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NEWS REVIEW

South Asia’s first Medical Technology park to make quality healthcare affordable in India

Trivitron has set up the first medical technology park in the region to manufacture an indigenous line of products designed specifically for Indian markets. This is another feather in the cap of Tamil Nadu’s healthcare system which has been the leader in healthcare delivery in the country and the choicest destination for international medical tourism. M.K Stalin, the Deputy ChiefMinister of Tamil Nadu has said that it is imperative to implement such initiatives aggressively. The setting up of the park at Chennai is in line with the government of Tamil Nadu’s initiative of promoting Chennai as a manufacturing hub. The reputation of Chennai as a medical tourism hotspot has made the city as the obvious choice for the technology park.  Its healthcare  infrastructure, which includes among other things the clinical expertise on offer, has often come in for praise. What’s
more, it has the added advantage of having an eastern seaport and a
well-established airport.

The park is spread over an area of 25 acres and is so designed to house ten international medical technology manufacturers. The Trivitron Medical Technologies Park is an initiative of Trivitron Healthcare Private Ltd, one of the leading medical technology  companies in India. The park aims to bring cutting edge medical technology to medical professionals across the country at affordable costs. A range of products including Ultrasound systems, Colour Dopplers, X � ray machines, C-arms , in-vitro diagnostic reagents and instruments, cardiology diagnostic instruments, critical care instruments, modular operating theatres, operating theatre lights and tables and implantable medical devices will be manufactured at the park. It is expected that the manufacture of world-class medical devices within the country will bring down the overall healthcare costs dramatically. Inaugurated by Dr. Prathap. C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo group of Hospitals, the Aloka Trivitron Medical Technologies facility is a joint venture between Aloka, a Japan based company credited with pioneering the diagnostic ultrasound technology globally and Trivitron. This Technology Park is a big step towards making quality healthcare available and affordable in India.

Carestream Health India showcases Innovative Radiology Imaging Solutions at the 63rd IRIA 2010 Congress

At the recent  63rd Indian IRIA 2010 Congress held at Ahmedabad, Carestream Health India showcased its latest digital imaging products and solutions which help healthcare providers improve quality and operational performance.  The company has  announced state-of-the-art systems for the capture, processing, printing and storing of images for diagnostic applications.

According to Mr Prabir Chatterjee, Managing Director of Carestream Health India, the  products are designed to make life easier for the radiology community. The  radiology imaging solutions of Carestream  increase efficiency and integration and back-up by its world class professional services group and bring total peace of mind.  The radiologist gets to concentrate on patients, not problems.  Mr Chatterjee emphasized that Carestream Health has evolved technologies that provide support to the needs of radiologist in the digital world of tomorrow, with paths forward that protect the radiologists investments today.

The centerpiece of Carestream Health’s product show at the IRIA was the DRX-1, world’s first cassette sized wireless digital DR detector, which fits in to existing systems. An extremely cost-effective digital solution, the current X ray rooms can shift to digital radiography without a complete revamp of their existing system. The DRX-1 system delivers high-quality preview images in less than five seconds, which significantly improves productivity, even for users of computed radiography (CR) systems.

Being a wireless DR detector, the DRX-1 system provides flexible positioning that enhances both efficiency and patient comfort. Its extreme compact size and light weight further enhances  convenience and throughput for radiology professionals.  The Carestream DRX-1 system is suitable for general radiology, trauma, orthopaedics and virtually all other x-ray exams.

Another product showcased at the Carestream Health booth was its latest innovation � the Carestream DryView5850 high-image quality Laser Imager � which brings tabletop convenience and outstanding reliability with extra-sharp 508 pixels-per-inch resolution that makes it ideal for medical imaging applications and digital mammography. The new DV5850 laser imager addresses the need for affordable laser-quality film output from full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and CR-based mammography systems. With a simplified user panel and capability to change films in full room light, it is easy to operate. Moreover, the DryView technology does not use thermal print heads thereby requiring minimal maintenance. Carestream also demonstrated its product model CR Classic, Point-of-Care CR 360 and the DryView 6800 laser imager. The extremely convenient Kodak Point-of-Care CR360 system enables even smaller healthcare facilities to provide best-in-class digital imaging diagnostics to patients. Being compact, robust and affordable, the CR360 is a lightweight system that can be mounted on tabletop, enabling instant diagnosis at the patient location. Kodak Point-of-Care CR360 system has a capacity to handle through put of over 60 plates per hour (1 per minute) and the option for high-resolution scanning modes, the technician is able to customize the output depending upon the type of examination/diagnostics needed. The Point-of-Care CR 360 comes with DICOM 3.0 capabilities, making it seamlessly compatible with a broad variety of printers, modality equipment, RIS and PACS systems.  Mr Prabir Chatterjee who has recently assumed office,  said that the company will continue to introduce innovative new products and bring the latest technology to India as fast as possible. It will provide scalable solutions that enable growth and connectivity and thus the expandability built into our products will lead to growth. Carestream Health will also be flexible in communicating with customers to understand their needs and develop solutions that meet those needs. Carestream Health, Inc. markets  a broad portfolio of CR and DR systems that equips hospitals, outpatient imaging centers, orthopaedic practices and other healthcare providers with digital image capture for x-ray imaging studies.

Carestream Health’s laser imagers range from desktop systems designed for imaging centers, small hospitals and clinics to fully featured units designed for high volume, multi-modality output at hospitals of all sizes. These imagers offer output from CR, DR, CT, MR, US, NM, and Digital Mammography and other grayscale imaging applications. The company originated as a business unit within Eastman Kodak Company and brings from its former owner a proud history of innovation, more than 110 years’ experience in health imaging, and over 1,000 patents in digital and film imaging and information technology. As a result of its innovative product portfolio and broad global sales, service and distribution capabilities, products from Carestream Health can be found in approximately 90% of hospitals and dental practices around the world.

Vaccine prevents TB in HIV patients

A recent study shows that a new vaccine can prevent tuberculosis in people with HIV. Phase III trials of 2,000 HIV-infected people in Tanzania found that the mycobacterium vaccae (MV) vaccine reduced the rate of tuberculosis (TB) by 39 percent. The findings have been published in the on line journal called AIDS. TB is the most common cause of death among patients suffering with HIV. The results of the clinical trials are a significant milestone according to principal investigator Dr. Ford von Reyn, director of the Dar International Programs for the infectious disease and international health section at Dartmouth Medical School, in Hanover, N.H.

The development of a new vaccine against tuberculosis is a major international health priority, especially for patients with HIV infection. The next step involves improving manufacturing methods so that sufficient quantities of the MV vaccine can be produced for further studies and possible use in patients. The researchers are of the view that people newly infected with HIV should be administered with MV  vaccine before they begin taking antiretroviral drugs to fight HIV infection.

Reduction of radiation dose needed in medical imaging

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a white paper on reducing the dose of radiation during imaging. The FDA initiative promotes safe use of medical imaging devices, supports informed clinical decision making and offers measures to increase patient awareness.  A radiation alert was issued when it was discovered that 206 patients who underwent CT perfusion studies in a hospital may have received 6 to 8 times more dose than what is necessary. Some patients suffer hair loss and reddening of the skin indicating high radiation doses. The Agency found out that the overexposures were more wide-spread. FDA has asserted that there must be appropriate justification for ordering and performing each procedure, and careful optimization of the radiation dose used.

Older version of allergy drugs may be dangerous for people

Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) have come up with a finding that the older generation of HI-antihistamines that are used as allergy medicines may be dangerous to people’s health.  The report says the first-generation H1 antihistamines – the most common treatment for conditions such as allergic rhinitis – that are currently available as over-the-counter drugs in pharmacies, have been linked with numerous health and social problems. The older drugs come off worse as compared with the newer ones. They are linked with myriad problems such as  poor sleep patterns, reduced work performance and learning ability, aviation, car and boating accidents caused by drowsiness, and even death as a result of accidental overdose in children and infants, and suicides in teenagers and adults.

More than 30% of the EU and US population are users or potential users of H1 antihistamines. H1 antihistamines have been used for more than 50 years to treat allergies including allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal membranes, commonly known as hay fever), urticaria (hives) and atopic dermatitis (eczema). They are usually categorised as first and second generation: the former have a more sedative effect leading to drowsiness, but this side effect is significantly reduced in the latter.  An allergy is a powerful immune response to an antigen (allergen). Allergens themselves are often harmless substances and include dust mites, pollen or animal dander (small scales shed from animal or human skin or hair). Allergic reactions occur when some people have an exaggerated reaction to an allergen which causes responses ranging from mild (e.g. running eyes and nose) to serious (e.g. anaphylactic shock).

Clinigene deploys SAS Clinical Data Management solution to accelerate clinical research

SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services has announced that Clinigene International Limited, a full-service Clinical Research Organization that partners with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, has deployed SAS Clinical Data Management – PheedIt solution to accelerate clinical research. SAS PheedIt is a highly efficient, cost effective and easy-to-use clinical data management solution (CDMS). According to Mr. Manoj Yasodharan, Manager – Clinical Data Management & Biostatistics, Clinigene International Ltd, SAS PheedIt provides a complete solution for clinical data management and analysis. SAS is a de facto standard in the Life Science industry for statistical analysis and clinical trial reporting. SAS Clinical Data Management solution incorporates powerful Electronic Data Capture (EDC) and data management features which provide a robust data entry portal integrated with ability to handle data transformation, data imports and exports, analysis and reporting. Mr. Sudipta K Sen, Regional Director South-East Asia, CEO & MD SAS India said that the  wealth of expertise and extensive track record positions us well as a leader in this field. This yet another win for SAS ensures our commitment as a partner to help organizations make a clear impact on their business goals.SAS Clinical Data Management – PheedIT comes with its own data storage thereby eliminating need for separate database. This data storage is used by the SAS PheedIT report engine to generate reports, graphs and other visualizations, and can be easily used by internal or external statisticians.

Technology preserves cerebral health

A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle that frequently result in cardiovascular illness can also badly affect cerebral health. And the problem can be further complicated because the symptoms can be mistaken. According to Dr. Charles Olivera, a neurologist with Yuma Clinic Neurological Associates, dizziness caused by a problem in the middle ear may resemble the dizziness that causes poor blood supply to the brain. Since in 2009, Olivera has been providing diagnoses of poor blood circulation in the brain with the use of advanced technology known as Transcranial Ultrasound.

Incidence of poor circulation to the brain increases, stemming from cardiac problems the patients originally suffered. More and more, people with coronary illness are presented with cerebral circulation problems. The problem can lead to a stroke and other grave consequences. As with the blood vessels and arteries in other parts of the body, those in the brain can become restricted and blocked, preventing the free flow of blood. And without sufficient blood, oxygenation in that area can be insufficient, leading to damage to the brain tissue. The propensity of heart disease, according to Olivera has made Hispanic community in Southern Florida among the most susceptible to poor blood flow to the brain and to stroke.

Dizziness and recurring headaches can be warning signs of an imminent stroke. Persons who are experiencing dizziness, weakness or recurring numbness should be examined, rather than wait for complications to set in. Transcranial Ultrasound to measure the speed of cerebral blood flow in the patients is an effective technology in this case. The (technology) has the advantage of being diagnostic and not invasive. It doesn’t cause pain, it doesn’t require special preparation for the patient and it’s done in the doctor’s own office.

Rheumatoid arthritis to be detected by simple blood test

A simple blood test may soon be helpful in predicting rheumatoid arthritis even before symptoms arise according to researchers. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation involving the synovial (lubricating fluid of the joints) tissue and eventually leading to destruction of cartilage and bone. A research team from University Hospital in Umea, Sweden, have identified several cytokines, cytokine-related factors, and chemokines that increase significantly prior to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease onset. Led by Dr Solbritt Rantapaa-Dahlqvist, researchers sought to determine cytokines, cytokine-related factors, and chemokines are up-regulated prior to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Blood samples of 86 individuals were analysed before the appearance of symptoms of RA. The study showed blood samples obtained from individuals had elevated concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, cytokine-related factors, and chemokines, indicating immune system activation prior to any symptoms of joint involvement. The findings present an opportunity for better predicting the risk of developing RA and possibly preventing disease progression. An early and accurate diagnosis of RA is crucial. Studies have shown that people who receive early treatment for RA feel better sooner and more often, are more likely to lead an active life, and are less likely to experience the type of joint damage that leads to joint replacement.

30,000 bed capacity in Hrudalaya hospital in 5 years

Narayana Hrudayalaya, the Bangalore-based heart care hospital, will increase its bed capacity to 30,000 in five years across all its hospitals across India. For this the hospital has earmarked a fund of INR 1,000 crores. This hospital chain performs the highest number of cardiac surgeries each day. It also plans to set up health cities in Mexico, Malaysia and Indonesia, along with local partners, according to its chairman Devi Prasad Shetty.  He was speaking to the media after announcing the launch of the 500-bed Narayana Hrudayalaya Malla Reddy Hospital. The Malla Reddy Group of Institutes chairman C Malla Reddy said 500 beds would be added every year at the Hyderabad facility to reach a capacity of 5,000 beds.

1st International conference on transforming healthcare with information technology

The First Conference on “Transforming Healthcare with IT- 2010” is going to be held from March 8-10 at the Intercontinental Eros, New Delhi. The conference is going to be a comprehensive discussion on the adoption of Healthcare IT and industry best practices for enhanced operational efficiencies and patient care. The Conference is organized by Apollo Group along with its consortium partners CISCO, IBM and TCS.

The conference brings together policy makers, healthcare leaders and technologists from across the globe,  on the same platform combining the synergies of healthcare IT and mobile technology to bring about a more connected healthcare ecosystem. It will also  address the innovations, infrastructure and information in the healthcare landscape that will proliferate, promote and propagate benefits of IT to healthcare administrators, providers and beneficiaries at the grass root level. Healthcare providers and policy makers across the globe are grappling with a deep and diverse set of healthcare challenges that cut across the spectrum. According to Ms Sangita Reddy, Executive Director Apollo Hospital Group and Advisor, this conference will address the literal healthcare jigsaw and examine how technology can be applied in different ways to facilitate communication in a highly collaborative and mobile environment like healthcare. The conference is a 3-day event, aimed at key healthcare decision makers, hospitals administrators, doctors, IT teams. The conference will comprise of key-notes, plenary sessions, workshops focusing on Delivery in Healthcare System, Prevention & Wellness / Consumer Centricity, Emerging Markets & Emerging Technologies, Connecting the Ecosystem, Infrastructure in Healthcare System and the impact of IT and Telecom convergence-driven transformational solutions. The Conference will also showcase demos of technology-driven transformational approaches and solutions. Working groups at the three day meet will deliberate on various key issues including uniform standards, need for national EMR etc. Noted speakers at the conference include industry luminaries like Mr. Sam Pitroda, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mr. Som Mittal, Prof. Ricky Richardson, Dr Prathap C reddy, Mr. Anjan Bose, Baron Nigel Crisp, Mr. Baljit Singh Bedi, Mr. David K. Aylward and Mr. Marc Probst amongst over 50 national and international speakers. Another highlight of this conference is the healthcare awards that are the first independently audited awards by KPMG. Award categories include HIS Xcellence Awards, EMR Xcellence Awards, Healthcare ICT product innovation, Healthcare ICT Champion of the Year, Best Website (Association) and Solution with Greatest Market Potential.

Doctors for the village

A two day workshop will be held in Delhi to discuss an alternative model for under-graduate medical education to create a cadre of rural doctors for the villages. The model, mooted by the Medical Council of India (MCI), is to tide over the shortage of trained manpower for rural health care. It envisages creation of manpower for health care services in the notified rural areas. This is going to be a four year course including internship and has been titled as Bachelor of Rural Medicine and Surgery. It will be institutional in character, conducted through medical schools which will be tagged with government hospitals in the districts where there are no medical colleges as of now.  The Council president Ketan Desai addressing a press conference said the proposal would be discussed threadbare with 19 vice-chancellors of health sciences and deemed universities, deans and principals of all medical colleges, state health secretaries and directors of medical education, in addition to the officers of the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

  •    Philips and VU Medical
  •    Center have signed long
  •    term research agreement

An agreement has been signed between Royal Philips Electronics and the VU University Medical Centre for conducting a joint research on new multi-modality imaging solutions aimed at improving the early detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer and neurological and cardiovascular diseases. By combining data from different imaging modalities to increase the visibility of structures of interest and by mapping biological processes such as metabolism onto these images, new multi-modality imaging solutions could help clinicians to determine the presence and extent of many diseases at an earlier stage. It is expected that such solutions will contribute to more timely and more personalized treatments for patients and thereby improve treatment success rates.  Both parties will work on the development and validation of next-generation medical imaging procedures, with projects focusing on nuclear imaging, especially Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and optical imaging techniques. For these modalities, the joint research projects will explore novel imaging agents (disease-specific contrast agents and tracers) and develop dedicated software for quantitative image analysis and user-friendly data presentation. Research programs for other imaging modalities are currently being prepared.

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