BY NIGAM GUPTA
Salutations to all those who are working day and night for improving the most dignified profession in good conscience by making use of technologies in today’s world of competition and tremendous challenges.
It is sheer passion to bring new innovations while desiring to contribute something for our coming generations. And, most importantly; huge applauses of appreciation to the ‘Precious Doctors’ who actually keep on introducing and make use of all these innovation for better patient care. A UN report predicts that older people are going to be tripled by 2050. The number of people 60 years of age and older may triple to 2 billion by 2050, accounting for nearly a quarter of the expected 9.2 billion global population. The report found that India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the United States, Bangladesh and China are forecast to account for half the world’s projected 2.5 billion population increase by 2050. We, being part of the profession, need to think upon seriously and search for the affordable range of world class innovations while exerting for incorporating the same into the system, as well.
Advances in information and communication technologies have led to the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT). In the modern health care environment, the usage of IoT technologies brings convenience to physicians and patients, since they are applied to various medical areas (such as real-time monitoring, patient information management, and healthcare management).Introduction of Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Learning of Medical Technologies, and most importantly a new catchword ‘Internet of Medical Things’ (IoMT), gets vast amounts of clinical data that can now be gobbled up, digested and interpreted within seconds. The patient’s medical history, past and present lifestyle, living environment, personal habits, present medication and genetics can be rapidly analysed to predict future ailments that could conceivably lead to a life-threatening situation.
This is where predictive healthcare transmutes into preventive healthcare.
We then need to think upon seriously near bringing all such innovations not only for healthcare rather for every exhausted sector here.
Here are some illustrative examples.
Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone
This is an answer to the prayers of patients who are looking for cost effective medical treatments.
However, for a quick understanding for our readers, the idea of creating a manufacturing hub like AMTZ was conceived because India is import-dependent market in terms of medical devices technology to the extent of over 75 per cent. AMTZ aims at self-sufficiency and in fact an exporter of good quality and cost-effective medical technology. Moreover, manufacturers are not asked to go and work out in isolation. They become part of an ecosystem where they thrive and survive together. And to support them, AMTZ created scientific, commercial and social infrastructure within the zone.
Significantly, AMTZ would intend to saturate the domestic requirement and the internal markets within India. And, what to talk of their achievements, for an example we all know that diabetes is a health concern for many. For this, Non Communicable Disease Screening is promoted in a big way. Most of the States or hospitals are buying blood glucose strips at a high cost. What Andhra Pradesh has done is unique. In AMTZ, they are producing world’s cheapest glucometer with Bluetooth and IoT integrated in it. Because of this, they have been able to undertake screening at a much cheaper cost. It means two things — saving of money for the exchequer and screening of more people at same cost. This is a classic example of integrating industrial promotion with healthcare service delivery.
Similarly as of now, AMTZ are one the forefront of TB diagnostics then, there are only 2 companies in the world which make linear accelerator (LINAC) for cancer care and it is one of the most complex medical equipment in the global market. Andhra Pradesh is on the verge of making a linear accelerator (LINAC) for cancer care. This will reduce the cost of cancer care. And above all, they are most likely going to produce CT Scan @ 75-80 Lakhs INR against the present import cost of near-above 3 Cr.
Recently AMTZ has been awarded by the American Association for Clinical Engineering, as in the world, there is no place, where all the scientific facilities required for medical technology production are available in one campus itself. This is a unique feature of AMTZ. And, they have been able to create a rainbow of institutions like Kalam Institute of Health Technology, WHO pre-qualification cell for In Vitro diagnostics, Directorate of Radiation safety, and so on and they have also been shortlisted to set up incubation centre under the program of NITI Aayog. India’s first MRI, Dialysis machine will be produced in AMTZ moreover. So, in terms of policy front or infrastructure, AMTZ is ready to lead the discourse on medical technology sector in India and globally. Thus, advocating and eagerly awaiting a replica of same here in J&K too.
It is possible to get a section of the patients to picturesque settings of Jammu and Kashmir, surrounded by Trikuta, Himalayas and Peer Panchal ranges duly blessed by nature with wellness and Spa facility, under the close monitoring of doctors and with tie ups with hospitals, so that patients can recover in a better ambience and can stay in a relaxed mood. And, at the same time, it is to make private sector players more encouraged to invest here, needs to make arrangements correspondingly creating a technology hub too.
Close coordination between the departments, be it Industries and Commerce, Health and Medical Education, Tourism and so on is very much required to bring any such, state-of-the-art Health City set up, which will have ‘Corporate hospitals, Medical Colleges, Healthcare Education, Medical Equipments & Allied Industries and so on.’ It is then only it will attract probable investors’ players, innovators, medics or patients from world over. Not to forget, ‘Health City’ near Visakhapatnam and ‘AMTZ’ at Vizag as of now, is almost becoming the next Thailand, Hong Kong or Singapore. Zeal and enthusiasm required to achieve the aim of making JAMMU& KASHMIR the next prominent address of healthcare envelope in the world.
Tricog: Insta ECG
An outstanding conglomerate of Bangalore based cardiologist Dr. Charit Bhograj, IIT Bombay’s Alumni and PhD from California University, Los Angeles Er. (Dr.) Zainul Charbiwala,Dr. UdayanDasgupta, an algorithms expert, and Abhinav Gujjar, who is Chief Software Architect found an instant solution and value proposition of ECG especially for the areas where presence / availabilities of full time cardiologists is less alongside heavily rushed hospitals and clinical establishments. The platform is otherwise of significant use for cardiologists too, as it helps healthcare centres in installing a cloud-based ECG machine. So , the time a doctor takes a patient’s ECG, the information is sent to their centrally located hub where a qualified expert is available 24/7. The Tricog specialist interprets it and sends back a report through an SMS as well as a message on their mobile app. This increases the speed of the diagnosis.
As per the available data “In India alone, 5 million people suffer heart attacks every year and 3 million of those don’t survive. The average time it takes to diagnose a heart attack in urban India is 360 minutes. The chances of survival with this delay are a mere 20 percent. If this delay were reduced to 90 minutes, the survival probability jumps to 80 percent. This concept of the company obviously aimed to change that patient’s 80 percent chance of death to an 80 percent chance of staying alive.” As per their records above 200,000 patients have been diagnosed. And, advanced algorithms and data visualisation help our expert doctors, ensuring accuracy and speed. The team Tricog is exerting also for their next step which will be to unleash the potential for the algorithm to be used in personal health devices and wearable devices as well.
In an identical manner, SigTuple, again a Bangalore based creates AI-based solutions to automate healthcare screening. It has built intelligent screening solutions to aid diagnosis through AI-powered analysis of visual medical data. The start-up founded by Apurv Anand and Rohit Pandey in 2015, has created an AI platform, Manthana, which helps analyse visual medical data efficiently. This analyses blood, urine, semen etc. and chest X Rays. Their USP is the speed with which this data is analys enabling doctors to make a quick diagnosis in life threatening situations. Then is Niramai, a new way to check breast cancer. Most women are aware of the importance of checking early for any signs of breast cancer. And some still keep putting off a traditional test because of the hassle. Now maybe, more women will take the test with a new procedure that is simple, non-invasive and radiation free. It is called NIRAMAI (Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence) and yet again it’s a Bangalore-based tech start-up cofounded by Dr Geetha Manjunath and team associates.
Robotic surgery; also known as Robot-assisted surgery, marries advanced computer technology with the skill and experience of a human surgeon. It is a method of performing surgery using very small tools attached to a robotic arm. The surgeon controls and manipulates the arm from a computer console and an electronic eye in the robot arm sends back a high definition 3-D image, magnified 10 times, which the surgeon can view on the computer screen; something not possible in conventional surgery. The surgeon uses controls in the console to manipulate special surgical instruments that are smaller and more flexible than the human hand. The robot replicates the surgeon’s hand movements, and eliminates human shortcomings like hand tremors. Using this, surgeons are able to perform the most complex procedures with a higher degree of precision, dexterity and control than humanly possible.
Recently, besides many one Dr. M R Attri, a renowned surgeon from Jammu, serving at SMHS Hospital as Additional Professor in the PG-department of Surgery GMC-Srinagar also recently found rather tried his hands on Robot and well understood its role in the surgical field somewhere during an international medical education occurrence.
And, if things be taken in a positive note, we have ample of existing central and state government schemes to support the zone. The only required ingredient as of now is the willingness to do something innovative among the officials and commands at seats of powers while better collective utilisation of central and state schemes to connect the collective synergies.
Jammu and Kashmir has a huge potential and access to health herbs using value of medicinal plants and nutrients and so on within Himalayas and other ranges while capacities in our doctors, scientists, scholars or students and allied healthcare are excellent. So, it’s time to gird our loins and take health care here to the next level!
The author can be reached at: [email protected]