Express press service
KOZHIKODE: In an innovation that is expected to significantly reduce medical scanning costs, the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) Calicut has developed locally developed color Doppler ultrasound scanner technology. This will pave the way for ultrasound scanners to be manufactured in India, rather than relying on imported devices.
NIELIT, an autonomous scientific society under the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, developed the scanner under the “Make in India” project after six years of research. The institute has signed the technology transfer agreement with a company for commercialization.
In addition to various types of medical scanning, the automatic sex determination monitoring function enables the scanner to detect female feticide.
According to NIELIT officials, the indigenous machine will replace the country’s imports. The new development plans to make available low-cost ultrasound facilities – especially for pregnancy cases – in all primary health centers, mainly in rural areas. India imports ultrasound scanners worth about $21 million per year, which is increasing by 10-15% every year.
The innovation will drive down imports and lead to huge savings for the country, they said. Executive Director of NIELIT Calicut, Dr. MP Pillai, said the locally developed machine and technology transfer was a step forward in the “Make in India” initiative.
New desi technology can prevent female feticide
Dr. Jayaraj U Kidav, the project’s lead researcher, said only a quarter of the total amount spent on importing a scanner is needed to manufacture a scanner here. “When importing, an ultrasound scanner costs between 20 lakh and 1 crore. Our machine was manufactured at a cost of `3 lakh-`6 lakh. This will be reflected in the scanning fee and hence benefit to ordinary people If `1000 to 1500 is spent on normal pregnancy scan now, it would be less than `100 in government institutions,” Dr Jayaraj said.
An important feature of the machine is automatic monitoring of sex determination to prevent female feticide. The scan details of a pregnant woman would be automatically filled in the Prenatal Diagnosis Techniques form. Along with this, the biometric details will be stored on the Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs server in New Delhi. Thus, scanning at each stage is closely monitored, leaving no room for abortion if the fetus turns out to be female. The Technology Transfer Agreement was signed between NIELIT and Jupiter Design Technologies, Bengaluru during the Digital India Week-22 event held in Gujarat.