August 2009


Bill Gates: Go high end on R&D

On a visit to New Delhi, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp, urged India to move away from low-cost labor toward high-end research and development to keep its giant IT sector competitive. He called on the Indian government to speed up its commitment to R&D and to boost low number of home-grown PhD students. “At first some of that (IT boom) was built on low-cost labor. And, of course, as time goes on, you don’t want to have that as the only differentiator and it’s not a sustainable thing, because others can come along with that as well,” Gates said. (Source: Reuters)

Carestream Health India appoints new MD

Carestream Health, India, the leading provider of medical and dental imaging systems has announced the appointment of Prabir Chatterjee as Managing Director, Carestream Health India. Mr. Chatterjee will be responsible for Carestream Health’s business and operations in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Mr Chatterjee moves to his new assignment in India from the company’s regional headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he held the position of Finance Director. He joined the company in 1991 when it was the Health Division of Eastman Kodak Company, and has held since senior positions in finance, operations, project management and information technology.

Carestream Health Inc., the leading provider of medical

imaging systems and healthcare IT solutions, was formed in 2007 when Onex Corporation purchased Eastman Kodak Company’s Health Group.

Health portal with social networking

The first-of-its-kind Indian portal for health and wellness was recently unveiled. The portal,, will enable users to network with health enthusiasts and access health-related information online.  “ attempts to break the clutter by becoming your online health buddy � it makes you ask, voice your opinion and thoughts, and participate through ‘My bolohealth,” says Dr. Simanta Sharma, Founder and Managing Director, HealthOn Infosoft Pvt. Ltd.

“In its content portfolio is rich and comprehensive with its many microsites, such as, on pregnancy and women’s health, skin, hair and beauty, diet, nutrition and fitness, sex and relationships, children’s health and parenting and many more � all of these addressing the diverse needs of modern day users,” informed Sharmistha Dey, Co-founder and Chief Editor of the portal.

Google Health to safeguard “end-of-life” wishes

Google has invited people to store “end-of-life” wishes at its free online health records management service. Google Health made available “advance directive” forms on which people can specify what they want doctors to do or not do in the event they are too ill or injured to express their wishes. Forms created with collaboration from an organisation specialising in elder care are available free for download online and can be customised to the laws in US states, according to Roni Zeiger and Julie Wilner of the Google Health team.

“An advance directive allows you to determine your end-of-life wishes so that your family and doctor can honor them if you get sick and are unable to communicate,” Wilner and Zeiger said in a message at Google’s official blog. “The decision to sign an advance directive is an important and personal one, and Google Health now makes it a little bit easier.” Google Health recently added a feature that lets people upload scanned medical records to profiles for storage or selective sharing. “We would like to reduce the unnecessary use of paper in patient care,” Zeiger and Wilner wrote. “We hope someday we’ll move beyond paper, but until then Google Health can help you store your paper medical records electronically, including an advance directive, in one safe place,” they wrote. (Source: AFP)

CEE for MBBS aspirants

Medical Council of India (MCI) passed new recommendations to Central Government about the single examination centre for all aspirant doctors and a ‘Common National Entrance Examination’ to cover admissions to all medical institutions across India.

The sub-committee formed by MCI for this relevant matter says, “This (multiple entrance exams) also involves hardship of various kinds including travelling to far-off places, overlapping dates, insufficient time gap between different entrance exams being held at different places, the money spent on travelling and for fee etc. for participating in the entrance examinations and various other incidental expenses.” The institutes which will follow this rule includes all related institutes, deemed universities (Central Govt.), PSU, local self governments, trusts, charitable societies and others. However, MCI made it clear in the proposal that single entrance examination will not necessarily results in single counselling process. MCI added there would be an arrangement for different states’ eligible students to get separated from the total list of candidates, which will be then utilised by the state authorities to admit students based on their admission criteria.

Dabur eyes acquisitions in healthcare

Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Dabur is planning to acquire more companies in the healthcare segment in India and could spend up to Rs 500 crore for the buyouts. The move follows the recent acquisition of Fem Care Pharma for over Rs 250 crore.

The company is also open to brand buyouts of up to Rs 200 crore. “We are looking for acquisitions of companies in the range of Rs 200-500 crore and brand acquisition of Rs 10-200 crore. There is no financial cap, but it should be a good fit and have scalability,” said Sunil Duggal, chief executive officer, Dabur.

As with the past acquisition of Balsara � which added brands like Promise, Meswak, Odonil and Odopic to its oral care and home care portfolio � or the recent acquisition of Fem, which now gives it a presence in the Rs 2,500 crore mainstream skincare products market, Dabur is keen to diversify its traditional healthcare portfolio from ayurveda to include mainstream brands.(Source:Business Standard)

Australia warns of 6,000 swine flu deaths

Australia’s health minister Nicola Roxon warned there could be 6,000 swine flu deaths here this year under a “worst case scenario” without vaccines and anti-viral drugs. However, Roxon said the death toll from the disease was likely to be much lower, with the government planning a mass vaccination program in October capable of immunising the entire population.

“We could expect around 6,000 deaths across the country,” she told ABC radio. “That’s really the worst-case scenario that is being projected at the moment.” (Source: AFP)

US to work with India on healthcare services: Clinton

America will work to meet health challenges facing India among other countries and will have a comprehensive dialogue to improve maternal and child healthcare services, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on her visit to Mumbai on July 18, 2009.

“US has announced a large commitment to global healthcare policy. Our government is already spending a lot of money on HIV/AIDS but we wanted to add maternal and child health to that commitment as it is important for India,” Clinton said.

“Commitment was also in eradication of infectious diseases like Tuberculosis (TB) and Polio which are also problems in India,” she said after visiting a Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA)’s trade outlet in Mumbai.

“We are trying to work with our counterparts in India on these and will have a comprehensive dialogue in solving some of these healthcare challenges,” she said. (Source: PTI)

Pvt equity, venture capital cos turning to healthcare: Report

Private equity and venture capital firms are keen on increasing their investments in Indian healthcare and life science companies, a report released by research firm Venture Intelligence says.

Over the last five years, they have invested over $2 billion in this industry. They are now turning their attention to hospital chains, diagnostic services, medical devices and wellness products, according to the firm which surveyed 60 PE and VC firms.

“The survey titled ‘Private equity pulse on healthcare and life sciences’ shows that the investors are especially keen to tap into sectors such as diagnostic services, medical devices or equipment, hospital chains and wellness products and services,” VI said in release. According to the report, 87 per cent of the fund managers polled said healthcare and life science firms should get at least 10 per cent of the new investments being raised for India. (Source: Business Line)

YES Bank closes project finance for Medanta Medicity

YES Bank has announced the Financial Closure of an Rs5 bn Project Finance for Medanta – the Medicity Super specialty Tertiary Care Hospital, promoted by the noted cardiac surgeon, Dr. Naresh Trehan.

YES Bank was appointed as the Sole Underwriter and Mandated Lead Arranger for Rs5 bn of debt. After a syndication spearheaded by the syndication team at YES Bank, 4 leading PSU Banks in addition to YES BANK have participated – Allahabad Bank, Dena Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank and State Bank of Hyderabad. The syndication process was completed within 60 days of its launch. The project envisages construction of a 1250 bed facility in Gurgaon at a total cost of Rs9.32 bn to be funded at a debt – equity ratio of 1:10. The hospital is at an advanced stage of completion, expected to commence operations from October 1, 2009.

Malicious Medicine

‘Malicious Medicine: My Experience with Fraud and Falsehood in Infertility Clinics’ is a recently released book authored by Anitha Jayadevan. It tells a story about the writer who got married at twenty-three and was anxious and impatient when a year passed by and she had not conceived. Jayadevan recounts the story of the next eight harrowing years of her life, when visits to infertility clinics, blood tests and scanning in the name of assisted reproductive technology (ART) became part of her everyday existence. The treatment was painful, invasive and expensive, and the medical practitioners more often than not were callous, inefficient and unfeeling. The result was a twin pregnancy after seven long years. But the joy was short-lived as she lost both the foetuses and in the bargain nearly her life. Then, as the final act of betrayal, she discovered that all she had been was a surrogate mother. The book is not just about the physical ordeal and the psychological trauma Anitha went through. It asks larger questions about the sanctity of life and the importance of ethics that separate the medical profession from an assembly line production.

Only Rs 37 a month for an Indian citizen’s healthcare

India spends a mere Rs 37 per head every month to provide healthcare facilities for its one billion plus citizens, a reply tabled in the Lok Sabha has revealed.

“The per capita expenditure for the years 2006-07 to 2008-09 is in the range of Rs 300 to Rs 450,” Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in a written reply. At the top end of the scale, this works out to Rs 37 a day.

Azad said the Commission of Microeconomics and Health set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) had estimated that the minimum expenditure for essential health interventions for one person should be at least $34 (Rs.1,600) per year.

Though India’s health budget for fiscal 2009-10 has increased by Rs 3,107 crore from Rs 19,534 crore to Rs 22,641 crore, the allocation constitutes a little over one percent of the GDP. Public health experts believe that government must provide around three per cent of the GDP for health related expenditure.

MAQUET’s Solution for Digital OR-Integration

MAQUET’s newly developed AV CONFERENCE PREMIUM MODULAR enables the modular and individual adaptation of central functions to specific customer demands. The hospital will be able to deploy different components as required. Any subsequent changes in customer demands can be accommodated at any time with a retrospective system expansion.

Three modules make up the core of AV CONFERENCE PREMIUM MODULAR. The basic module is the medical video communication system for distributing images and videos. Here, you can switch between video, image and data sources (endoscope, OR field camera, PACS, C-arms, etc.).

The MAQUET Group is the global market leader for Medical Systems, focusing on the Operating Room (OR) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Search doctors on

Internet based marketing specialist iMarketing Advantage launched, a comprehensive health information website. Individuals logging into the website will have free access to comprehensive information about doctors, hospitals and other health-related resources and issues in their respective cities. The objective of the health portal is to support its users to make an informed choice by enabling them to view details of the doctor/s before visiting them.

The health portal lists more than one lakh doctors across India, apart from hospitals and other health service providers. It allows search for doctors by name, specialisation or location and access to a detailed profile of doctors. It also provides maps and directions for people to reach doctors and hospitals conveniently. “Apart from the healthcare directory service, the portal also has insightful tips on health, news for easy reference and features that include latest information about health products in the field of medicines, insurance, wellness and other related issues,” said Nitin Dhawan, CEO, iMarketing Advantage.

India healthcare industry to hit $14.2 bln by 2012 – KPMG

The Indian healthcare industry is estimated to touch $14.2 billion by 2012, propelled by rising income levels, changing demographics and shift in illness patterns in the country, consultancy firm KPMG said  in a report.

Rising incomes and a growing incidence of life style-related ailments such as diabetes will see the value of the domestic healthcare industry quadrupling by 2017, the report says. Currently, the domestic healthcare sector is undergoing considerable reforms driven by the rapid economic growth, the report said, adding emerging sectors such as diagnostic chains and medical device manufacturing were attracting investments. In the study, KPMG estimated private and public spending in Indian health infrastructure would touch $14.2 billion in 2013, at an annual growth rate of 5.8 percent from 2009. The western state of Maharashtra would be the highest spender in the country, investing $7.3 billion between 2009 and 2013, the report added. (Source: Reuters)

12th Workshop on ‘Biomedical Informatics and Communication’

(Supported by DBT & ICMR)

November 20 – 21, 2009

Twelfth workshop on ‘Biomedical Informatics & Communication’ is being organised at Bioinformatics Centre, JB Tropical Disease Research Centre, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, during November 20 to 21, 2009 to expose medical/science teachers, scientists and PG/PhD students to basics and advances in Biomedical Informatics and Communication. Lectures on Biomedical Informatics, Telemedicine, Telepathology, Genomics, Proteomics, Evidence-based Medicine, Hospital Information System, Healthcare Management, Biomedical Communication, and Biomedical Information Retrieval will be delivered by eminent resource people. Demonstrations and hands-on sessions will be arranged with desktop work on gene and protein sequence analysis and other techniques related to Biomedical Informatics and Communication.

Contact Person:  Dr. Satish Kumar, Professor, Biochemistry & Dy Coordinator, BIC

e-mail:,, Telefax: 07152-284038

For further information and Registration Form, visit at;

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