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IIT-Madras Launches Department of Medical Sciences and Technology

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has recently launched the Department of Medical Sciences and Technology, where they will be offering a four-year Bachelor of Science programme in medical sciences and engineering. This initiative marks a significant milestone in India as it is the first of its kind in the country, a statement from the Institute said.

The course offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that equips students with the necessary skills to contribute to areas such as designing life-saving medical devices, drug discovery, artificial intelligence in medicine, and fundamental medical research. The department will train physicians to effectively apply technology in their clinical practice and lay the foundation for physician-scientist training in India.

The admission procedure will be through IISER Aptitude Test (IAT). Candidates should have cleared a Grade 12 (or equivalent) examination in a science stream in 2022 or 2023 from any board recognised by the Council of Boards of Department Education in India. The course structure involves an internship in a hospital to tie theory and practice. The courses in the programme will be taught by both medical and engineering faculty and will provide a strong research base for students.

It will also offer a dual PhD programme that encourages the development of devices and data analytics. Clinicians with innovative ideas who register for a doctorate will be paired with engineering PhD students who will focus on the engineering aspects through simulation and bench tests. Together, they will create a framework to turn the idea into a marketable product. The clinician will also conduct product trials to prepare it for the market.

Several renowned medical doctors in India and abroad provided valuable input and were closely involved in the development of the curriculum. These professionals will be ‘Professors of Practice’ in the department. Furthermore, the department has established collaborations and tie-ups with premier hospitals and medical institutions in the country.

At the launch event, an industry expert noted that collaborative research in medical sciences has the potential to propel India to a prominent position as a global leader in clinical outcomes. India’s existing research capabilities and demonstrated expertise in areas such as space, nuclear, digital, and biotechnology serve as a testament to its potential. Expanding this research capability to the field of medicine is the natural next step. He said that innovation can be found at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiomes, cognitive science, and other sciences.

The primary objective is to create an exceptional research facility in medical sciences and technology, dedicated to the development and training of “physician-scientists” and engineering physiologists who will emerge as future leaders in their respective fields. The department’s focus will encompass both fundamental and applied research programmes, serving as a bridge that connects diverse medical disciplines.

According to the statement, by providing the necessary resources and platform, IIT-Madras strives to empower researchers to develop emerging technologies that will improve the lives of patients for generations to come.

The Department of Medical Sciences and Technology will offer the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences & Engineering (4-Year Programme)
  • PhD Programme for Doctors
  • Master of Science by Research for Doctors
  • Master of Science in Medical Sciences and Engineering
  • PhD Programme for Science & Engineering Graduates

The Head of the Department said that with this interdisciplinary approach to improve healthcare outcomes by leveraging engineering and medical knowledge, new technologies can be developed that monitor vital parameters of various organs, detect signs of disease, and help to provide targeted prevention and treatment options.


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