June 2018

‘Smartphone set to be vital centre for medicine’

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Smartphone is all set to become the vital centre for medicine, thanks to the gamut of digital avenues that digitalising child apps would offer… The Pediatric Network (TPN), an alternative child health online programme, was developed aiming to ensure a holistic healthcare and wellbeing for every child, says Dr Atish Laddad, Pediatrician and Founder Member, The Pediatric Network, in an exclusive interaction with Rakesh Roy of Elets News Network (ENN).

What is the objective behind ‘The Pediatric Network’ initiative and its work process?

The Pediatric Network (TPN) has become one of the pioneers in the newly developing market of child healthcare. It is an alternative child health support programme that aims to ensure a holistic healthcare and well-being for every child. With a further objective to bestow children across India a healthy and sheltered lifestyle by making positive alterations and advancements in the treatment methods of paediatricians, TPN embraced the path of digitalisation in the form the ‘TPN parent mobile app’. Through this state-of-the-art online programme we aim to address the mounting Paediatric needs of child-care facilitating parents with a hassle-free and round-the-clock expert guidance. The digital podium delivers easy availability of the required data and provides parents with remarkable features like online storage of medical records, getting connected to doctors online, offers timely signals for taking medicines and 24×7 access to the portal doctor. These features are all set to make diagnosis and treatment a hassle-free affair.

TPN is now all set to take its next steps towards going digital by introducing Machine Learning, a contemporary way to revolutionise the delivery procedure of medical prescriptions. This digital marvel is all set to change the traditional and mundane scenario typically witnessed in a medical clinic, wherein the patient enters the clinic’s reception to take an appointment and waits for hours until the examination to get a medical prescription.

In the digital era, how has technology transformed the healthcare sector and is being a facilitator in providing medical solutions?

Technology and healthcare has always been a ‘cat and mouse’ game. Which patient wouldn’t like to consult a doctor at the click of the button without spending time in the waiting area? Which doctor wouldn’t like to broaden his or her spheres and consult patients anywhere in the world? Theoretically, technology can do a lot in the healthcare space. Given the superiority of the 21st-century technology, the major question that arises is how can we modify the child health care system to better cope with the rising healthcare needs? The solution to this concern is nothing but efficiently digitalising child healthcare to bring in more innovation. Electronic child healthcare is something that needs to be given immediate attention. Digitalising healthcare will aid in detecting the initial warning signals that may indicate ailment or behaviour that is probable of leading to poor health.

Digital healthcare for children must be aimed to feat the recent improvements in computing technology. Armed with the correct software, these digital tools could deliver easy-to-use, out-of-the-box solutions to major health challenges like averting the over-prescription of medicines, endorsing patient self-care, presenting positive lifestyle modifications and cautionary signals of various health snags. They have the ability to crunch raw medicinal facts just by means of your phone’s computing power, scout the pertinent problem and yield test results in minutes, rather than taking days or weeks. In the following years, your smartphone is all set to become the vital centre for medicine, thanks to the gamut of digital avenues that digitalising child apps would offer. They are nothing but, having a doctor in your pocket.

What is Machine Learning and how is it helping the zone of paediatrics?

Machine Learning is an effortless process of building smart procedures and workflows inside a tech application for a detailed purpose. In the domain of childcare, this tech-savvy application enables to generate health prescriptions at a much speedier rate as compared to the traditional pen and paper. Going digital has always been a chief challenge that health expert face. Prescription softwares are not only cumbersome to use since they encompass too much of typing or search and select functionality but the added agony of losing eye contact and a personal touch with their patients always remains in the mind of the doctor. To address this despair, this doctor-friendly application that is all set to infiltrate into the paediatric domain, is a good specimen of how machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can play a significant role in refining our health. The process of Machine Learning typically incorporates a code built into it to study how a doctor approaches a particular disorder and recommends lab tests, drugs, vaccination and precautionary measures based on paediatrician’s prior behaviour patterns. The smart algorithms of the application examines the doctor’s data and allows the doctor to produce prescriptions in record time. This radical technology is sure to make an optimistic impact on the health specialists practice in the upcoming years.

How do you view Maharashtra in terms of adopting technological advancements and innovations in Pediatric healthcare?

The advancements made in technology have always been well accepted in every sector be it education, hospitality or real estate and healthcare is no exception. Considering the various technological revolutions made like digitalisng healthcare, the pediatric domain has received ample acceptance from Maharashtra.  The State is leaving no stones unturned to make child healthcare evolving in the coming years.

What is the importance of R&D in Pediatric while looking at today’s changing environment and urbanisation impacting children?

Few years back, Indian pediatric sector, had not realised its full potential when it comes to aspects like research and development (R&D). As compared to the western countries, R&D in Pediatric healthcare in India lags far behind in terms of investment and results. But in present times there is a vast improvement in this scenario as Indian childcare segment is gradually prioritising its R&D zone taking into consideration the vast urbanisation that has been showering its impact over children. India is speedily emerging as a chief force in the arenas of international research and development arena. Hence, a significantly large pool of talent across varied expanses of healthcare will facilitate in spurring a lot of basic and industrial R&D activity in the country, thus progressively making it a top choice among world-wide corporations for off-shoring their R&D requirements. For the R&D facility in childcare segment to function efficiently, there is definitely a need for higher spending on R&D by the Indian government. This is possible if the government takes an initiative to upsurge subsidy to research and development projects.

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