Public healthcare system in India may very well be in for some major positive change soon !

The XIth Five Year Plan has made ‘health’ the top priority. In the Union Budget for 2007-08, fund allocation for health and family welfare sector has been hiked by 21.9% to Rs 15,291 crore, while that for National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) programme has been stepped up from Rs 8207 crore to Rs 9947 crore.

With the Government realising the importance of embracing technology to deliver primary healthcare services to the remotest corners – there opens up a web of immense opportunity for all players providing healthcare solutions and services. The cover story by Dr. Tarun Seem, Director, NRHM talks about his vision and ideas in this regard.

National Population Stabilisation Fund (NPSF/JSK) under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has developed an exhaustive repository of Health GIS maps (embedded with detailed health statistics) for almost all of India (except North-East and Himachal Pradesh), and is willing to partner with private players for its usage in planning and management of healthcare delivery. With plans to start a call center and a virtual resource centre, NPSF is all set to use ICTs in a big way.

Telemedicine is changing healthcare delivery dynamics by providing means for extending health services to all. An industry analyst from Frost & Sullivan, explains this in ‘Expert Corner’, while taking stock of initiatives taken so far in India.

The ‘Development Dimension’ section takes a close look at an innovative project of Aravind Eye Hospital which prevents unnecessary blinding, by using telemedicine in villages of southern India.

The ‘Perspective’ section shows how innovative use of technology, such as, Virtual Reality Games using Cue Exposure Therapy (CET) can help in treating addictive behaviours causing adverse health impacts.

Selecting the right medical software, impacts the practice of medicine. We ‘Zoom In’ on an innovative website providing free consultation, comparative analysis, price quotes and product demo for facilitating doctors and service providers in their purchase decisions for medical software.

It is our pleasure to announce the launch of yet another section in our magazine. From this issue we are introducing ‘Pharma Tech’ � a dedicated space for technologies and solutions for pharma and life sciences industry. To begin with, we have assessed the feasibility of IT solutions in achieving operational and business challenges for the increasingly competitive pharma sector.

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