Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Ashutosh Verma, Founder, Oxyneuron, to figure out the challenges encountered by startups in developing innovative medical devices.
As a startup pursuing innovation, what challenges do you encounter in the medical device industry?
I believe there is considerable scope for improvement in the medical devices regulation for startups or innovators, the key parameter in the Indian Medical industry. The medical device regulations are still not very streamlined and need a lot of clarity on how they should function. A single-window clearance on permissions for certification and registration would be highly welcomed for med startups , which would speed up the pace at which medical device regulation works. In addition, the registration process must be simplified and fast-paced. Furthermore, the absence of indigenous ‘quality certification‘ authority, the unavailability of proper ecosystem support and synchronization between the doctor, engineers and media are the few challenges the startups encounter in the medical device industry.
How can promoting innovation in healthcare be boosted, given that India has just rolled out the ‘Startup India Action Plan’
‘Startup India Action Plan’ is helping us to develop new technologies. They provide a minimum requirement grant to develop the technology. However, an action plan is silent about Goto the market strategy. The problem we are facing is ‘how’ can we market our innovative product within the length and breadth of the country without any assistance or guidelines. In order to promote our innovative technologies, the government should fix some quota of their medical device purchase from startup kitty. Furthermore, to cut the government bureaucracy and red-tapism, tendering should be done without human intervention.
Your idea behind Oxyneuron and how has it benefited from the government’s initiative to encourage startups?
Oxyneuron vouches for our Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘vocal for local’. The revolutionary products of OxyNeuron are developed after vigorous research and development with a vision that they would be widely used in India and exported to overseas markets, which will eventually help build our economy stronger.
Funding and future plans for Oxyneuron
We are getting various funding from government bodies. Recently, we received INR 5 million from the government for our startup initiative through Startup incubation center -IIT -KANPUR. Earlier, the government had provided seed funds. So, our future plans are apparent. We are desiderated to develop everything locally, with the raw material available in India. Using our various domain knowledge, we want to develop even the machines’ sub-components locally. The government must provide incentives to stimulate local manufacturing to reduce import dependency in the long term.
Innovative product developed by Oxyneuron?
Hydrogenated Oxygen therapy machine, solar based refrigeration machines, portable mini ventilators, ultrasonic hydo fusion macines , portable backups for critical medical devices, to name a few
With the ‘Make in India’ initiative, how has your working model changed?
Our focus is primarily on adopting ‘Make in India’ initiative. Not only the end products, but we also try to create subcomponents of the finished product in India by using our expertise. It helps us reduce our dependence on imported items which eventually helps us build a self-sustained ecosystem.