June 2007

National Seminar on Medico-Legal Informatics

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The seminar covered the  topics of  ‘Medico-Legal Informatics & Law, ‘Accessing Medico-Legal Information’ and ‘Electronic Medical Record Management�Legal Viewpoint’. All the sessions attracted eminent speakers. Organizers were successful in bringing over 200 domain experts from medical, legal and informatics field to deliberate and brain-storm on issues of common interest on one platform. The seminar deliberated that the justice delivery system can be accelerated if we can achieve a seamless integration of information flow between legal and medical professionals, employing information communication technologies.

Emerging technologies have brought into focus the manner in which medical and legal experts will manage their business in tomorrows. However, to make adoption of such technologies simple, there is a need to create a forum to translate the emerging technology trends, or more specifically ICT trends, in a language which medical and legal professionals are used to.

In this regard, the national seminar on Medico-Legal Informatics, organized by Indian Legal Information Institute (INDLII), in association with Indian Association for Medical Informatics (IAMI), on 29 April 2007 at the premises of Sharda Group of Institutions in Greater Noida assumes great significance. This seminar was hosted by Sharda Hospital & Hindustan Institute of Medical Science & Research, Greater Noida.

This was perhaps the first time in India when three institutions with diversified interests, but with a common objective,  joined hands to organize a seminar on multi-disciplinary subjects to discuss how best to employ information communication technology judiciously for the benefit of common citizens. The objective of this seminar was to bring domain experts in the fields of medical, legal and informatics on one platform to: Discuss seamless integration of information flow between these two fields, employing information communication technologies to accelerate the justice delivery system; create a forum to increase the undertaking of the emerging legal issues and technologies; and provide legal information to the professionals in all fields.

The seminar was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Justice J. S. Verma, the former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission. The inaugural function was chaired by Justice M.B. Shah, Chairman of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, and former Judge, Supreme Court of India.  Justice Shah delivered the keynote address. Other notable participants were Dr S.B. Gogia, President, IAMI, and Adeesh Aggarwala, President, INDLII. The seminar covered the  topics of  ‘Medico-Legal Informatics & Law, ‘Accessing Medico-Legal Information’ and ‘Electronic Medical Record Management � Legal Viewpoint’. All the sessions attracted eminent speakers. Organizers were successful in bringing over 200 domain experts from medical, legal and informatics field to deliberate and brain-storm on issues of common interest on one platform.

The seminar deliberated that the justice delivery system can be accelerated if we can achieve a seamless integration of information flow between legal and medical professionals, employing information communication technologies. At the seminar, pertinent examples were provided as to  how the IT has revolutionized Karkardooma courts in East Delhi.

Overall IT has aided the average case closure rate, which had shot up remarkably due to the infusion of IT.  Talwant Singh, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Delhi, during his presentation on ‘ICT in Courts’ in the seminar, conferred that this could be even more if other departments including forensics could also incorporate IT and its associated efficiency in its day-to-day working. From the seminar, a expectation emerged that soon IT would spread to the entire legal system of our country and energise it.

A full session was devoted to electronic medical records, where it was emphasized  to make them legally tenable and secure. While it was well known that issues of privacy and ethic, especially those pertaining to patients are important, the participants at the seminar showed that there were enough means to overcome such and other problems of similar nature. There was another event of great e- Health potential at the seminar. Professor Sneh Bhargava, a Padma Shri  awardee, and the former Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, inaugurated the online course of Indian Association for Medical Informatics on healthcare informatics.

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