One citizen, one record - A take on the different aspects of the National Digital Health Blueprint

The National Digital Health Blueprint, recently introduced by the Government, is a call for attention on the optimum use of data and analytics for a healthier India. With the aim of creating a digital health ecosystem based on international standards, the Government intends to build on the core digital health data of its citizens and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange.
A typical scene at the OPD of any hospital is of the patients waiting for their turn with a file of health records. What becomes important is to ensure that all previous health records are carried by the patient. Or imagine another situation where a patient is brought into the emergency ward and the relatives don’t know about the exact past history or the allergies of the patient.
Now imagine that in either of these two situations, you just provide an identification number and your treating doctor gets an access to your past health history, all at the click of a button. That is exactly what our Govern…

Spotting the Mutants to find the missing millions infected with Hepatitis B virus

Say blood transmitted disease and the first name that comes to mind is HIV infection. But did you know that 9 times more people are infected with Hepatitis than HIV?
28th July every year is recognized as World Hepatitis Day, in an effort to create awareness to eradicate the deadly virus by 2030. The second major infectious disease after tuberculosis, Hepatitis affects 325 million people worldwide, claiming 4,000 lives a day! What is ironical is that 290 of these 325 million people are unaware of their infection!* That's the story of the missing millions..
Not just globally, hepatitis is a severe health challenge in India as well. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, India has a disease burden of about 50 mn; second only to China; with a prevalence of 2-7%.**
Hepatitis B infection shows no symptoms
Of the five strains A,B,C,D and E of the Hepatitis virus, Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is 50-100 times more infectious than HIV. HBV infect…

Early diagnosis is critical to containing the growing number of Sickle cell disease cases in India

Did you know the prevalence of Sickle Cell Anemia in India is the second largest worldwide? On the occasion of World Sickle Cell Awareness Day, we give you an insight into this hereditary disorder that is a growing concern for the country.

Rahul, a six year old, from a remote area in Chattisgarh, often misses school.+Vikram a young, 22 year old boy from Gujarat recently grabbed a lucrative offer at one of the MNCs. However, he had to soon quit. +Rahul and Vikram are both related, not by blood, but by a blood disorder - Sickle Cell Disease. A group of inherited disorders affecting the hemoglobin, sickle cell disease, can cause severe and life-threatening consequences, such as anemia, infections, stroke, tissue damage, organ failure, intense painful episodes and premature death.

A chronic disorder of global health importance, ironically, sickle cell disease, is often neglected. India is estimated to have the second highest burden of the disease in the world, a fact not to be proud of! In …

Timely screening of donated blood holds the key to curb Transfusion Transmitted Syphilis

The provision of safe and efficacious blood and blood components for transfusion involves a number of processes and there is a risk of error in each process of this ‘transfusion chain’. A failure at any of the stages can have serious implications for the recipients of blood and blood components. Thus, while blood transfusion can be life-saving, there are associated risks, particularly the transmission of blood-borne infections.
The core Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTI) tests recommended by WHO are; Hepatitis B Surface antigen, antibody to Hepatitis C, HIV 1 & 2, and serologic test for Syphilis. In India, besides these core tests, donated blood is also mandatorily tested for Malaria antigen.

Speaking particularly about Syphilis, it was once a common STD, however the prevalence was brought down from 8% of the population, to less than 1%. Infact, in 2011, the National Aids Control Organization (NACO), had announced that the country is on the verge of elimination of the infectio…

Affordable hematology testing is the need of the hour

A blood test today holds the key to every treatment outcome. In the wake of the growing number of blood disorders, hematology testing has become critical. In order to reach out to the 70% Indians in need of blood testing, manufacturers need to provide solutions that are affordable and give accurate results.
The increasing prevalence of blood diseases and disorders, pose a global health challenge and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. From the patients’ perspective, this has led to increasing awareness of diseases and shift from sickness to wellness.

Look at it from the perspective of the IVD Industry; hematology has grown to be recognized as a distinct steam of laboratory medicine. Technological advancements, increasing adoption of automated hematology instruments, integration of basic flow-cytometry techniques, usage of microfluidics technology, introduction of digital imaging for cell morphology, rising demand for high-throughput hematology analyzers & development o…

Interim Budget 2019 : Indian Medical Device Manufacturers ask for more!

Though there are several positives, when you view the fine print, the proposed policy initiatives are a far cry from creating an attractive environment for the domestic production of medical devices as well as catalyzing R&D.
As a member of the healthcare industry I am happy that through the interim budget, the Government has announced its intent to continue to focus on building a healthier India. The healthcare sector has got a boost with nearly 13% hike in the health budget, the highest in the last two financial years. An allocation of Rs. 6400 crores towards Ayushman Bharat, commissioning of the 22nd AIIMS centre and setting up of health and wellness centres, are all positive moves that are set to bring in a new wave of health transformation especially for the lower and middle class families. Artificial Intelligence - harnessing the benefits of new age technologyThe announcement to set up a National Artificial Intelligence portal will lay further emphasis on technology-driven gro…

Capturing the value of good quality in medical devices

While we harp on making diagnostics in India accessible and affordable, it is essential to do so without compromising on quality... While most of the Western world and Asia have long had regulations in place, to ensure quality standards, India has started devising its own regulatory systems for medical devices only in the recent past. With the introduction of Medical Device Rule 2017, the government is set to ensure that all medical devices, henceforth, both produced and imported, will conform to high standards.
Further the recently introduced ICMED, India’s first indigenous quality assurance system for ‘Make in India’ medical devices, is aimed at enhancing patient safety, by providing product credentials to manufacturers. From the customer’s perspective, it will help in procurement of standardized products. Making regulations a part of good business practiceResearch shows that most organizations identify the primary role of Quality Assurance as compliance i.e. ensuring documentation and…