- The indigenously developed newborn hearing screening device – SOHUM was formally launched by the Minister of State for Science and Technology & Earth Sciences.
- The newborn hearing screening device developed by School of International Biodesign (SIB) startup M/s Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt. Ltd.
- This innovative medical device has been developed under Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India supported (SIB).
- SIB is a flagship Program of the DBT aimed to develop innovative and affordable medical devices as per unmet clinical needs of India and to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India, it is a valuable contribution to the Make in India campaign of the Government.
- This Program is implemented jointly at AIIMS and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners. Biotech Consortium India Limited manages techno-legal activities of the Program.
- Sohum is a low cost and unique device which uses brainstem auditory evoked response, the gold standard in auditory testing to check for hearing response in a newborn.
- As of now, this technology is prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to many.
- Start-up Sohum has made the technology appropriate for the resource constrained settings and aims to cater to nearly 26 million babies born every year in India.
Fodder Points for Mains:
- One of the most common birth disorders – congenital hearing loss – is a result of both genetic and non-genetic factors.
- These factors are mostly associated with resource-poor economies such as India where, unlike advanced healthcare systems, hearing impairment goes undiagnosed.
- Thus, when it is discovered at 4+ years, it’s too late to reverse the damage and this leads to a host of problems such as impaired communication skills and even possible mental illness; all of which have a deep impact on the child, emotionally and economically life-long.
- Globally, 8,00,000 hearing impaired babies are born annually of which, nearly 1,00,000 are in India.
- And all this preventable damage needs is early screening, which can facilitate timely treatment and rehabilitation. Sohum team has come up with a screening device to facilitate the routine screening of newborn babies – with the potential to help children at a key stage of their development.