The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT), Delhi, and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, have tied up to set up India’s first Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) at IIIT Delhi.
The I-Hub Foundation for Cobotics (IHFC), the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) of IIT Delhi and iHub Anubhuti, the TIH of IIIT Delhi, signed an MoU on November 17 in the presence of Ashutosh Sharma, former DST secretary, and K.R. Murali Mohan, mission director of NM-ICPS, DST.
The Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) will be a technology-enabled medical simulation and training facility for young resident doctors. It will act as a validation centre for 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 training programmes will be designed in consultation with leading experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Jodhpur, and other prestigious medical colleges who will be empanelled as guest faculty. Training will be offered at multiple levels (basic/advanced) in urology, neurology, laparoscopy, and other domains.
The first batch of trainees will be indicted in April-May 2022 with some basic training simulators. Advanced surgical robots will be inducted in the next phase. The MCC is expected to cater to the needs of medical colleges in the Delhi NCR region.
The TIHs are funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
IIT Delhi and IIIT Delhi have strong expertise in engineering and linkages with researchers and medical professionals from various institutions in India such as AIIMS. The two hubs are committed to developing advanced technologies in medical robotics/cobotics, digital health, sensing and computing technologies desired in robotic-assisted surgeries, training, and medical procedures.
Speaking of the collaboration between the two Technology Innovation Hubs, IIT Delhi director V. Ramgopal Rao said: “We are happy to associate with IIITD for the joint Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC). To develop technologies for societal benefit, It’s important for researchers from across institutions to come together and work in a focused manner. I am happy to see that two leading institutions in Delhi are coming together to facilitate the development of technologies in Medical Robotics.”
IIIT Delhi director Ranjan Bose echoed the same. “We, being one of the leading institutes in the area of information technology, were entrusted with the responsibility of creating a TIH in the broad domain of Cognitive Sciences and Social Sensing by the DST. Cognitive and sensing technologies are essential for 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.”
S.K. Saha, project director, IHFC, IIT Delhi, and Ashutosh Dutt Sharma, CEO, IHFC, IIT Delhi, spoke about the origin of the concept of the MCC. “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 is expected to boost indigenous development of technologies to fulfil the dream of our 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”.