Local innovations for global transformation

Last week, Marico Innovation Foundation announced it will back up six disruptive innovations in 2020 as part of its flagship programme ‘Innovation for India Awards’.
Students during ISDM’s Post Graduate Programme in Development Leadership
Students during ISDM’s Post Graduate Programme in Development Leadership

Last week, Marico Innovation Foundation announced it will back up six disruptive innovations in 2020 as part of its flagship programme ‘Innovation for India Awards’.

One winner is Noida-based Agatsa Software Pvt Ltd for Sanket Life - the world’s smallest medical-grade 12-lead ECG device that is pocket-size, and helps in early diagnosis of lifestyle diseases – cardiac diseases, hypertension, and stress. Founder Neha Rastogi talks to The Morning Standard about Sanket Life: 

What is Sanket Life ECG? 
As small as a car key chain, the device works with a smartphone and cloud. Its USP is that it is connected to the internet via a smartphone and the reports can be shared instantly with a doctor for quick review. We took three years to research, develop and launch this beta product that requires very minimal or no training.

Neha Rastogi
Neha Rastogi

How does the device work?
An ECG is a representation of the heart’s electrical activity in the form of a graph. A 12-Lead ECG helps take a three-dimensional view of the heart from 12 different points. Usually an ECG is taken by undressing the patient and attaching electrodes and wires at different points of chest and body. Sanket Life does all this just with a touch. 

The device has three metal electrodes. To record an ECG, a person needs to install our free app Sanket Life available on Android and iOS stores. The person should touch two electrodes simultaneously, either by both thumbs or by one thumb and different points on the chest, and the ECG graph is displayed on the smartphone live. After all the leads are recorded, a PDF report is formed. The person can also send the report to our panel of expert cardiologists, and the expert reviews and sends back the report in just 10 minutes.

Where did you get the inspiration to make it? 
After we faced a cardiac disease crisis in our family, we identified a huge gap in easy-to-use digital ECG machines that are connected to a doctor or healthcare provider for quick diagnosis. And ECGs are very complicated and costly. So, we decided to make this one. 

Is it meant to be used at hospitals/labs or people can use it at home too?
It was primarily developed to be used at home to quickly decide whether to go to hospital in case of any cardiac emergency. But due to its medical grade quality and accuracy many doctors and diagnostic labs have also adopted it. 

How much would it cost?
The cost of the device (hardware) is in the range of Rs 2,500- Rs 3,500 INR. The user then needs to pay for each ECG captured, by purchasing recharge packs. Each ECG costs around Rs 20 if a buyer purchases bigger packs.

Special mention

For the first time, Marico allocated a special mention award. It is the Indian School of Development Management’s (ISDM) practice-based intensive one-year Post Graduate Programme in Development Leadership (PGP-DL). “Put together in consultation with leading practitioners and academics, the programme aims to develop a cadre of management professionals who can lead social purpose organisations towards sustainable social impact,” adds ISDM Founder Ravi Sreedharan.

The curriculum blends the ideas of development with management theories, and is anchored in practices of collaborative learning and knowledge building. Sreedharan says, “It is done through hands-on field experiences, workshops and in-class sessions. Teachers facilitate open-ended problem-solving, developing students’ interest in subject matter, promoting group work and helping students become self-directed learners.”

 In 2015, a year prior to the establishment of ISDM, the founders of the institution realised that there was a need to develop pedagogical practices, tailor-made to the needs of the Indian social sector.

“In the process of exploration, we reached out to people, most of whom resonated with the need to develop a new approach to view leadership and management for development,” shares Sreedharan. The curriculum is presently led by Dr AK Shivkumar, noted academic and thought leader in India and abroad, and over the last three batches, 200 students have studied under it. He explains that ISDM’s PGP-DL course is perhaps the only one that involves Bricoleurs. 

“‘Bricoleur’ is the French word to create something from an adverse range of things. At ISDM, Bricoleurs help to interpret, integrate and co-learn the intertextuality of the theories and their applications to development,” adds Sreedharan. Graduates and post-graduates wanting to opt for careers at voluntary organisations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) entities, NGOs, funding organisations, social impact investors, etc., can apply for this 49-week course.

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