The Indian healthcare scenario offers Doctors a challenging environment drawing out the best in them. The scope and range are so diverse that one needs to innovate in the rural milieu, whereas the most modern gadgets are for the asking in the super-speciality hospitals in the metropolises. Notwithstanding this paradox, the doctor-patient relationship is a key factor in the recovery and rehabilitation of patients, where confidence in the treating professional greatly hastens cure and recovery.
Job responsibilities of a doctor:
The basic principles enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath drives the doctor to perform his duties within the periphery of medical ethics. Diagnosing the ailment and finding the right cure and giving extending care during and after the convalescence period is all part of the Doctor’s duties. It is in this context that sometimes a doctor is plunged into despair and helplessness, while seeing a patient suffer for want of a suitable medical device or equipment which stands as a barrier in the way of an effective therapy or cure. In the Indian context, the rising cost of healthcare is an inhibiting factor that prevents many patients from getting treated and forced to live a lifetime in agony. The cure of diseases and the well-being of the patient are paramount in the mind of a doctor. The doctor’s frustration is justified in his failure, urging him to look out for solutions, that has led to many inventions and development of biomedical devices. At times it has become intrinsic to the treatment in general and has come as a boon to a vast multitude of suffering individuals across the world.
Skills and training required:
The interface of medical science and engineering is the core of biomedical devices. Nevertheless, the contours are not well defined. The entire healthcare eco-system is so well dependent on the bio-medical devices that we take its presence for granted. How many of us can visualize a doctor without a stethoscope? It is no surprise that the device was born more than two hundred years back by the enterprise of Dr Rene Laennec by recalling a simple principle of acoustics while treating a patient. In the world of bio-design and biomedical science, the conceptualization of an idea to commercialization is the amalgamation of multiple patents leading to the final product. However, the most basic devices have resulted from innovations thought out by a doctor, who is frustrated in his attempts to diagnose and treat a patient for want of a particular gadget, which he is convinced about, but not in existence. It is this urge and a missionary zeal to heal a patient, which has resulted in many inventions being brought to the fore. What leads to such inventions? What goes on in the mind of a Doctor? The process can be summarised in a few key steps tabulated below.
Doctors as Inventors and Investors:
A doctor’s contentment lies in the successful treatment of a patient. Many innovations like the stethoscope, the heart-monitor or the pacemaker were the result of brainwaves of doctors willing to experiment with ideas. This further added to the comfort of patients, in turn leading to faster and full recovery, while also making the device affordable. There are examples galore of doctors who did not confine themselves to the OTs and OPDs but continued to pursue a dream passionately and successfully.
Bio engineering and bio-medical devices are an intrinsic part of healthcare. A single device can comprise multiple patents to give the doctor an edge to the state-of-the-art diagnostic tool or lend a helping hand to the patient to make his life meaningful with affordable gadgets. Most inventions are the outcome of a brainwave by the doctor in his clinic as a necessity to provide succor to the patient, rather than for entrepreneurial pursuits.
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