Press Release 09-07-2015

A press conference was conducted jointly by Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) and Institute of Pulmocare & Research Kolkata on July 09, 2015. This was related to peer recognition of novel findings of a collaborative research, taken up by two institutes (Respirology: Editorial, Editor’s Choice). Director, IIT Kharagpur in his public message congratulated the researchers from either side for “achieving this milestone in our strategic project initiative ‘Signals & Systems for Life Science’.”  The following had been the press release on this occasion. The work drew attention of a large section of media that includes Times of India, Business Standard, Economic Times, Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Statesman, Echo of India, Sify News, Zee News.

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Press Release

Now Doctors can Observe Sound patterns to Detect Lung Disorders

July 9, 2015, Kolkata: “Seeing what we hear: an eye to help the ear”: This was the title of a recent editorial in the reputed medical journal ‘Respirology’ published in May, 2015. The entire editorial focused on the new findings of a collaborative research between Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP) and Institute of Pulmocare & Research Kolkata (IPCR). The work was related to seeing something that we hear, rather cannot hear well enough!

Human listenting ability, that can distinguish the voice of a crow from the voice of a cuckoo, goes beyond appreciation of pleasant and unpleasant sound in our external environment. The invention of stethoscope in 1816 showed its great potential in medical field. Auscultation, i.e. listening to internal sounds of the body, usually through stethoscope, became an important component of clinical examination. Physicians through training started developing specific skills to distinguish normal and abnormal body generated sounds, specially that of heart and lung sounds. However, there is an element of subjectivity in appreciation of stethoscope sound due to variation and deterioation of individual’s listening ability; also the expertize required to distinguish such sounds that come through professional training may not be available everywhere, more particularly in our rural backyard.

The researchers at IPCR and IITKGP through a collaboration started investigating how the correlation between lung mechanics (normal or abnormal) and acoustic indices could be put in an alternate form of representation that is easier to comprehend, and would be useful for diagnostic purpose. The target was to identify certain patterns in the sound which carry distinguishing signatures of normality or abnormality, and present it in a visual form for easier identification of the same. For this, lung sound  was collected from two groups of people One group belonged to normal and the other group had a specific lung disease. Advanced digital signal processing and feature extraction algorithms were used to identify distinctive characteristics of these two kind of signals. A mapping algorithm was developed to convert the digitally processed lung sound into pictures that highlight these distinguishing features. It was found that in spite of subject to subject variability in data collection, these pictures were representative enough to separate normality from abnormality, and the same was verified by three independent physicians. The exercise was extended to generate an intestering finding. Three independent laymen when presented with these pictures, could also differentiate one kind of signal from the other.

The researchers feel that the work has the potential in filling up the much felt gap of lack of quality healthcare facilities in remote places. It can also serve as an objective assisting tool to all physicians to help them in diagnosis. The work ahead is to increase the number of disease portfolio, accordingly making improvement in the technology, validating the result through independent observers, improving acceptability for adoption of it in clinical practice through more scientific investigations.

Editors of the ‘Respirology’ journal in explaining why they are excited about this work and why it became the topic of the editorial said the following: The study is novel in more than one way. It is novel in the aspects of sound that were chosen for analysis. It is novel (at least for us as physicians) in its visual representation of sound. The struggle to convert sound into images could be considered as herculean as the struggle to convert language into a written form, and the authors have presented an interpretable pictorial display of their data.

Three videos related to this press conference can be found at 




Winning Technologies

The prestigious DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program 2015 had five submissions from IIT Kharagpur. All these innovations were related to life science domain research, a thrust area activity of the institute involving researchers from different departments, schools, centres.

According to the published report (Link), the program received a record 1,300 applications for innovative ideas across industries ranging from agriculture and textiles to defence and healthcare this year. All of five submissions from IIT Kharagpur came in the category of Top-50 innovations. Finally, four of them were declared winners in the list of 30 innovations and one came in Top-10 to receive special support from IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin, USA.

The winning technologies from IIT Kharagpur were:

1. Complete Indigenous technology to spin hemodialysis grade hollow fiber membranes (Dept. of Chemical Engg. Link)

2. A continuous non-invasive blood glucose monitoring system based on photoacoustic spectroscopy (Dept. of Electronics & ECE Link).

3. Development of X-ray visible polymers for non-invasive imaging applications (School of Medical Sc. & Tech. Link).

4. Bone grafts designed via bio-mimetic approach from natural origin materials (School of Medical Sc. & Tech. Link).

A short video of the fifth technology from Dept. of Electronics & ECE, IIT Kharagpur that made into Top-50, is hosted in the innovation program youtube channel (Link).


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IMPRINT India: Healthcare Roadmap

Under the initiative entitled IMPacting Rsearch, INnovation and Techhnology, IMPRINT India, MHRD has given the IITs and IISc the responsibility to develop an Education and Research Policy Roadmap for Ten Technology Domains. IITKGP is Coordinating two critical thematic areas and participating in all areas. The TEN technology domains/themes and coordinating institutes for IMPRINT India are: (i) Healthcare: IIT Kharagpur (ii) Computer Science and ICT: IIT Kharagpur (iii) Energy : IIT Bombay (iv) Sustainable urban design :IIT Roorkee (v) Nano-technology hardware: IIT Bombay (vi) Water resources andRiver Systems: IIT Kanpur (vii) Advanced materials: IIT Kanpur (viii) Manufacturing IIT Madras (ix) Defence: IIT Madras (x) Environment Science and Climate Change: IISc, Bangalore

First Pan IIT and IISc Workshop on IMPRINT India was held in IIT Kanpur on 11th May 2015. IITKGP Team was represented by Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti (Director), Prof Sunando Dasgupta (Dean SRIC), Prof Anupam Basu (CSE & Chairman CET), Prof Suman Chakraborty (ME and Head SMST), Prof Goutam Saha (E&ECE, PIC, IPR & IR and Coordinator, Signals & Systems for Life Science Mega Project).

In the inagural session, Honourable Union Minister of Human Resource Development presented the concept and its significance, and wished everybody for the work ahead. Directors of IITs, present in the workshop, told the genesis of this initiative that dates back to a meet of IIT Directors at Rashtrapati Bhavan in presence of Prime Minister of India. They reminded that it is the first time IITs, IISc are asked to play the role of think-tank in the making of national policy road map, in such a scale. The whole day discussion was moderated by Directors of IIT Kanpur, IIT Roorkee and IIT Kharagpur.

IIT Kharagpur presentation on Healthcare introduced the objective, scope, methodology and challenges to workshop attendee. To move forward, besides a core team from IITKGP, there will be members from other IITs, IISc joining the team to set the process in motion. We got few such names from other IITs in the workshop itself. We welcome all stakeholders to come forward and be a part of this initiative by giving their valuable inputs. In this, we have primarily two mandates to fulfill. The aim is to have in place (i)Education that strengthens competencies and fosters innovation and (ii)R & D that leads to self-sufficiency by understanding our priorities and readiness. The IITKGP Healthcare presentation slides can be downloaded from

In the preliminary stage, the input on issues related to Healthcare road map, may please be provided by filling-up following web form. We shall explore later possibility of a greater mode of engagement with the contributor, based on requirement on ground. All significant contributions will be duly acknowledged. The link of the web form is

Update:Second workshop of IMPRINT India was held at IIT Delhi on 16th August, 2015. The IITKGP Healthcare presentations slides for this workshop is available at 



Two New Projects

Based on the review received by Dean, SRIC on Signals and Systems for Life Science (SSLS), Phase – II submitted proposals, Director, IIT Kharagpur has approved two projects titled “Audio Visual Integration and Learning – Implications for Dyslexia” and “Sensing-based Fetal ECG (FECG) monitoring for Point-of-Care Applications” to get started now.  For the first project, Dr. Alakananda Dutt and Dr. Praveen Jakati of Institute for Neurosciences, Kolkata will be collaborating with IIT Kharagpur faculty Prof. Sharba Bandyopadhyaya. For the second project, Dr. Manish Goyal and Dr. Sweta Singha of AIIMS, Bhubaneshwa will be collaborating with Prof. Anirban Mukherjee of IIT Kharagpur.

Rashtrapati Bhaban Exhibition

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) organized a one day exhibition on 11th March, 2015 at Rashtrapati Bhavan with the theme “Innovation in Medical Science & Technology” as a part of weeklong “Festival of innovation” that was inaugurated by Honourable President of India (Rashtrapati Bhavan press release: ). For this 11th March, 2015 exhibition, proposals were sought from leading institutions from all over India that includes IITs, AIIMS and other organizations in public and private sectors. After two rounds of review, a total of forty five technologies were selected for the exhibition. From IIT Kharagpur, Heart / Lung Sound Analyzer was selected and Prof. Goutam Saha from was present in the exhibition on behalf of the IIT Kharagpur research team. The 10:00 AM inauguration of the 11th March exhibition included addresses of Secretary, Department of Health Research; Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and other dignitaries. This was followed by a round table with the innovators. The exhibition was visited by medical professionals, representative from industries and Government agencies, students and other guests. The interaction and discourses were very interesting and useful, especially the ones that takes these innovations forward and different research groups working together for solving some major challenges. The exhibition ended at 5:00 PM. Honourable Minister of Science & Technology hosted a dinner for all innovators in the evening. Since this exhibition, National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) is following up this IIT Kharagpur innovation. It also featured in March, 2015 issue of Mobility Magazine.

Mobility March 2015 Article Page