ISIC signs pact with top Canadian institutes to promote innovation in field of spinal cord injury care

The unique initiative aims to launch a competition to attract collaboration between researchers in Indian and Canadian universities for developing promising innovations and furthering the treatment of spinal cord injury patients in India

Ms Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Government of Canada, graced the launch of the initiative at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC).

New Delhi: With a unique initiative, the leading treatment and rehabilitation provider for spinal cord injuries in India, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), has announced collaboration with Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and IC-IMPACTS (India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability) to launch a one of a kind competition that will further spinal injuries patient care in India.

To formalize the initiative, Ms Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Government of Canada, graced the launch of the competition at the Indian Spinal Injuries Center, and was joined by Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC and Dr H S Chhabra, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC.

“Collaboration is incredibly important to the scientific process. But we know research partnerships are that much richer when scientists work with expert partners, like the Rick Hansen Institute and Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, who can inform their discovery process. Today’s agreement and call for creative thinking to help people living with spinal cord injury is examples of the important work Canadian scientists are doing to help people with disabilities participate fully in society both in Canada and in India”, said Ms Kirsty Duncan.

To further spinal cord injury treatment and research in India, the three internationally renowned organizations have come together by launching a competition that will attract researchers and institutions from Canada and India to work towards a common goal of finding better avenues to drive best results in the treatment of spinal injuries patients.

“ISIC has formed one of a kind collaboration with esteemed Canadian organizations, RHI and IC-IMPACTS, both well-respected names in the international medical community, to create better avenues of providing treatment to thousands of spinal injury patients in India. It is well understood that avenues to provide spinal injuries care amongst people of India is limited. This alliance provides us with the opportunities to share their knowledge and work collaboratively to address issues related to SCI which are not currently available. There is a huge focus towards innovation and research and the technologies thereby developed for people living in India is more likely to be of relevance in Canada and other countries,” said Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC.

Signing a 1-year-long contract, the three renowned organizations have taken a pioneering initiative to co-host a competition that will to attract researchers in Indian and Canadian universities to work collaboratively in developing and commercializing promising and innovative technologies in the treatment and care of people living with SCI and associated secondary complications.

“We aim to achieve significant progress in building a stronger relationship between medical fraternity of not only these three organizations but also of the two countries that will benefit the world at a larger level. In India, the incidence of spinal injuries has been recorded as 20 per million people. The most common manner of injury is falls and accidents. In developed countries, the incidence of spinal injuries varies from 20 to 50 per million people. Spinal cord injury and the resultant paralysis has far-reaching effects on the overall well-being of a person, increasing the economic and emotional burden on the person who sustains SCI and potentially his or her entire support network. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and SCI are the most severe types of injuries; however, there is little evidence to address the difference between these two types of patients in terms of functional, and community outcomes. Therefore, such initiatives are vital ways forward to find breakthroughs for better treatment”, said Dr H S Chhabra, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC.

While ISIC is well known in India for providing specialized treatment and unique rehabilitation services for the management of all types of spinal ailments, RHI is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization that drives innovation in spinal cord injury research and care. The collaboration has been facilitated by IC-IMPACTS, the first, and only, organization dedicated to the development of research collaborations between Canada and India.

To promote health research excellence in order to further advance emerging technologies that have the potential to benefit people with spinal cord injuries in India, Canada, and around the world, the competition will be supported by funding provided to RHI by the Western Economic Diversification Canada.