First day of FE Healthcare Summit began with deliberations on digital health, vaccine accessibility

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Updated: August 19, 2021 5:17 PM

The first day of FE Healthcare Summit which began on August 18, 2021 concluded with deliberations and panel discussions on subjects ranging like digital health, India’s massive COVID-19 vaccine program and healthcare digitization

FE Healthcare Summit, August 18, 2021, digital health, COVID-19 vaccine program, healthcare digitization, Moderna, Pfizer, Bharat BiotechHealthcare has today become more accessible and affordable with the use of modern technological interventions like artificial intelligence (AI), nano-technology, data analytics

The first day of FE Healthcare Summit which began on August 18, 2021 concluded with deliberations and panel discussions on subjects ranging from digital health,  India’s massive COVID-19 vaccine program: the accessibility strategy, creating health equity through data, creating patient-centric products and solutions and healthcare digitization through public private partnership.

Anant Goenka, Executive Director of The Indian Express Group in his welcome address conveyed his best wishes for the FE Healthcare Summit and hailed it as a historical and relevant summit where eminent experts in healthcare have come together to discuss and address challenges in healthcare and explore opportunities for effective healthcare delivery in the country.

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare & Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India Mansukh Mandaviya while addressing his Guest of Honour note stated healthcare has today become more accessible and affordable with the use of modern technological interventions like artificial intelligence (AI), nano-technology, data analytics and robotics interventions. It has revolutionised the healthcare landscape by enhancing its outreach in a very hassle free and fast manner to the common man

The Financial Express is hosting the Virtual FE Healthcare Summit which began from August 18 and will conclude on August 20, 2021 where eminent speakers will speak on relevant subjects of healthcare ranging from India vaccination strategy, tele-health, digitization in healthcare, women health, mental health and investment in healthcare going forward among others.

Talking about production of vaccines for Covid, adaptation  in the public health system, innovative clinical research, Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International Limited said, “India is today providing the cheapest vaccine in the world at Rs 225 per dose. The Indian Government has done a good job in negotiating prices with the manufacturers in bulk to provide vaccines to the entire population in a sustainable, accessible and affordable manner.”

Talking about efficacy of Sputnik vaccine  for Covid, Deepak Sapra, CEO, (API and Services) at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said, “Encouraging data of Sputnik can be a powerful weapon in our fight against the Pandemic and the variants. We have had studies comparing sputnik against other vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna as far as the effect on other variants is concerned. One of the peer reviewed journal published by our Russian partner demonstrates an efficacy of about 83 per cent for Sputnik against delta variants versus about 76 per cent for Moderna and 42 per cent for Pfizer. There is encouraging data from Sputnik which can be a powerful weapon in our fight against the Pandemic and the variants.”

“Sputnik lite is the first component of Sputnik V which is a single dose vaccination.  It has got approval in 15 countries. We are in the process of getting DCGI approval here in India. Clinical studies  have also been conducted in Russia. Large scale phase 3 clinical trials have been conducted in Russia. Real world evidence is also available from Argentina, Russia  and other countries which points to an efficacy of around 82 to 83 percent from a single shot vaccine. This is a very important step in providing coverage to as many people and will also enhance the scope of coverage of the vaccination in various parts of the country. This will also be programmatically  much easier because it is a single shot vaccine. So you can manage the programme in a different manner which is relatively easier as compared  to a programme which you have to manage through a two shot vaccine. This is currently underway in discussion with the regulators and hopefully once we get this to India we should be able to enhance the level of coverage we are talking about in a substantial and profound manner,” Sapra added.

According to Dr Suneela Garg, National President, Indian Association of Preventive and of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM) / National President, OMAG, “Sero survey four has to be taken into consideration and thought should be given to postpone vaccine for people already infected. Around 90 crore people need to be vaccinated out of the 137 crore population on priority.”

While talking about initiatives on vaccinating people for underprivileged communities, Dr Tarang Gianchandani, CEO, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital said, “We have pledged to vaccinate 10 lakh people from the under-privilged community. Already around 20 lakh people across the country have been vaccinated by  Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.”

Talking on topic of Creating health equity through data, Hema Jagota, Director – Clinical Solutions, Elsevier , said, “Tele health and digital healthcare need to be adopted for any kind of epidemic preparedness as there is an increased acceptance of digital health not only from the providers but also from the patient community.”

Echoing similar views, Rajat Agarwal, Deputy Director, National Health Authority, Government of India said, “Data driven planning and execution in healthcare is the way forward and relevant in terms of Government schemes like Ayushman Bharat and CoWIN platform for vaccination drive monitoring.”

Rama Vedashree CEO, Data Security Council of India said, “Besides teleconsult, teleradiology has a got a big boost during the Covid pandemic and this has worked well both in case of patients and doctors as well.”

While speaking on Creating health equity through data, Balihar Virk Head of IT, SPS Hospitals, Ludhiana said, “Patients have witnessed an increased level of acceptability for telehealth consult and this is going to be way forward in terms of accessing healthcare in a remote and effective manner.”

During the panel discussion on creating patient-centric products and solutions, Shailendra Kawade, Executive Director, Mylab, said, “Diagnosis has to be done timely and digital transformation can help in a great way to help patients get the right diagnostic interventions.”

Dr Atul Mohan Kochhar CEO, NABH, said, “Telemedicine guidelines of the union health ministry has made tele-consultation legal and has enabled millions of tele-consultations not only in private platforms but also that of Government’s CDAC Mohali e-sanjeevani project to cite an example. NABH has nearly 12000 hospitals healthcare institutions with some form of accreditation with 1250 fully accredited hospitals and we look forward to helping other smaller healthcare institutions towards accreditation with the help of digitisation.”

Dr BS Ajai Kumar Chairman, HCG, said, “e-ICU has been able to bring down 50% mortality rate in oncology segment besides virtual tumour boards and e – radiology and virtual pathology have enabled patients to see their reports in a seamless manner on real time basis through remote teleconsult with the doctors.”

Dr Naresh Trehan, MD and Chairman, Medanta Group said, “Critical care facility in the form of e-ICU and facility like electronic medical records (EMR) has become a boon in terms of communicating and consulting with patients remotely in an effective way. ”

Speaking on the subject of “Healthcare Digitization through Public Private Partnership”, as part of the panel discussion Neeraj Bansod,Director, Directorate Health Services, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Chhattisgarh said “Today digital interventions have helped in contact tracing,  surveillance and telemedicine. There is a need for capturing data on patient’s health in a seamless manner and therefore private sector collaboration would definitely help in providing digital solutions.”

During the panel discussion, Bhaskar Katamneni, Commissioner Health and MD, National Health Mission, Department ofHealth and Family Welfare, said,  Government of Andhra Pradesh said, “Public private partnership can play an important role in terms of bringing in right technological interventions in healthcare. India’s vaccination programme has been a successful example through technological interventions like the CoWIN platform which has been able to guide people on vaccination in a seamless manner.”

Ajay Bhatia, Head Of India, Commercial Operations at Mylan Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd said, “Digital interventions are required to bridge the gap between not only patients and doctors but also between doctors and pharmaceutical industry. Covid has made us realise how to plug the loopholes in the supply chain management systems so that all stakeholders can help track medical products and ensure availability and therefore digitization is the solution.”

Naresh Hasija, Vice President at Viatris said, “Data is the next gold mine. During Covid, we have realised how government and private players have been able to help patients through digital interventions. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and block chain technology can help players like us to contribute to programmes like the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).”

Dr. Sudarsan Mandal, DDG(TB), Central, TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, “Digital interventions like NI-KSHAY in TB Control is required. It is a web enabled patient management system for TB control under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP). Health functionaries at various levels across the country both in the public and private sector, through NI-KSHAY, can register cases, order various types of tests from labs across the country, record treatment details, monitor treatment adherence and transfer cases between care providers.”

Moderator of the panel on “Healthcare Digitization through Public Private Partnership”, Dr. Jyoti Jaju, Project Director, iDEFEAT TB, The Union South-East Asia Office concluded, “Covid-19 pandemic has made us realise the need for better healthcare facilities and services and opened doors for public private partnerships in areas of telemedicine, online doctor consultations, development of low cost medical supplies and mobile apps in various healthcare services.”

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