Gandhinagar: Dr Chandan Kumar Jha, a PhD alumnus and now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), has won the prestigious INAE Young Innovator & Entrepreneur Award 2021. Dr Chandan, who specialises in the field of ‘Fiber Optic Sensing’, has been selected for this award for developing a highly sensitive and reliable instrumented glove that is helpful in faster therapy and rehabilitation of patients suffering from disabilities due to stroke and cerebral palsy.
The INAE Young Innovator & Entrepreneur Award is given every year by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) to encourage and recognise innovation and entrepreneurship among young engineers. The award will be conferred to Dr Chandan during the INAE Annual Convention to be held online from December 15-17, 2021.
The instrumented glove developed by Dr Chandan using fibre-optic sensor technology during his PhD in the Photonic Sensors Lab at IITGN offers much better performance compared to other existing devices. What makes this innovation stand-out from the existing commercial gloves is the high accuracy and repeatability with which it can measure finger joint angles. This feature will be very useful for monitoring hand movement in medical applications such as hand rehabilitation of stroke patients. The glove is integrated into a specially designed virtual hand rehabilitation and assessment system, which continuously records the movement of the fingers. The patients can wear the glove and perform virtual exercises on a tablet/computer during which several important clinical parameters like the range of motion, speed of flexure, and response time are determined to assist doctors in assessing their recovery progress. A recovery score generated based on these parameters will also motivate patients to keep continuing the therapy and achieve faster recovery.
Dr Chandan Kumar Jha and his team at his startup – Galanto Innovations Pvt Ltd – are also working towards the commercialisation of this glove with support from the Nidhi Prayas programme under the IIT Gandhinagar Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IIEC).
Sharing his thoughts, Dr Chandan Kumar Jha said, “I feel extremely happy to receive this prestigious award. This is a huge encouragement for my startup team and me to take our entrepreneurial journey forward. I am very grateful to my PhD supervisor Dr Arup Lal Chakraborty, for extending all the support and guidance throughout my PhD for developing this system. I am also thankful to my current postdoctoral supervisor, Dr Himanshu Shekhar, for constantly providing his support, feedback and mentorship. I thank Mr Anand Pandey and Mr R A Venkitachalam for guiding me with the commercialisation aspect of the product. I would also like to thank my team (Ms Rupsha Mukherjee, Mr Khsitij Gajapure, Mr Kundan Jha, Mr Kuldeep Jajoria and Ms Ruchita Mukherjee) for helping in realising the product and taking it forward for commercialisation. We aim to bring quicker recovery for the patients of stroke and cerebral palsy.”