IIT Delhi, IIIT Delhi join hands for India’s first Medical Cobotics Centre

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New Delhi: Inda’s first Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) will soon be set up at IIIT- Delhi. Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) from IIT Delhi and IIIT Delhi have mutually agreed to collaborate on this unique initiative.

I-Hub Foundation for Cobotics (IHFC), the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) and iHub Anubhut – the TIH of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIITD) have joined hands to set up India’s first Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) at IIIT-Delhi.

All these education and technology institutions have signed an MoU to set up the MCC. Former DST Secretary Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, and Dr K.R. Murali Mohan, Mission Director of NM-ICPS, DST remained present during the MoU signing ceremony.

Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) will be a technology-enabled medical simulation and training facility for the young resident doctors besides acting as a validation centre for the research outcomes in the area of healthcare robotics and digital health. The centre would facilitate the training of other healthcare professionals, paramedical staff, technicians, engineers, and researchers.

The Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) funds these TIHs under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).

Both IIT Delhi and IIIT-Delhi have strong expertise in engineering and have strong linkages with researchers and medical professionals from various institutions in India such as AIIMS and others. The two hubs are committed to developing advanced technologies in the field of medical robotics/cobotics, digital health, sensing and computing technologies desired in robotic-assisted surgeries, training, and medical procedures.

“We are happy to associate with IIITD for the joint Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC). In order to develop technologies for societal benefit, it’s important for researchers from across the institutions to come together and work in a focused manner,” said Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director – IIT Delhi.

Prof. Ranjan Bose, Director, IIIT Delhi, also echoed the same and said, “Cognitive and Sensing technologies are essential for the next-generation robotics, particularly for applications in the medical domain and digital health. I am confident that this collaboration will create an impact in this space and move the needle.”

While India has several medical simulation centres for providing training to the resident doctors, there is none dedicated to developing these technologies and their validation. The MCC will boost indigenous development of technologies to fulfil the dream of the Prime Minister to make India Atmanirbhar.

This will also be a place for various TIHs under the NM-ICPS to showcase their medical-related projects and products with applications, according to Prof. S. K. Saha, Project Director, IHFC – IIT Delhi and Ashutosh Dutt Sharma, CEO, IHFC, IIT Delhi,

iHub Anubhuti’s Project Director Prof. Pushpendra Singh and CEO Mukesh Malhotra expressed their happiness to be able to set up this prestigious centre on its campus in association with IIT Delhi’s TIH, i.e., IHFC, and expect to develop this joint centre as a Centre of Excellence. MCC will develop strategic partnerships with companies, undertake expert-driven research and will also work towards the commercialisation of technologies.

The training programs will be designed in consultation with leading doctors/experts, mainly from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at New Delhi, Jodhpur, and other prestigious medical colleges. They shall be empanelled as guest faculty for conducting the same.

Initially, the training will be limited to minimum invasive surgeries. But later will include multiple levels (basic/advanced) and cohort-specific like urology, neurology, laparoscopy, and others.

The first batch of trainees will be inducted in April/May 2022 with some of the basic training simulators widely available in the open market. While advanced surgical robots will be inducted in the next phase.

MCC will cater to the needs of medical colleges in the Delhi NCR region and this activity is also in line with the National Education Policy for medical subjects.

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