India-Israel Med4Dev hackathon in July aims to bring innovative healthcare solutions for India’s poor
Did you know that the prevalence of anemia is high among adolescents in India?
While the problem exists for both boys and girls, it is especially detrimental for girls because of the childbearing role they play later in life. In order for a woman to be safe from maternity/pregnancy-related complications and to ensure the health of their child, it is essential that she is not anemic.
In the rural areas, this problem gets compounded in the absence of any proper diagnostic facilities to manage the condition. Moreover, there is no comprehensive, up-to-date dataset regarding the prevalence of anemia in adolescent girls in India, which negatively affects the ability for healthcare organisations to provide urgent care and design preventive actions.
According to Naandi Foundation, a social sector organisation working to remove poverty in India, “One of the reasons periodic hemoglobin measurement of girls is not conducted on a large scale is the cumbersome method of measuring hemoglobin. Typically this involves pricking the fingertip of the girl and drawing a drop of blood. The invasive nature of the procedure - the act of pricking itself - is widely disliked by girls and as a result, they don't come forward willingly to get the test done. In addition, after the drop of blood is drawn, there are different ways in which it can be tested for hemoglobin levels, including very complicated procedures (like the one followed by the government health department) that involve mixing some reagents and waiting for color change.”
The organisation is seeking a non-invasive, on-the-go, low-cost, and scalable method of diagnosing anemia among young girls in rural India that includes a dedicated data management system and one that does not require skilled health personnel and does not create bio-waste.
This July, you can be part of not only this solution but many more to bring relief to India’s large rural and low-income population in terms of healthcare.
The India-Israel Med4Dev, a healthcare hackathon, will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, designers, engineers, programmers, and business professionals over a three-day period in up to four locations (Tel Aviv, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai) to develop innovative ideas and prototype solutions (hardware and software) to address healthcare challenges of low and lower-middle income groups in India.
Hilly Hirt, Deputy Director of Pears Program for Global Innovation, Tel Aviv University, (which is leading the hackathon), said, “Israel has the highest concentration of tech startups and venture capital financing per capita in the world, and has been the origin of many of the disruptive technologies that the world uses. India is a world leader in frugal innovation and is the leading country in the world in developing business models to serve low and lower-middle income consumer needs. We believe that collaboration on affordable innovation presents immense opportunities for both sides.”
The hackathon will enable sponsoring partners to identify promising ideas. Its full range of partners in Israel and India that will provide mentoring support following the hackathon for teams with viable venture ideas, acceleration, and eventual access to potential early-stage investors.
India’s healthcare sector is set to grow to $280 billion by 2020. According to Jay Krishnan, CEO of T-Hub in Hyderabad, that is partnering this initiative, the challenges India faces in terms of talent and resources to innovate in the space are “employability of new resources, the productivity of existing resources, and staying relevant with innovation that exists in the world.”
He added, “The intersection of big data, IoT, and other technologies that cut different sectors is what makes the ecosystem fascinating today. Healthcare stands at the forefront of taking advantage of this. The pressing need to find solutions and innovators who can play a part in this intersection is what India is faced with.”
The dates for the pre-hackathons are July 9 in Hyderabad; July 12 in Tel Aviv; July 14 in Bengaluru; July 15 in Mumbai.
The finals are on July 22-24
To apply, visit: www.med4dev.com
(YourStory is a media partner of the Med4Dev India-Israel hackathon.)