Amrita-Wipro team wins Aegis Graham Bell Award for low-cost, smart solution for diabetes care

New Delhi: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the only private university to appear in the top 10 universities in Govt. of India’s NIRF 2017 ranking, and global information technology major Wipro, have jointly won the Aegis Graham Bell Award 2017 in the “Innovation in mHealth” category for a first-of-its-kind and cost-effective diabetes management solution they jointly developed. The Graham Bell Award is among the world’s largest technology awards to honour innovation in the field of information technology and communications.

The end-to-end mobile health solution for diabetics from the research labs of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Wipro uses a novel insulin pump and glucose-monitoring system, integrated with a cloud-based monitoring application for more efficient and effective diabetes care. The project is supported by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) of Govt. of India.

Said Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, who led the team of researchers from the University: “We are honoured to receive this award. It is not only a testimony to the novel diabetes management solution that has been developed, it also underscores the potential of what can be achieved in the healthcare sector through unique partnerships such as ours with Wipro. We are grateful for the support provided by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Govt. of India to this project. We are delighted to be recognized for our efforts to address the growing issue of diabetes in India and help patients avail treatment at an affordable cost.”

Added Dr. Bipin Nair: “India is the diabetes capital of the world with 67 million patients. Diabetes cannot be cured, only managed. We have developed two affordable devices to better manage diabetes: an automated insulin pump and a glucose-monitoring system.”
Wipro, which is working on making both the devices Bluetooth capable, has already developed an easy-to-use mobile app for these devices. Patient data from the devices will be transferred by the app to a digital backbone that includes a dedicated server and cloud. These in turn will be connected round-the-clock with a diabetes helpline, endocrinologists, NGOs, family of the patient, and so on. This unique diabetes management solution would enable patient compliance and significantly improve the quality of life at a very low cost, even for patients living in the most remote areas of India.

Said Dr. Bipin Nair: “These two devices are the outcome of a unique approach which saw industry-academia collaboration supported by the Government of India for a social cause. We believe they will also enhance health screening and early diagnosis, contribute towards better adherence to drug and dietary regimen, encourage diabetes self-care activities, and help prevent complications in patients with diabetes.”

The team led by Dr. Bipin Nair for the project includes researchers from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s Coimbatore campus such as Dr. Satheesh Babu; Dr. John Stanley; and K. Guruvayurappan, as well as Dr. Harish Kumar and team from the Endocrinology Dept. of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.