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Professor Balram Bhargava, All India Institute of Medical Sciences: Frugal innovation key to healthcare

17 January 2012

The article at a glance

According to Professor Balram Bhargava, India is poised to lead the way in a decade of innovation underpinned by the need to …

Professor Balram BhargavaAccording to Professor Balram Bhargava, India is poised to lead the way in a decade of innovation underpinned by the need to be frugal, simple and affordable

A leader in the field of medical device innovation predicts that India is poised to lead in a decade of frugal and therefore affordable innovation that will impact on global economies.

Professor Balram Bhargava, of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, is a renowned cardiologist and a champion of biomedical innovation, public health, medical education and research.

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He’s a champion of simple and therefore affordable innovation and believes that India is ready and poised for the decade of frugal innovation especially in the medical field.

Having established the Centre for Excellence for Stem Cell Studies he achieved a world-first in the treatment of patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy.

Professor Bhargava’s lecture at Cambridge Judge Business School – “Challenges and Opportunities for Healthcare Innovation in India” – centred on medical device innovation and highlighted interdisciplinary collaboration between doctors, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs.

Professor Bhargava says: “There is a thinning medical pipeline in the west. Most of the manufacturing is moving to countries like India and China. The cost of production has gone up tremendously in the West and what is going to happen in the next decade or so is that countries like India, China and Israel will combine forces and work together.

“Innovation centres are developing in these countries and they will probably develop devices that will ultimately be accepted by the West, be partnered by the West and therefore Western companies will move to Indian soil to manufacture.”

He has promoted the India-Stanford Biodesign programme, a unique interdisciplinary programme to foster innovation, design in low cost implants/devices. This fellowship in biomedical technology innovation has led to over twenty patents on low cost medical devices. He is currently developing the Chest Compression Device for Sudden Cardiac Death Patients, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Bhargava is providing leadership for creative disease prevention, early detection and transport system for sick cardiac patients. He has been awarded the SN Bose Centenary award by the Indian National Science Congress and National Academy of Sciences Platinum Jubilee Award, Tata Innovation Fellowship and Vasvik Award for Biomedical Technology Innovation.

This article was published on

17 January 2012.