The fellowship program in Healthcare Entrepreneurship at CfHE is a unique world-class program of one year for healthcare entrepreneurs followed by the opportunity to incubate. It brings together the brightest engineering, clinical, product design and technology entrepreneurs, and the business community minds with a passion to innovate.
And merges this diversity and domain expertise with nontechnical aspects of user experience and business models in addressing critical clinical challenges. This results in innovative solutions in biomedical devices, healthcare, and services that create a social impact.
The Program follows a carefully structured and comprehensive package of curriculum designed for bio-design innovation and product and services development and is an in-residence, and strongly hands-on program.
The Fellows are taught the fundamentals of bio-design process along with human anatomy, physiology and disease state fundamentals. They then undergo intense clinical immersions in private and public hospitals to identify the unmet needs. They are further trained to do “Needs filtering” and “Needs Statement`” development. Ideation and brainstorming follow, to develop innovative solutions to these unmet needs. The net stage is design, design validation and prototyping. While at it, the fellows are given insights into Regulatory aspects and Intellectual Property Rights. They are also given mentoring in Business plan development and strategies for marketing. The Fellows also have access to faculty and research laboratories at IIT Hyderabad, mentors, industry professionals and investors besides advisors.
The Grand finale to the yearlong fellowship program is the pitching of these products to a jury consisting of eminent clinicians, hospital managers, VCs among others. Successful teams are then given seed grant and incubated at CfHE.
Right from its inception in 2016, the Fellowship program has been continuously attracting talent from premier engineering institutions in the country like IITs, NITs, BITS etc, medical colleges like AIIMS, JIPMER etc, Business Schools like IIMs, ISB etc and design schools like NID.
Over 70% of our fellows successfully graduate and get incubated with a CfHE seed grant of 25 Lakhs. Since 2017 CfHE as a Healthcare Entrepreneurship Educator cum TBI, has successfully transformed 12 fellows into 7 companies with innovative healthcare solutions in diverse areas such as Neuro Rehabilitation, Neonatal, Maternal Health, Adult care, as well as healthcare service innovation in vaccination.
All our start-ups have been able to raise grants amounting to at least five times the seed grant including BIRAC’s BIG (Biotechnology Ignition Grant) followed by SBIRI (Small Business Innovation Research Initiative), Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant, Indo-US Science and Technology Endowment Fund, Millennium Alliance Grant etc.
Inefficient problem identification contributes to the current poor state of treatment in healthcare ecosystem. There is a clear need for strategic problem identification in the field of healthcare.
Crux of the success of the CfHE fellowship program lies in its clinical immersion path. This part of the fellowship program help the fellows to understand why real world designs must meet multiple realistic constraints. Here fellows do visitations at various leading hospitals in Hyderabad: Kamineni Group of Hospitals, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG), Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), to name a few. It gives the fellows an opportunity to observe the clinical environment and understand and evaluate the workflow processes as well as the contexts in which diagnosis and therapy evolve and how medical equipment are put to use.
During each clinical visit, fellows shadow clinicians in their day-to-day activities such as out-patient clinics, wards rounds and surgeries. They make detailed observations and identify from these observations various pain points where probable suboptimal diagnosis / treatment was delivered to the patient. Each Fellow documents between 30-50 observations and findings per visit
Following each clinic visit, fellows discuss these and from observations they identify problems and formulate problem statements. Problem statements are then mapped onto unmet medical needs.
They then engage in the process of needs screening where the needs are prioritized based on a custom-made ranking scale which takes into account criticality, prevalence and incidence, technical complexity and potential market opportunities
After learning the biodesign process and prior to clinical immersion, fellows complete background research on the diseases being discussed, including (1) disease prevalence, pathophysiology, disease mechanisms, etc., (2) current treatment options and standard of care, (3) stakeholders involved in a solution, and (4) what the existing market looks like.
The fellows are also imparted specialised technical support and mentoring in areas including Market Requirements, Financial Projection, Cash Flow Analysis, Risk Classification, Risk Management & QMS in setting up and running their own business. Regulatory, IPR and Business Law to mention a few.