Innovative medtech startups receive recognition by top govt bodies

While BIRAC TiE WInER Award 2019 for Women was recently presented to Heamac Healthcare which is developing smart phototherapy system for Neonatal Jaundice, the Hyderabad-incubated startup BeAble Health's ArmAble which is Gamified Arm Rehabilitation Device for neuro-rehabilitation of stroke victims, was unveiled by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

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IMAGE: (R_L) Dr Manish Diwan, head (SPED); Dr Chris Karp, Director, Discovery and Translational Sciences, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Ms. Akitha kolloju, Co-Founder, Heamac Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, CfHE, IITH; Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology & Chairperson, BIRAC; D .Ravi Kumar, Vice Chairman. NITI Aayog; Dr. Mohd Aslam, Adviser, DBT & Managing Director, BIRAC; Dr. Ted Bianco, Former Director, Wellcome Trust, UK; Upasana Sharma, Director, TIE-Delhi, at the 7th Foundation Day of BIRAC on 19th March 2019 at New Delhi.

Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad-incubated startup, BeAble Health has developed a Gamified Arm Rehabilitation Device for neuro-rehabilitation of stroke victims and motor rehabilitation of victims with the upper motor deficit. The ‘ArmAble’ was unveiled by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, in the presence of Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, during Seventh Foundation Day celebrations of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) on 19th March 2019 at Delhi.

Also, during the Foundation Day, ‘BIRAC TiE WInER Award 2019 for Women’ was presented to Ms. Akitha Kolloju, Co-founder of HEAMAC Healthcare, which was also incubated by IIT Hyderabad.

The founders of both startups graduated from the Fellowship Program offered by the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE), IIT Hyderabad, which trains individuals from various disciplines towards innovations in Healthcare.

Speaking about the recognition accorded to graduates of CfHE Program, Dr Renu John, Co-Head of CfHE and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, said, “The successes of these two entrepreneurs is a testimonial to the Systematic Biodesign Process that they followed at the CfHE starting from the identification of the unmet need to the Launch of the product validating their concept and carefully addressing the risks at each stage of product development”

BeAble Health

BeAble Health works towards enabling health and lives through the convergence of good design and technology. ‘ArmAble’ is their first product and is aimed at solving a pressing need for intensive, engaging and regular rehabilitation therapy for Upper Limb. It is aimed at conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, Fracture and Frozen shoulder. The key features of ‘ArmAble’ device include affordable, engaging Game Based Therapy, higher Repetitions and Intensity, data based quantified progress and recovery, full ROM for the Arms and Tele-Rehabilitation.

Habib Ali, Co-Founder of BeAble, interacts with Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

Speaking about ‘ArmAble’, Mr Habib Ali, a Biomedical Engineer and a CfHE Fellow who co-founded BeAble, said, “The constant mentoring and support by CfHE helped us identify a strong need and conceptualize an appropriate solution. This strong research foundation and a significant grant from BIRAC under the guidance of IKP Hyderabad have accelerated our journey to the product. The ecosystem enablers have played a crucial role in our journey so far, and it is just the beginning.”

As a part of the BIRAC’s 7th Foundation Day, BeAble Health was selected to unveil its product ‘ArmAble’, which has been supported by BIRAC under the BIG Scheme. The product was unveiled in the presence of Dr Mohd. Aslam, Managing Director of BIRAC, Dr. Ted Bianco, former Director, Wellcome Trust U.K., Dr Manish Diwan, Head (SPED), BIRAC, Dr PKS Sarma, Head (Technical) BIRAC.

Heamac Healthcare

Ms Akitha Kolloju, who co-founded Heamac Healthcare along with Mr Prasad Muddam, is developing a ‘Smart Phototherapy System for Neonatal Jaundice,’ which promotes an uninterrupted treatment while breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother care.

Accepting the award, Ms Akitha Kolloju said, “The Grant will boost our efforts to increase the efficiency of treatment and reduce neonatal mortality rate due to severe jaundice. Nearly 13 million infants per year globally are unable to process bilirubin quickly enough and require jaundice treatment to prevent death or lifelong disability. Even though the cure is simple and this condition preventable, existing solutions are unable to address jaundice of different severities resulting in extended therapy time and morbidity. HEAMAC Healthcare has developed a device that provides graded phototherapy so that babies suffering from physiological jaundice get sufficient illumination. ”

Akitha Kolloju, Co-founder of Heamac Healthcare, with the ‘BIRAC TiE WInER Award 2019.

Both the founders of HEAMAC are from the second batch of CfHE Fellows and were involved in lengthy clinical immersions over several months at leading hospitals to assess the unmet needs in the medical fraternity.

The Theme of BIRAC Foundation Day was ‘Nurturing Innovation: Empowering India.’ The event saw the participation of scientists, entrepreneurs, industry Experts, and Policy Makers not only from the country but also from the International innovation communities.