AAMI News October 2018

AAMI Launches Global Partnership to Train Biomeds in India

Signing Ceremony
At the signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding, Dr. Jitendar Sharma, CEO of AMTZ, and Brad Schoener, vice president of innovation at AAMI, display the signed documents.

AAMI is expanding its global portfolio to India, where AAMI education, training, and certification programs will be offered to biomedical engineers and equipment technicians throughout the country. This is a significant partnership with the Indian Biomedical Skill Consortium that both organizations—and officials in the Indian government—are celebrating.

The partnership is an integral part of a major public–private initiative to spur the healthcare technology industry in India. The government there is funding a massive industrial park dedicated to medical equipment, devices, and products, from R&D to manufacturing to talent development. Right now, it’s a 270-acre construction site—and it’s moving forward at breakneck speed, according to Brad Schoener, AAMI vice president of innovation.

“The idea is to develop R&D capabilities linked to manufacturing facilities linked to government purchasers and regulators,” said Schoener, who visited in August to sign a memorandum of understanding for this partnership. “They expect to attract over 250 medical device manufacturers in the next two years.”

An ’Ecosystem’ for Medical Equipment

Located in Visakhapatnam, the largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on the east coast of India, Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) will be “the world’s first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem,” Schoener said. This includes facilities for testing, prototyping, and manufacturing, such as biomaterials, gamma irradiation, electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interference testing, and X-ray/computed tomography scan tube prototyping and manufacturing.

The CEO of AMTZ, Jitendar Sharma, MD, launched the Indian Biomedical Skill Consortium just this year, in preparation for the immediate certification of 10,000 biomedical professionals. The consortium is a collaboration with the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB)–Quality Council of India and the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry.

AAMI skills development and certification programs will reach far beyond AMTZ. Biomedical professionals in hospitals, manufacturing, installation and servicing, sales and marketing, and R&D laboratories will benefit from the programs, Schoener said. In addition, many Indian universities have partnered with the consortium. Assessment centers are planned across the country.

As an indication of the high-level government and industry support in India for this partnership, a number of public- and private-sector officials attended the public signing of the memorandum of understanding between AAMI and the consortium, including:

  • Dr. Renu Swarup, secretary, Department of Biotechnology
  • Sunita Sanghi, director general, National SkillDevelopment Agency under the Ministry of Skill Development
  • Shyam Sunder Bang, chairman, NABCB–Quality Council of India
  • Anil Jauhri, CEO, NABCB
  • Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry

In a statement, Swarup said this initiative “would bolster the growth of professionals in the country and is the right move for encouraging high-end professional skill and safety of medical products.” Nath applauded AAMI for “coming forward in forging this partnership.”

Noting that the skill levels of healthcare technology professionals in India are already considered “very high,” Schoener expects this partnership “will go a long way in taking Indian professionals to get recognition globally.”