The Magic of Jugaad in Life!

Presenting the GPS Controlled Braking System & Pregmatic band at Jugaadathon 2014

Keeping this in mind, Consortium for Affordable Medical Technology (CAMTech) in association with USAID, BACCA Foundation and Glocal Healthcare organised the first ever Medical Hackathon in India titled “Jugaad-a-thon 2014” at John F. Welch Technology Center, General Electric (GE), Bangalore.

Jugaad (alternatively Juggaar) is a colloquial Hindi and Punjabi word that can mean an innovative fix or a simple work-around, used for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or a person who can solve a complicated issue. This meaning is often used to signify creativity to make existing things work or to create new things with meagre resources.

The Hackathon brought together some of the world’s brightest minds to develop innovative health technologies. Clinicians, Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Designers and End Users from all over India were invited to take part in the event. Within 48-Hours, teams were asked to move from Ideas to Prototypes with well structured Business Model to transform reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) outcomes in India and around the world.

Clinical Summit & Pre-Hack These two events unleashed the medical challenges and the social geek inside you. While the Clinical Summit put forward various issued faced by clinicians and ASHA Workers, the Pre-hack event let the participants chat over a beautiful dinner at Hotel Aliala, Bangalore. On the same night, CAMTech released the problem statements of the Hackathon on their website which helped the participants get a brief idea about the pitching session, the following day. (Visit their website for further details)
Clinical Visit
This is was one of the most innovative way of addressing the issue of organising a Medical Hackathon. With Manipal Hospital, Apollo Hospitals & various others BioTech Firms as Partners, the clinical visit gave the Engineers, Entrepreneurs & Designers an insight into the on-field Medical issues in India.

Hackathon began with a keynote address by Terri Bresenham, President & CEO, GE Healthcare, India followed by Elizabeth Bailey, Director, CAMTech and top executives from sponsor companies like, Covidien, Novartis and AB In-bev. Each Sponsor & Partners were allowed to pitch an issue to the participants which formed the basis of Competition’s prizes.

Following the addresses, participants moved to the Hackathon venue inside the GE Wipro Healthcare Campus and thus, started an hour long pitching session. For those who are new to Hackathons (like me), pitching sessions are basically an Idea-Rain. People present their problem statement and brief solution in 1-Minute, to the gathering of people. During such sessions, you will meet people with whom you wish to work and people who wish to work with you, a two prong approach.

Miss Bresenham (CEO GE Wipro Healthcare) discussing the utility of GPS-Controlled Braking System

I was part of two teams, GPS-Controlled Braking System and Pregmatic, which dealt with Road Safety and Maternal & Child Health respectively. Both of them were innovative concepts but, sadly only one of them was able to touch the hearts & minds of the judges, Pregmatic won the CAMTech-USAID Award for Innovation in RMNCH and Narayana Health’s Technology Incubation Prize.

GPS-Controller Braking System
India is full of cars & traffic signs but, there are very few (noble) people who follow these rules. As a result, India is one of leading countries in Death by Accident. So, to solve this very issue, we created a solution where the cars will be automatically slowed down by the use of Microchips fitted inside Cars on the basis of Municipal Corporation’s input on Speed Zones thus, ensuring deaths by Speeding.
It is a wearable device that reminds pregnant women in resource constrained setting about important milestones to receive critical care during pregnancy. Our innovation empowers women to take charge of their own health. With some modifications, the same technology can be used for child immunization and other non-communicable diseases like, Hyper-Tension, etc.

Innovations @ Pregmatic

Our team of 5 members worked on the concept of Pregmatic to build a POC in one month. Technological & Business Innovation helped us to win the the FICCI-CAMTech Healthcare Innovation Award at the FICCI Healthcare Excellence Awards 2014, New Delhi.

Our Technical innovation included three things, providing Cloud Technology to the Asha Workers in Rural areas using SMS, providing sufficient battery to the Band so as to last 9 months at least and to make the Band Timer easily programmable.

Our Business Innovation included drafting the business model with proper predictions of the growth and improvements in the Band along the timeline.

During the FICCI Session of “Innovate in India, Serve the World — Beyond the inventions and Conquering Global Markets”, We got a chance to present our idea and Proof of Concept (POC) to the Panel of Speakers:

• Chair:

  • Dr. T. S. Rao, Senior Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology

• Moderator:

  • Mr. A Vijaysimha, CEO, OneBreath Inc.

• Speakers:

  • Dr. Kim Petterson, Professor, University of Turku, Finland
  • Ms. Elizabeth Bailey, Director, CAMTech, USA
  • Mr. Subbakrishna Rao, CEO, Vittala International Institute of Opthalmology
  • Mr. Nandakumar Subburaman, CEO, Perfint Healthcare

Originally published at on September 3, 2014.