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NIBIB and the Indian Department of Biotechnology Collaborate to Develop Low-Cost Medical Devices

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The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the availability of supplemental funding for eligible NIBIB-supported research grants to facilitate collaborative work among researchers in the United States and India.

The grants will be used to develop low-cost diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologies that can be used in underserved communities worldwide. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for any collaborative technology development or device that would be appropriate in a low-resource setting, such as low-cost imaging devices or point-of-care screening tests.

The supplemental funding, announced at the U.S.-India Science and Technology Joint Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C., is an initiative between NIBIB and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology in India.

In October 2007, NIBIB and DBT entered into a bilateral agreement to develop low-cost health care technologies aimed at the medically underserved. In 2008, NIBIB and DBT held a joint workshop on Low-Cost Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medical Technologies.

Approximately 60 scientists, engineers, and clinicians from the United States and India identified leading areas of opportunity for improvements in health care for individuals with chronic conditions in low resource settings. As a result of this workshop, NIBIB and DBT are initiating jointly funded initiatives that capitalize on the expertise and resources of the two nations.

The collaborations supported by the supplemental funding will enable investigators to develop medical technologies that can significantly impact underserved populations within the United States and India. Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director of NIBIB, commented, "These supplements represent an important step in bringing technologically advanced quality health care to people in low-resource communities, both in the United States and in India."