Start-ups can play crucial in making cancer care affordable; Kerala health minister

Start-ups can play crucial in making cancer care affordable; Kerala health minister

Healthcare technology start-ups can play a vital role in developing indigenised affordable solutions to fight cancer, said K.K Shylaja, the health minister of Kerala addressing the conference session of the 3rd edition of CanQuer in Cochin, recently.

Underscoring the need for early cancer detection and ensuring its access to the poor, the minister said the government was open to encouraging workable ideas that emerge from start-ups.

A highly populous state, Kerala has only one primary health centre (PHC) in each panchayat, to cater to a population ranging from 18,000 to 65,000.
The government’s Aardram Mission is a step towards making a people-friendly healthcare system that aims to make PHCs function as family health centres, said the minister.

The convention, which was organized by Cochin Cancer Research Center (CCRC) in association with Kerala start-up mission (KSUM), concurred to facilitate new research in cancer care by providing research incubator facilities at the KSUM centre which is named Biomedical Research, Innovation and Commercialisation in Cancer (BRIC).

“The incubation cohorts in BRIC are selected focusing on early detection and prevention, and improving the process of cancer care,” said Dr. Moni Kuriakose, Director, CCRC.

BRIC will be located at the Kerala Technology Innovation Zone, Kinfra Hi-Tech Part, Kalamassery, Kochi.

There is a greater need for technology in cancer care where almost 60-70% of intervention requires devices and new technologies. The problem with imported technology is that they are developed suiting a different stratum of society and that may not be appropriate to Indian condition, In order to bring the cost down we needed to indigenise the development part, according to Dr. Moni.

Ardram mission is organizing a pan-Kerala campaign in November on wellness and awareness on how non-communicable diseases can be prevented. CCRC will be focusing in Ernakulam on providing the educative sessions on cancer from November to January.

CanQuer 2019 hosted various sessions on topics related to cancer care, bringing together clinicians, technologists, entrepreuners and biologists.