The growing importance of the use of healthcare technology in terms of qualitative and quantitative benefit it offers and, the increasing involvement of IIT Kharagpur research faculty in this domain asked for an internal review within the institute. This was to consolidate the individual contributions of research faculty and laboratories, draw a roadmap for the future and explore how an institute level initiative can accelerate the process. The abysmally poor doctor-to-patient ratio and the demographic divide of our country asks for technology to come as an enabler and IIT Kharagpur is in the forefront in its commitment to serve this field. The School of Medical Science & Technology, the upcoming hospital and medical college and the involvement of about forty faculty members drawn from eight departments / schools are expressions of this. The internal review conducted, a meeting with all IIT Kharagpur researchers took place with Director, IIT Kharagpur on Chair. The meeting discussed the need of creation of a platform named, Signals and Systems for Life Science, to have a synergistic approach. A workshop to interact with lead physicians – life science domain experts was proposed. This was to know their view and involve them first, in the technology development; second, in the technology validation and finally, in the technology use.
A workshop on Signals and Systems for Life Science was held on 17th November, 2013 at Kolkata. This by-invitation workshop was attended by forty experts from life science domain, mostly from medical fraternity and forty researchers from IIT Kharagpur working in this area. Each of the life science domain experts who participated in the workshop spoke about their interest and expectation from IIT Kharagpur. More of this workshop / its videos, presentations are available in other pages of this website. In the final session, IIT Kharagpur research faculty and life science domain experts sat together and discussed research problems of mutual interest. There were round-tables where matching-interest groups converged, exchanged ideas and drew up draft work plan in a collaborative framework. The follow-up of this exercise resulted in submission of forty expression-of-interest in which IIT Kharagpur faculty and medical professionals are to pursue important research problems together. Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD) came forward to support this initiative, initially for five years. In the first phase, of all the EoIs, 22 projects were approved to get started. In the second phase, two new projects are approved.