Second day of FE Healthcare Summit opened deliberations on research, digital healthcare, emergency healthcare

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Updated: August 20, 2021 2:42 PM

Covid-19 brought about a drastic change in the mindset of the healthcare stakeholders and made digital transformation viable when the supply chains were disrupted.

Research, digital healthcare, diagnostics, emergency healthcare services in India, healthcare policy, investment in healthcare.Digital transformation has allowed companies to move towards value based care where costs are managed better by using the data of patients effectively

The second day of FE Healthcare Summit on August 19 which began on August 18, 2021 concluded with deliberations and panel discussions on subjects on innovative research, digital approach to healthcare, diagnostics, emergency healthcare services in India, healthcare policy and  investment in healthcare.

While delivering his Chief Guest address on Delhi government’s health initiatives and its massive fight against Corona, Satyendar Jain, Minister of Health, Government of Delhi spoke about offering home isolation and plasma therapy during all the four covid waves and informed that in Delhi alone 30 lakh double Covid vaccine doses have been administered through its 400 centres which have the capacity of vaccinating 4 lakh people daily alongwith ramping up ICU beds from 6,000 beds to 12, 000 beds.

While delivering her key note address on the theme “Innovative Research pandemic and beyond. Global perspective, lessons and way forward for India,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of second day of Virtual FE Healthcare Summit which began from August 18 and will conclude on August 20, 2021 highlighted the fact that there are huge number of clinical trials on vaccine done across the world and this has resulted in large number of fragmented small inconclusive trials which has led to more confusion than actually providing the answers

“The solution lies in large platform trials like the WHO solidarity trial which has 30 countries and 500 hospitals of which many are in India participating which was able to test some of the repurposed drugs that were thought to have some potential for Covid -19 treatment. We are looking at launching a second solidarity trial which is looking at immuno modulatory drugs for people who are hospitalised with critical illness of Covid-19,” Dr Swaminathan said.

While moderating a panel discussion on the topic of developing a digital first approach to healthcare, Dr Rana Mehta from Price water house Coopers Services LLP said, “Though the Government Ayusman Bharat PMJAY scheme has given financial access to 500 million people, there is inadequacy in terms of healthcare infrastructure and doctors when it comes to addressing the pandemic crisis.Therefore digital transformation and intervention is very much required to address the challenge of Covid-19.”

Talking on digital transformation, Prashant Tandon, Founder, 1mg said, “Covid-19 brought about a drastic change in the mindset of the healthcare stakeholders and made digital transformation viable when the supply chains were disrupted. It was a challenge but we could address the challenge with the help of digital interventions.”

During the session, Ritesh Talapatra Managing Director, Optum Global Solutions (India) Pvt Ltd said, “There is always a challenge in terms of healthcare costs, quality and accessible healthcare. Digital transformation has allowed us to move towards value based care where costs are managed better by using the data of patients at Optum which we have developed over the past few decades.”

Echoing similar views, Narendra K Saini, Chief Data and Digital Officer, Lupin said, “Covid -19 has allowed people to adopt digital technologies in a faster way which were earlier not acceptable as physical access to healthcare was pre-dominant. The digital transformation has brought down healthcare costs and also made healthcare delivery faster today.”

Sudhanshu Mittal, Head & Director, Technical Solutions – CoE IoT & AI: Lead – Digital Healthcare & Industry 4.0 – NASSCOM suggested that healthcare companies and start-ups should develop digital technology solutions keeping the users in mind.

While speaking on the  Panel Discussion on the topic of The Diagnostic Play, Kuldeep Singh Sachdeva, Regional Director – The Union South East Asia, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease said,“The main challenge lies in finding resources for drug resistant TB. There are challenges from resource, demand and supply side. Capacity in the public sector is not good as there are very few clinicians for the management and diagnosis of drug resistant TB. There is huge mortality in drug resistant TB because of the lack of right kind of diagnostics to use, when to use, where to use.”

According to Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman & Managing Director, Dr Lal Path Labs, “Private sector in India is conducting more than 70 percent consultations and diagnostics in TB based on the database managed by a robust centralised portal of the Government by the name NI-KSHAY. Our centralised TB cell is linked with NI-KSHAY and all our labs are conducting microscopy at the reference labs in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai are equipped with BSL -3 facility to test TB and also do drug sensitivity tests.”

Talking about the TB control programme, Dr Sudarsan Mandal Deputy Director General- Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India said, ”We have put TB control programme on mission mode and we could notify 20 lakh patients in 2018 and 24 lakh patients in 2019 and we have put them under treatment protocol. There is a need to understand that one TB patient left untreated can spread infections to 15 people.”

Speaking at the session, Dr. A. Velumani Founder, Thyrocare said, “There is a need for public private partnership in building logistical support for collection of sputum in terms of making TB diagnosis more effective in which state governments support is equally needed.”

Rashi Garg, General Manager, Cepheid India suggested that there is a need to develop effective molecular and diagnostic tests to detect drug resistant TB early for timely treatment intervention.

While speaking on the panel discussion on Emergency Healthcare Services in India, Praveen Gowdru, CEO, VMEDO, “The emergency healthcare services were overwhelmed pan -India with our ambulatory care services getting 2000 calls per day as compared to 100 calls per day before Covid-19 pandemic.”

Dr. N K Venkataramana Founder Chairman & Director – Neurosciences, BRAINS Hospitals spoke about having uniform emergency system and standards to offer critical care even in times of covid.

Dr Santosh Shetty, CEO, Kokilaben Hospital suggested that public private partnership was at the core of dealing with Covid -19 as non-Covid patients also needed treatment interventions when it came to emergency services.

While speaking on the panel discussion on Emergency Healthcare Services in India, Jitendra Walia, CEO, KHG Health Services highlighted the fact that we have a total 19 lakh hospital beds out of which only 5 to 8% beds are critical care beds out of which 50% have ventilators.

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