Friday, 18 March 2016

Guest Lecture on Use of Technology to Maintain and Promote Health' by Dr. Harsha Doddihal

Dr. Harsha Doddihal, co-founder and CEO of Prana Healthcare Enablers and also a practising oncologist addressed us on the use of technology to maintain and promote health. Being an entrepreneur he stressed on the importance of innovative ideas and how to be unique in your field. When the class was asked what they expected from the lecture it mainly consisted of points like current and future developments in home healthcare.
Sir asked us for 2 basic definitions: Technology and Health. While both these terms are separate they are coming together to give us a better future for tomorrow. Defining both technology and health he said: technology is applying scientific knowledge for practical purposes, while health is (more than d
octors, nurses, technology) about kindness, compassion, love and empathy.
Dr Harsha then drew a timeline of the technology, from the early 1800s to date, starting right from anaesthesia way back between the 1799 to 1864, moving on to antiseptic surgery, radium and x-rays which offered a visual inside the body without having to open it up, vaccinations related to eradiation of small pox and now polio up until the current trends in technology. He also mentioned how the practice of hand wash, which was started as an antisepsis measure, has still, almost 150 years later, not been implemented effectively. Helmets and seat belts is another technology that can reduce mortality by 50% up until Infant incubators (to reduce IMR). The World War resulted in new technology in healthcare such as scurvy was found to be caused due to a deficiency of Vit C, Penicillin, Sonography, Cancer chemotherapy, Titanium, to name a few.
Currently the UK, Canada and Cuba have the best healthcare, being a socialist economy, though facilities and medication available in Cuba are limited.

Sir went on to ask us 3 thought provoking questions:
1.     How is medicine changing?
2.     Will hospitals change humans?
3.     How will technology and humans force medicine to change?
It is here that we realize how important digitization is and how tomorrows leaders will be those who make their facilities “Patient friendly”
What keeps us healthy? This is a question that everyone wants the answer to. According to sir it is 50% healthy behaviour, 20% environment, 20% genetics & 10% access to care. What we spend on, however is 88% on medical sciences, 4% on healthy behaviour, 6% on other. 90% of healthcare expenditure happens in the last year of an individual’s life…
With Indian Healthcare developing at an alarming rate and the contribution to GDP increasing from 3% - 18% the current market trends have changed too. Places like Practo are getting increased investors and labs are looking for JCI and NABH accreditation. Obamacare is one of the instrumental programmes in promoting and revolutionizing Healthcare.
The current market trends discussed were
-      Telehealth – virtual care by doctors
-      Portable diagnostics – which can be linked to phones
-      Patient Empowerment – apps like “Patients like me”
-      Health apps
-      Big data
-      Home ICU care
Medication adherence is also a difficulty in today’s scenario. Since 50% of the patients fail to take their medicines correctly, technology like pill bottles that change colour, SMSs, missed calls, digestible sensors and so on help minimize such events.
India has not been far behind in terms of technology there is ORS, Jaipur Foot, Cola Life project, and the latest being 3D printing.
Sir ended his talk by talking a little bit about the achievements of his company and saying that US trends today will forecast India’s trends tomorrow and as healthcare professionals it is important to understand such trends.
In all it was a very insightful session and the information provided by sir was truly enlightening.

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