What are those products and their cost?
The two products are Laparoscopy Surgical Simulator and In-Vitro Fertilization Training Simulation with Haptics Feedback. These products are expected to change the way doctors are trained to make patients safer. High end stimulator costs around 2 crore in international market, whereas these home grown products made in IIT-Madras’s touch lab will cost around 30-35 Lakhs.
History of Merkel Heptics
Merkel Heptics was started in 2011 to convert lab work into products, and Touch Lab was started at IIT Madras to research the sense of touch.
Founder and investigator’s message
Prof M Manivannan, founder and investigator of Touch Lab said “The Touch Lab is unique and the only touch lab in India. This project started when I visited CMC Vellore. I was watching how laparoscopic surgery was done. The idea of a laparoscopy surgical simulator with haptics feedback was converted into a PhD thesis and a prototype was developed in the lab in five years. It was then taken to the company (Merkel) to develop it into a product to make it commercially viable”
The project received a sum of rupees 6 Lakh from the Government and was patented in between 2012-2013.
How this Technology Replaces Real Patient with Virtual Patient
“Actual training is happening on real patients and there is always scope for mistakes.This is what is happening in all clinical training, with risk of injury. Our technology will replace the real patient with a virtual patient and doctors can practice on the virtual patient any number of times until they master the skill so that the real patient is safer” Manivannan said. He further says “how this virtual technology with haptics feedback is not available in India because of which foreign companies are making lot of money”.
Second product in Vitro Fertilization
“The second product In Vitro Fertilization Training Simulation -has been commissioned by Innov4Sight Health and Biomedical Systems Put Ltd, Singapore,” said Merkel Haptic Systems Pvt Ltd CEO P B C Paul. He further adds that “ the company’s objective is to go for an Indian company transfer so that the Indian customer can afford these products”