IIT-B sets up India’s first digital health centre with Koita Foundation


The IIT Bombay has set up the ‘Koita Centre for Digital Health’ – India’s first to focus on driving academics, research and industry collaboration in digital health – in collaboration with the Koita Foundation (KF), a statement said on Thursday.

The initiative followed a grant from its alumni Rekha and Rizwan Koita to help improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of healthcare through digital health.

The KCDH will focus on academic and research areas like clinical applications (including electronic patient records and medical imaging, healthcare data management including its privacy and security, healthcare analytics, health AI/ML, consumer health, public health and public policy.

It will offer minor, dual degree, Masters and Doctorate programmes in Healthcare Informatics and conduct industry/outreach programs for healthcare and industry professionals in digital health to enable them act as ‘force-multipliers’.

The IIT-B said that digital health and informatics need cross-functional expertise — computer science, statistics, artificial intelligence/machine learning, bioinformatics and medicine — and the KCDH will build strong collaboration with digital health partners like hospitals, medical research institutes and the industry who would also establish joint academic and research programmes.

“The KCDH will enable an ecosystem to help address the healthcare challenges that have been so glaringly exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital health and informatics need cross-functional expertise,” said IIT-B Director, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri.

The KCDH will strive to enable seamless cross-functionality across these streams and the new initiative will throw open exciting opportunities for the graduate, including spearheading research, launching start-ups and a lot more, he said.

Rizwan Koita – who is co-Founder and CEO of global healthcare technology company CitiusTech, said that digital health is critical to improve healthcare at scale, and the KCDH can play a pivotal role in improving healthcare in India and the world.

The KCDH will also actively collaborate with government organisations, healthcare technology companies and NGOs working in the healthcare, even as the world is focusing increasingly on enhancing digital health and informatics, while India launched the National Digital Health Mission in 2020.