The ‘Design Thinking Workshop’, hosted by the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in collaboration with IC-IMPACTS and Praxis Spinal Cord Institute (formerly known as Rick Hansen Institute) took place on December 10, 2019, in New Delhi as a part of the Canada-India Science and Technology Innovation Dialogue.

Leading spinal cord injury research agencies from Canada and India were present to discuss new methods of treating patients with spinal cord injury and showcase innovative technologies for sustainable rehabilitation of patients.

“As a Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence dedicated to the development of research collaborations between the two countries, IMPACTS seeks to bring together researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from across India and Canada to work together to find solutions to the key challenges facing the communities. Both the countries have their unique strengths and it is time to leverage each other’s strengths,”

– Dr. Nemkumar Banthia, CEO and Scientific Director IC-IMPACTS.

Dr. Nemy Banthia (centre) with Dr. A. K. Mukherjee, Director General of ISIC (left) and Mr. Bill Barrable, CEO of Praxis Spinal Institute (right)

Dr. Nemkumar Banthia, CEO and Scientific Director IC-IMPACTS, Mr. Bill Barrable, CEO, Praxis Spinal Cord Institute, and Dr. H S Chhabra, Chief of Spine Services and Medical Director of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) participated in the event along with multidisciplinary SCI experts and other dignitaries. The workshop emphasized the importance of innovating SCI care to create an inclusive society.

Featured projects included artificial hands for SCI individuals, telemedicine-based exercises for patients in rural India, means to connect the researchers and portable scanner for data acquisition. A design thinking competition was also organized on the theme “Improving the quality of lives of Spinal Cord Injured and persons with disabilities. Innovators who were previously awarded funding through the International Grant Competition Canada India SCI Innovation Award – Getting Solutions to Market, presented their product updates and discussed ways to bring them to the market.

“Spinal cord injury is one of the biggest reasons of disability not only in India but across the world. As healthcare providers, we have to aspire for and achieve newer horizons of treatment so that more and more people can be freed from the clutches of this debilitating physical condition. Spinal cord injury, which may be caused by a simple fall, can render a person completely in paralysis for life. There is a need to make people aware of the various aspects of SCI. Besides, rehabilitation of SCI patients is crucial so that they are not left out and can remain productive in spite of the injury – this is one area we need to work on since hundreds of SCI patients away from big cities cannot access rehabilitation services and are forced to live life in the margins. We are very proud to host this brainstorming and award session here and hope it will take the advancements deeper into the country,”
– Dr. H S Chhabra, Chief of Spine Services and Medical Director of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC).


“We, at Praxis, want this world to be free of spinal cord injuries and paralysis that follows it. However, it is very important to keep pushing levels and bring in new technologies and treatment methods to offer relief to SCI patients. The rapid advancement in science and technology is our key motivation – the ISNCSCI algorithm has been downloaded more than 1500 times in 168 countries and we have successfully engaged 20,000 SCI-affected people to build an incredible network of partners,”
–  Mr. Bill Barrable, CEO, Praxis Spinal Cord Institute.