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Hospitals will remain at the core of healthcare and with good quality medical facilities limited to corporate hospitals or a few of the government run large hospitals, altering the health map of the country has to start from the hospital premises.

Keynote Address: Dr. S. Venkataramanaiah
Moderator: Dr. Sandeep Bhalla
• Dr. Santana Biswas
• Dr. Tarun Marole
• Dr. Mukesh Taneja
• M V Amaresh Kumar

Hospitals in India play a vital role in healthcare with most of the high-end medical facilities available only at the hospitals. But these large institutes are very far away from the masses as more than 70 percent of the Indian population lives in rural areas. That leads to a reality that medical facilities must go beyond hospitals, with an innovative approach, to serve the masses and make India a healthy place.

Addressing the issue as keynote speaker, Professor Krishnan from IIM, shed light on the management aspect of innovations and spelled out the needs of the industry for the sake of ensuring that all innovations become a reality and benefit the masses.

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In his words, he said, “Innovations in healthcare must consider three aspects: Begin with identifying core functionalities of equipment without having to sacrifice on the safety aspect. Secondly, start from scratch. Build upwards and incorporate all the technical features that you feel are essential to the product; downscaling features will not necessarily downscale your cost; lastly, collaborate and team up with others who will complement your product, effort and intentions. There’s no one entity that has all the knowledge and resources to develop any product in its entirety. So build up on sound partnerships using complementary technology and process.”

In support of the view, Dr. S. Venkataramanaiah highlighted data usage as one of the most effective tools to implement an innovative approach for spreading good health. He said, “Data clearly indicates that there’s a huge demand for private players in the health sector. Everyone is and needs to be medically insured and ensured of good health by private or a government body. On the other hand, healthcare has some major deficiencies like availability of medical help at anytime and anywhere. Like you have roadside assistance available all over the country, such a facility for health and medical urgencies is still not available.

“So innovative approach in production, processing, delivering service or business management is the answer to finding solutions to new challenges faced in the health sector,” he said

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In a more myopic approach to the topic of distance solutions Dr. Mukesh Taneja shared some startling data from the WHO.

“According to World Health Organization’s 2010 data 285 million people are visually impaired; 90 percent of these are in the developing world; and 80 percent of these are preventable,” he said.

And speaking of India, 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, however 90 percent of the medical facilities are located in urban areas. So, there’s a huge gap between the care providers and the population who they should be reaching. And we believe that telemedicine – a very innovative approach — is the answer to bridge this gap. Eye problems can more effectively be pictured and online imaging of affected eye can easily be examined and diagnosed by a distant located ophthalmologist.
“We, at LV Prasad Eye Institute, extensively use this telemedicine platform and are reaching out to the rural population with the help of health workers and specially trained technicians who operate our remotely located Vision Centers.”

The next panelist, Dr. Santanu Biswas, from the UAE shared his international perspective and said, “If you are to work on remote distance technology, you cannot work in isolation. You choose partners in technology, data procurement and delivery system. This means your dependence on your partners is even more critical as you depend on their credibility, technical compatibility and similar intentions. This is the reason that even though we have been talking about digital health and e-health; but other than the fact that it’s been a buzzword for the last 15 years, it has not become a well-charted module. We are still talking about the concept and exploring innovations that will truly support the telemedicine or e-health platform. This is because we are trying to marry and merge a conventional health system with an imposed telemedicine process.”

Concluding his views on the subject he summed it up saying, “I think we need to rediscover a totally new innovative approach to telemedicine, which will use innovative technology, innovative approach and an all-new processing and delivery system. And this will evolve, as this is the future.”

Dr. Tarun Ramole, speaking in the role of an investor and entrepreneur spoke candidly about the business aspect of telemedicine. In his opinion, Telemedicine, as a business is a very lucrative platform. The gap between the resources and the users remains very high and in a country like India is not going to be easy to fill that.

“Telemedicine will be a very reliable option to bridge the gap and that makes it a very viable business option. But, like most businesses, telemedicine also has challenges that are very unique. Starting with, most start-ups end up replicating what is already there in the market “with improvisations”. What we need is new solutions and not improved solutions. You must think innovatively to innovate things,” he concluded his opinion with a very upfront approach on the subject.

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“We need to understand mechanism of disease. Innovations are needed in the management of acute illness. You also need data to apply biotechnology at its best and develop guidelines. Especially for contagious diseases, we need to keep track of various demographic realities on ground through good quality data that should be available to medical experts, without any corruption in the data. What is required is a simple device available at the location and operational without the need of any complex operations.”

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Technology is available in your pocket for your good heal. Starting with your smart phone, by which you can count the steps you take and the calories that you burn in a day, innovation hence has already become part of our life and we our using technology of today with very innovative approach and amazing outcomes.

“Even the shortage of doctors or specialists is taken care of by telemedicine or long distance consultation, he said”

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Cost is the most important element to determine easy diagnostics and cheap diagnostics. With that intent, we started our lab for local operations in Varanasi. With the advancement of biotechnology and implementation of biotechnology, we have developed some very affordable tools and devices to test and analyse clinical tests. Initially it was done locally in Varanasi with support from Banaras Hindu University, but our results also received encouraging support from doctors and specialists at All India Institute of Medical Medical Sciences in Delhi.”


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