The first ever Conference focusing on Digital Healthcare titled “National Consultation on Innovations in Digital Health Ecosystem and its Interoperability” was organized by MIT Pune’s MIT School of Telecom Management (MITSOT) and NCORD Health Card LLP on Saturday, 1st October 2016 at Swami Vivekanand Hall, MIT Campus, Pune. This initiative was supported by Tech Mahindra & Persistent Systems while Classboat was the Strategic Partner. This Conference was a part of the Digital India initiative.
The objective of this Conference was to highlight how Digital Health Technologies have the potential to transform the way healthcare is delivered and help governments analyze Big Data to identify un-met needs and measure outcomes in a precise manner. The focus of this Conference was on some of the relevant technologies and advances in the field of healthcare such as Digital Health, mHealth & eHealth, Health IT, Telehealth & connected health, EHR/EMR, Sensors & Wearables, Big Data & Analytics etc. This was achieved by expert panel discussions, presentations as well as Startup Demos.
Padma Bhushan Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Chairman, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Govt. of India & Former Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Delhi was the Chief Guest. Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad, Founder & Executive President, MAEER’s MIT Pune too shared the dais at the Inaugural Session. The Conference had the benefit of two senior experts representing Government of India organizations as the distinguished Special Guests of Honour viz. Prof. Dr. Suptendra Nath Sarbadhikari, Project Director, Centre for Health Informatics, National Health Portal, Govt. of India and Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Director, CSIR – Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology.
Dr. Arun Jamkar, Consultant – Persistent Systems; Director, PG Programme, R&D – MIT Group of Medical Colleges, Pune and Former Vice Chancellor – Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik who was involved in planning this Conference too addressed the participants at the Inaugural Session.
In his Keynote Address, Dr. Bhatkar said that Digital health is empowering people to better track, manage, and improve their own and their family’s health, live better, more productive lives, and improve society. He further added that Digital healthcare can address many challenges. It is therefore, necessary that engineering students focus on & learn biological systems. He further added that Health services are the most complex commodity our economy produces. Creating modern digital tools to automate major portions of this process may be the most daunting challenge the IT industry has ever faced.
Dr. Sarbadhikari in his address on the topic “eHealth in Digital India” highlighted the fact that while progress is being made in tele-medicine, medicine supply, telehealth and online consultation, the need of the hour is to have an integrated Health Information Platform. He also said that eHealth and Digital Health will be able to address the challenges of Healthcare in India. For this, a National Health Strategy is required and that the Government is working in this direction.
Dr. Rajesh Gokhale spoke on “The Information Quagmire to Digital Health” and informed the audience that rural healthcare still poses enormous challenges with over 66% of the rural population not having access to critical healthcare while 31% still having to walk more than 30 kms. to reach health services. Preventive and curable diseases still dominate the morbidity pattern which include diseases like typhoid, measles and diarrhea. He also shared that the Government has set up telemedicine centres backed by data centres in 170 rural locations in association with HP where they get live information about the patients. These centres are in the form of shipping containers.
Dr. Arun Jamkar added that cheaper healthcare will be possible with digital health solutions with the advent of more health apps, equipments and devices. He also shared that Internet of Things (IOT) will be worth more than 200 billion dollars by 2020 and one fourth of that will be related to healthcare.
Earlier, Dr. Milind Pande, Project Director, MITSOT in his welcome address highlighted how the private sector in the country’s healthcare landscape is now assuming the centre stage and that private health spending is significantly higher than the government allocation on healthcare. He added that we need to identify and strengthen the support pillars of healthcare delivery systems and this includes production of quality manpower, technology-enabled solutions like mobile health and adoption of low-cost drugs and vaccines.
The Conference had the benefit of Case Study & Startup presentations from leading Experts in the field of Healthcare and IT viz. Dr. Milind Modak, Orthopedic Surgeon & Founder Trustee, Jnana Prabodhini Medical Trust, Mr. Nitin Manjrekar, CEO, Einsteiner Technologies, Mr. Shreyans Gandhi, Co-Founder, Yolo Health and Mr. Veeru Swamy, Global Head – Sales & Marketing, NCORD Health Card LLP.
In his presentation on Digital Imaging & 3D Re-construction, Dr. Modak said that 3D Re-construction in the field of Orthopedics greatly improves pre-operative assessment, pre-operative planning of fixation and post-operative outcomes. He also added that Pre and Per operative 3D Imaging from 2D Digital Images will improve outcome many folds (a facility not yet available anywhere) and that it will help avoid complications due to mal alignments.
In his health startup presentation on “Health ATMs – A comprehensive Tele-Health Solution that India Needs”, Mr. Shreyans Gandhi shared on the challenges in Healthcare and how the Health ATM which is a health screening kiosk with integrated health devices and staffed by a medical attendant can bring a revolution in the field of healthcare. He also informed about the portable health screening kit with fully integrated health devices which can be used for home healthcare / remote village healthcare and the Medicine Dispenser which is a custom capacity medicine dispensing machine which connects to the Health ATM and integrates with doctor consultation e-prescription.
Mr. Veeru Swamy presented the benefits of the eHealth card which enables access to all kinds of personal medical, legal docs and related services on one platform. This eHealthcard uploads, stores and provide your health records anywhere, anytime and there is no chance of duplication & loss of health records. This reduces the chances of cross-medication drastically and can be used to keep track records of all health checkups.
The Conference had two panel discussion focusing on “The Future of Digital Healthcare” and “Wearable Technology – Transforming Today’s Healthcare”.
Leading Experts like Dr. Abhay Jere, Associate Vice President – Life Sciences, Persistent Systems (Panel Moderator); Dr. Nikhil Phadke, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, GenePathDx; Dr. Atul Joshi, Internal Medicine Specialist, Sahyadri Hospital, Pune; Mr. Rajendra Kadu, Director – Business Development, Palash Healthcare Solutions and Mr. Rabi Debnath, Senior Consultant – Enterprise Business Applications and Analytics shared their expertise and vast experience at the panel discussion on the ‘Future of Digital Healthcare”.
Dr. Rajeev Joshi, Managing Director, Medimage Systems who was the Panel Moderator at the 2nd panel discussion on ““Wearable Technology – Transforming Today’s Healthcare” was joined by senior experts like Dr. Hemant Bhansali, Programme Director for Laparoscopic Surgery, Maharashtra University of Health Science, Nashik; Mr. Sandeep Saxena, Head – Business Development (Life Science and Healthcare), Persistent Systems and Mr. Shantanu Pathak, CEO, CareNX Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Many questions were posed by the delegates and students since this was a new field for them as well and the speakers & panelists patiently addressed their queries. This Conference certainly opened new avenues for the students and allowed them to understand the scope of this vast world out there which they can be a part of while planning their successful careers.
Earlier, Competitions like Idea Competition & Poster Competition were held for the participating students from various engineering, science medical, computer engineering, pharmacy, pathology & biomedical colleges focusing on Digital Healthcare. The Winners of these Competitions were awarded Fabulous Cash Prizes, Awards & Certificates for their entries, which were judged by an eminent jury panel.
Prize Distribution to Winning Students of the Idea and Poster Competition who represented different colleges across Pune