What is the HTIC Centre of Excellence at IITM?

IIT Madras’s Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) is a leading med-tech centre with a unique combination of research and development, clinical validation and entrepreneurial incubation. Through three key deliverables, HTIC rises on the global platform through collaboration with 15 leading research groups in 6 countries:

  • Advanced Technologies for early and non-invasive vascular health assessment: Non-invasive diagnosis of highly impactful indicators of early vascular anomalies has not transitioned from clinical research to effective practice. This has to do with the simple fact that there is no clinical technology in place for reliably and accurately diagnosing early vascular health markers of endothelial function, carotid and aortic artery stiffness and central aortic blood pressure. HTIC is working towards non-invasive assessment of pressure-dependent cells of the artery walls, throughout the entire patient diaspora.
  • Wire-free, multimodal, non-contact physiological sensing and monitoring: Measurement of vital human physiological parameters is a central point of research at HTIC. Currently, accurate measurement of parameters pertaining to human health requires large expensive setups and physical tethering of patients. The centre aims at the development of wireless technology that makes use of ‘wearable devices’ as well as non-contact sensing. A breakthrough in accurate measurement of human body vitals through these means would impact the lives of millions of patients who require constant monitoring and increase accessibility to millions more.
  • Intelligent Image Guided Surgery: The two fundamental problems HTIC addresses here are the adaptability of robotic surgery to variations in environment, patient and surgeon, and the responsiveness of robots to intra-operative variations even if preoperative data is embedded. The center researches navigation and visualization technologies that work with general purpose robots by accurate positioning of servo-controlled actuation, even under uncertainty of patient movements such as breathing. The visualization umbrella also addresses movement and tracking of body surfaces without markers and indicators.

Healthcare is a socially impactful field with direct benefits to the masses and HTIC at IIT Madras has made significant contributions through six successfully translated commercially triumphant products. Notable mentions include the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit (MESUTM) that has performed over 15000 optical surgeries in rural India, the ‘3nethra’ optical screening device that has conducted 5 million examinations worldwide and its successor ‘3nethra neo’ that has detected Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in premature infants.

The HTIC’s focus areas aim to improve healthcare while also increasing accessibility by reducing technical complexities, cost and infrastructure requirements. These initiatives have potential for significant societal impact and scalability to address the needs of the millions left untouched.