VELLORE: Two VIT University student teams bagged first prize in the CAMTech Diabetes Innovation Hackathon held at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad recently, lowering the cost of advanced diagnostics for diabetics. The teams were awarded a prize money of $ 1,000 each.
The first innovation called an ‘E-stick’, won the Marico Innovation Prize and is a non-invasive device for the measurement of blood-glucose levels in a patient.
“It will assist in mass-screening of diabetes and will help patients maintain blood-sugar levels within acceptable ranges,” noted Vipul Arora, one of the team members. The team members opined that their E-stick will replace invasive pricking that carries the risk of infection and the need to use expensive strips every time a reading has to be taken. With an estimated cost of around `12,000, the E-stick is currently undergoing clinical trials.
“We hope to place it in the market in the next two years”, said Vipul Arora.
‘Team Cheeni Kum’, the second team, won the CAMTech Grand prize for its product ‘Sparsh’. This is a revolutionary multi-parameter diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) screening device that is capable of performing tests such as monofilament test, vibration threshold test, temperature threshold test and pulse amplitude monitor.
“The product has potential to reach patients from primary health centres, nursing homes in Tier-II towns and mobile medical units”, said Abhra Dass one of the team members. His teammates pointed out that with one-in-five of the diabetic population suffering from DPN in India, a leg is lost because of diabetes every three minutes in the country. “Lack of access to basic screening, high cost of screening and the requirement of trained health workers are roadblocks to early screening of DPN. All of this will be taken care of if Sparsh is placed in the market”, they pointed out.
VIT chancellor, G Viswanathan while congratulating the students on their success pointed out that the country was poised for innovation and at VIT “we are trying our best to create an atmosphere that gives wings to the aspirations and innovations of young minds so that they may scale new heights.”