GUEST BLOG

Leveraging Healthcare Technology – To Improve Quality of Care by Harish Rijhwani, @Harish_Rijhwani

The advent of Covid-19 has brought Healthcare Information technology to the forefront. Organizations across the globe have been forced to look at different options to keep their revenues (especially outpatient) going. Telemedicine was conceptualized in the 1920s, till a few months ago it was considered as a target market for only rural areas. In many countries it was still in the nascent stage. The current world situation has forced organizations to consider telehealth/telemedicine very seriously

Leveraging NLP To Analyse Effects of Covid-19 On Baseline Demographics and Barriers to Compliance By Arpita Dutta – Student Author

It has been more than 8 months now since the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases skyrocketing, everything remains very uncertain till now. What we do have now is information, data and huge amounts of research going on globally (Kaggle currently has 220K scholarly articles which is approximately 17GB of data) Healthcare is a very dynamic field as many parameters keeps changing. It becomes difficult to keep a track of this, because there is a huge amount of data online. But how is one supposed to analyse such huge amounts of data with a plethora of information out there? Being a healthcare student, I realised that this is not just COVID-oriented problem, wherever there is data there will always be the goal to analyse it. But how easy would it be to analyse this data and provide a conclusion?

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Wearable tech is the future for senior adults By Karen Smith

Wearable technology can provide users with a lot of useful information, from heart rate to calories burned and even the quality of your sleep. In fact, a Melbourne start-up Nutromics, has created the first wearable smart patch that is about to track how your body responds to different food and has the potential to reduce the risk of diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

Older adults are more prone to diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, and wearable technology is providing medical professionals with a way to monitor and treat diseases before they become a bigger threat.

Leveraging Machine Learning Applications for reducing the drug discovery time by Pragya Sharma – Student Author

Pragya Sharma

The entire world has come to a standstill in 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. According to an article published in march 2020 the major cause of this panic is that COVID-19, the illness caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome known as SARS-coronavirus 2, is much more  contagious and  deadly as compared to other infections, furthermore, there are no approved treatments or vaccines. Currently there are no FDA approved drugs or vaccines for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 (1).

PARENTCARE: Simplifying long-distance caregiving for NRIs by Bharat Vasandani @bharatvasandani

The Indian diaspora (more than 17 million as per the UN in Sept 2019) have always been dependent on family and friends when it comes to arranging medical help for their parents in India. Now with more families than ever relocating for work and economic reasons, NRIs are finding it difficult to rely on their relatives. Covid-19 has further increased the problem as extended families avoid visiting each other. This has pushed NRIs to turn into long-distance caregivers.

Telemedicine – An Emerging Trend in Digital Healthcare Revolution by Priyanka Miglani

Digitization of healthcare is a reality today. The industry is evolving at a fast pace and disrupting care delivery and accessibility around the world. Digital technologies have facilitated and improved healthcare in remote and isolated locations. In places struggling with the scarcity of infrastructure and resources, health-tech allows access to specialized services.

A Review of the HL7 India Virtual Connectathon-001, July 2020 by Kumar Satyam – Technical Chair – HL7 India

July 3, 2020 was a significant milestone in the journey of HL7 India and for the health IT community in India. Over the past several months, we have been actively involving & educating the community through open houses, meetups, webinars and training on HL7 FHIR & APIs for healthcare. There has been spurt in awareness about interoperability and need for standard based data exchange. We at HL7 India have been striving to equip the implementers & decision makers with the right set of tools to enable them to build a digital future for healthcare in India. The first Virtual FHIR Connectathon is one more step in that direction.

#Telehealth and its play in Digital Healthcare by Ambarish Giliyar, @iamgiliyar

By ambarish giliyar, @iamgiliyar

Telehealth and its play in Digital Healthcare

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as mobile devices, Cloud, Fitness devices, Health devices & sensors, AI-powered Messaging & Chatbot systems and more, to access healthcare services remotely and manage healthcare. These may be technologies you use from home or that your Doctor uses to improve or support healthcare services.

#DigitalHealth in the Aftermath of COVID-19 By Ankita Sharma

This report was first published by Invest India, its been re-published here with the Author’s permission.

Digital Health: A Sunshine Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the critical need for cutting-edge technological tools and innovation in the areas of public health, medicine and wellness. It has reopened the realm of ‘digital health’ in the policy and public discourse, with consumers increasingly looking at the wide canvas of wearable gadgets, mobile health apps and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as robotic carriers, sensors and to electronic records. 

#Telemedicine: Hope, hype, or just jumping through hoops? A perspective for hospitals by Dr. Senthil @drsenthilp , Jai Ganesh and Dr. Sai Praveen @thinkMD

Understandably, telemedicine is an inevitability in these extraordinary times. It is predicted that telemedicine could soon replace up to 30%-40% of in-person consultations. Technology adoption to the propagated scale will bring immense changes to the health system. Here we discuss some of the critical factors for a hospital to consider.

Covid-19: How can it benefit India? by Saif Razvi, Sai Praveen Haranath, Vikram Ramakrishnan

The article was first published on the COVID-19 the India Story, and has been re-published here with the authors permission

The costs of the Covid-19 pandemic are well documented. The costs of the responses to the pandemic are yet to fully play out and could be equally devastating. 

Lockdowns have varied nation to nation in intensity depending on the breadth of economy that was shut down. There have been millions more job losses than deaths to date. School and university disruptions, restriction of travel, unsettling of migrant labour, interrupted food and transport chains have all added to the burden. People have suffered other physical ill-health due to healthcare systems being focused solely on Covid-19. For example, delays in cancer diagnosis and heart disease may have led to otherwise preventable deaths.1 

Insights on DIAGNOSTICS AT LAST MILE By India2022, Authored by Dr. Vandana Sarda, @vandanasarda

Dr Vandana Sarda Blogs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Our esteemed experts, Dr. Sreeram Sistla, Dr. Mirai Chatterjee and Dr. Shuchin Bajaj have pinned down the importance of taking diagnostics to the last mile, given that this is where it matters the most in terms of lessening the burden and cost of diseases such as Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), for example. They have deliberated on the challenges in achieving this and have also taken a leaf out of their rich experiences, to suggest on as to how innovators can achieve this by aligning the incentives of all stakeholders. The speakers are unanimous in their belief that the indigenous innovations have it in them to be successful, provided they work at it. They came up with insightful observations not only on the technology front, but also on things such as HR interventions, the right mindset, efficient business models, etc.  All three have noted that the Ayushman Bharat scheme is turning the corner for preventive healthcare and that the MedTechConnect platform is doing its bit for the ecosystem. The key takeaways speak volumes about how much still remains to be done, lists the case studies on SEWA and Tata Trust models, as also the Cygnus story, which are all a pure delight to read, learn and get inspired from.  

Why #DigitalHealth will become the new normal by Sujeet Katiyar, @sujeetkatiyar

During COVID-19 pandemic, terms like telehealth, telemedicine, remote-patient monitoring, virtual care and digital health are thrown around very commonly, though these terms have been around for years, but the recent situation is accelerating patient awareness and physician adoption of these technologies.

Covid-19 – Healthcare Systems’ breaking point or tipping point? By Ambarish Giliyar, @iAmGiliyar

Healthcare systems world over are over-whelmed and struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. The deluge of infected patients and suspects are stretching the healthcare ecosystem beyond their capacity. Telehealth & Virtual Care tools are being introduced to health systems to increase access and remote-screen people. This and more is happening in addition to the Consumerization demands that has been lurking for some time now.

Digital Health In India – Legal, Regulatory and Tax Overview by Nishith Desai Associates, @AntaniMilind et al

The current legal and regulatory landscape that governs Digital Health is scattered and ambiguous. To make matters worse, there is none or very little legal scholarship in the area of Digital Health in India. The scope of Digital Health is vast and covers various business models, which inherently makes it difficult to regulate as a whole.

This paper seeks to knit together existing laws and regulations into what may be called an “ad-hoc” legal framework for Digital Health in India. It is being written for those who are already invested in Digital Health as workforce or capital contributors as well as those who are still testing the waters. Since this is a research paper, it also seeks to raise questions and takes positions which are yet to be tested with the hope that it would set the tone for legal discussions in larger platforms

An Excerpt from the document

Aarogya Setu – What more could this bridge connect? by Dr. Senthil, @drsenthilp & Jai Ganesh

Is the Novel Corona Virus here to stay? The opinion is different among the experts! In the absence of a vaccine to prevent or medicine to cure, how effective are the lockdown and social distancing going to be in flattening the curve? While the world waits for answers, COVID19 has become one of the biggest mystery humankind has encountered in recent time. Lives of more than half of the world’s population have suddenly become uncertain.

Aarogya Setu, India’s flagship COVID app has become the most downloaded contact tracing app in the world. Should an app with such a tremendous reach be limited in terms of its utility only for the current crisis – the COVID? Or, do we extend its use for an e-healthy connect with citizens?

How a little virus has made a big change in Healthcare by Dr. Sunita Maheshwari

Post Covid: What will change in healthcare: Tele tele everywhere

When we started Teleradiology Solutions over a decade and a half ago, it was unheard of. The concept was new, untested. Radiologists were raw, untrained, unused to this new way of reporting diagnostic scans which was very different than being in person in a hospital. Bandwidth was expensive, unreliable and weak. However, pre covid-it had become a well oiled global teleradiology healthcare practice with smooth and robust IT enabled, radspa enabled workflows.  And Radiologists typically worked part or full time from home as per their personal preference. So when the 4 hour notice lockdown hit India, we could keep working-from homes in India, from homes in America, from homes globally. Suddenly, everyone realised the potential benefits of what we had been doing for what seems like forever!

Digital Health Tech Trends That Will Become Mainstream In 2020 by Madhavi Kanumoory

Before we talk about digital health tech trends, let’s look at what’s happening around us

From a consumer perspective:

  • About 65+% of the population uses mobile phones today, >50% of which are smart phone users and this # is only going to grow exponentially
  • Consumers “expect” information at their fingertips when they want it, where they want it and how they want it
  • Health awareness and focus – consumers today are empowered with abundance of information and there’s a much higher level of health awareness and focus on “well being”
  • People generally want to be healthy and have a fulfilling life rather than spend time in hospitals. A relevant paradigm shift is the fact that the hospitality industry has grown significantly with focus on wellness and luxury
  • There’s a huge shift in lifestyle – it’s about time optimization and how every minute of the day is spent. Underlying this shift is the way people are keeping themselves fit and healthy to enable the lifestyle that they wish for and this is happening by proactively monitoring their vitals, behaviours, exercise routines, eating habits, etc.

The 21 day miracle: Transforming Indian Healthcare: for everyone, everywhere, forever by Dr Sai Praveen Haranath, @ThinkMD

COVID19 has emerged as the single most impactful adversary that humanity has faced. Deceptively small, embarrassingly simple to dissolve yet destroying without pause. It’s not like we do not have a mechanism to avoid or even tolerate when infected. It’s not like we don’t know how to diminish its effects. We even know that millions can be saved by the simplest of no cost social measures including hand washing and social distancing . Despite all these efforts if the virus infects a small subset of Indians the health system will be overwhelmed. This is not because of any lack of effort on the part of the government or even the private sector. It is a question of numbers and having well designed infrastructure to tackle this scourge. 

Health Systems for a New India: eObjects Building Blocks by Dr. Pankaj Gupta, @pankajguptadr

Dr Pankaj Gupta

Here is a sequence of events over the last 8-10 years that lead to the eObjects. India has been majorly a paper-based Healthcare System. However, there have been pockets of success in transforming paper-based processes to electronic systems.

Making HL7 #FHIR work for India by Kumar Satyam, @kr_satyam

Kumar Satyam FHIR for INDIA

“Can I see your blood test reports from last month” – the doctor asked me. “I have it on my mobile” – I told him. I showed him the pdf report the lab had mail me on my email id. “Do you have earlier reports?”– he asked. I started searching my mailbox for previous reports but was unable to locate them. I asked him “Sir, if I give you my hospital Id, can you fetch it from your system. some tests were done in another branch of your hospital”.

Terminology Standards for Health Information Exchange in the times of SARS-Cov2 by Prof. Supten Sarbadhikari, @supten

To provide better and cost effective patient care, one needs to exchange healthcare information. For this to happen seamlessly, there is a dire need of Standards that facilitate this interoperability.

Innovative solutions for India to manage critically ill #COVID-19 patients, a five point agenda by Dhruv Joshi and Dileep Raman, @cloudphysician

Dhruv Joshi, Dileep Raman, Cloudphysician

The reality of the Indian healthcare system

The current onslaught of COVID-19 has brought to the fore numerous issues that healthcare systems face worldwide. India, with its COVID-19 case load trailing China, Europe and the US by a few weeks, is almost certain to encounter its healthcare system’s limitations in the coming weeks to months. Many countries today have witnessed a geometric rise in the number of cases of the virus owing to its infectiousness and unique transmission characteristics. Barring unknown climatic effects or significant mutations in the virus, it is likely to follow a similar course in the Indian population. The similarities unfortunately end here. 

📝 Salient points from the Telemedicine guidelines for Family Physicians 🖱️by Dr. Devashish Saini, @RossClinics

Devashish_Saini

📜 General

  • A Registered Medical Practitioner is entitled to provide telemedicine consultation to patients from any part of India
  • The RMPs should exercise their professional judgment to decide whether a telemedicine consultation is appropriate in a given situation or an in-person consultation is needed in the interest of the patient.
  • The RMP shall uphold the same standard of care as in an in-person consultation but within the intrinsic limits of telemedicine.

Is India ready to face the #COVID19 Pandemic? by Jeyseelan Jayaraj, @jeyaseelanj

Jeyseelan Jeyaraj

India’s population is 1.3 billion as of 2020 based on the population forecast (1). India is home to 18% of the world population. As per the Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Disease Dynamics (EPI Model), at least 40% of the people are likely to be infected in the US. As per Prof. Lipsitch (2) a well-known Epidemiologist of Harvard school of public health, “40% to 70% of people worldwide are likely to be infected by COVID-19 in the coming year”.