivery and we look forward to supporting this next cohort with other partners such as Business Sweden, NASSCOM and AstraZeneca.”

Gagandeep Singh, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India said, “Local innovations combined with global experience is very important to develop effective and scalable innovations in healthcare. These compelling shortlisted innovators and with the comprehensive cancer patient support services program will help in bringing patient more in the centre of care and help in addressing some of the significant challenges faced by the healthcare ecosystem".

The innovation challenge received over 700 applications across the globe and 50 startups have been shortlisted to present their solutions for challenge areas including Digital Tools/Platforms - Med-Tech, Tele-Medicine, and Artificial Intelligence backed solutions to support new ways of working to improve the efficiencies of healthcare systems as they manage the pandemic. 

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