Prof. Anurag Mairal, session convenor-USA urged all those present to think about actionable points of collaboration between IITB/India and Stanford/USA, which was seconded by Prof. B. Ravi, session convenor-India.
Overall, the discussions centred around five topics:
There is good scope for research collaboration among faculty (medicine and engineering) from India and USA, especially in precision medicine, human personalized omics profiling (hPOP), India wellness program, cancer proteo-genomics, and sickle cell.
Both sides are interested in ensuring end-application of their research, especially in areas of maternal & child health and screening & diagnostics. For this we need to connect the relevant stakeholders, especially ICMR, DCGI, and various state governments, wherever we have good contacts.
Medical device development is a major area of common interest. Stanford Biodesign group has now shifted their focus on creating market success stories, and this is needed for Indian groups as well. The USA group already helping specific startups incubated in India.
Med-tech startups face several challenges and handicaps. The most important requirement, which was strongly agreed by all those present, is comprehensive and continuous mentoring of the startup companies. They also need help in scaling up (especially mass production and funding), device testing, healthcare technology assessment and credibility. The US group offered their time for mentoring selected startup companies. They will also explore using the Heritage Foundation address for supporting startup companies.
The need to build an overall eco-system to bring together faculty and students from different departments was emphasised by all present. There is a need to increase the representation of women in these endeavours. The faculty need to be trained in the nuances of med-tech business. IITB will benefit by building an inter-disciplinary Center and med-tech park on the lines of Stanford Biodesign and Startx-Med Research Park.