April 2010

Transforming Healthcare with IT

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A post-show report of the first International Conference on transforming healthcare with information technology organised by the Apollo Group during March 8-10, 2010 in New Delhi.

Sam Pitroda
inaugurating the event along with
Dr. Prathap Reddy
Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Groups;  Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII; and Som Mittal,
President, NASSCOM.

Organised by the Apollo Group, the agenda for Transforming Healthcare with IT, comprised of three days of active conferencing and exhibition. The conference aimed at bringing together key players in the healthcare sector on a global platform to participate, propagate and promote the various technology-driven transformational approaches, solutions and their benefits to the grassroots, administrators, providers, and research community, among others. Through this event, Apollo aimed at achieving the goal of equitable, sustainable and quality healthcare system.

Spread over three days, the conference comprised of key-note addresses, plenary sessions, workshops, demo showcasing of products spanning the entire spectrum of healthcare, IT and telecom sectors. The major objectives of the conference were to:

  • Showcase technology-driven transformational approaches and solutions to solve the healthcare jigsaw
  • Address the innovations, infrastructure and information in the healthcare landscape
  • Proliferate, promote, propagate benefits to the grassroots, administrators, providers and beneficiaries
  • Create working groups to deliberate on formats for the National EMR, filling format and standards

Eminent speakers from all over the world participated in the event and shared some thought provoking ideas and interesting experiences that can be implemented in the Indian healthcare landscape for improving the accessibility and quality of services offered. Key speakers at the conference included Dr. Alverson, Dale C from the American Telemedicine Association; Dr UK Anathpadmanabhan from the Kovai Medical Centre and Hospitals, Coimbatore; David K Aylward from mHealth Alliance United Nations Foundation; Denis Gilhooly from Digital Health Initiative, New York; Prof K Ganapathy from Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation; Dr. Karanvir Singh from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi; Dr. Prathap Reddy from Apollo Hospitals Group; Prof Ricky Richardson from International Society of Telemedicine and eHealth; Sam Pitroda, Government of India; and Sangita Reddy from Apollo Hospitals Group, among others. Dr. Alverson, Dale C threw light on the status of telemedicine and eHEALTH at an international level, and how the care systems can be transformed in the global community. Bringing in the Indian experience, Dr. Ananthpadmanabhan, spoke about emerging ICT applications for better employee empowerment and patient care in Indian hospitals. mHealth also emerged as a topic of discussion, as David K Aylward spoke to the audience about energising the global mHealth ecosystem. Denis Gilhooly shared his experiences about creating a digital health and development dynamic. Bringing forward Apollo’s vision of healthcare for all, Prof. K Ganapathy focussed his presentation on IT enabled healthcare in 2020 and talked about a futuristic approach for development of this industry. Talking about health IT at the hospital level, Dr Karanvir Singh brought out key implementation issues faced by a healthcare delivery organisation in the implementation of an EMR. The emerging scenario of eHealth was also discussed by Prof Ricky Richardson, who holds a key position in this industry.

A special video address was also delivered by Archbishop Desmond Tutu from Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, who has also been the Nobel Laureate (Peace) from Milnerton, South Africa.

Some of the key topics of discussion at the conference include:

Future of Global Health Emerging Technologies: Capitalising experience with Innovation Outlook (Developed Nations)

  • Healthcare Information Systems Research & Initiatives
  • Transforming Healthcare A Macro Perspective
  • EMR The New Enabler
  • Digital Healthcare: The promise to reach out to millions, provide support and solutions to many of the most vexing healthcare related issues
  • Standards and Trends in Healthcare IT
  • “Live Focus” – Special Session
  • Apart from these, an inaugural function was also held on the first day, which focussed on Technology Enabled Healthcare Vision 2020. Special Health Secretaries Conclave and CIOs Conclave were also organised on the first day. On day 1 and 2, a half an hour slot was allotted for a unique session named Brilliant Bytes and Telecast Success Stories. A showcase demonstration on new age hospital information systems was made by TCS, which marked the launch of TCS’s latest product Hospital Management System (HMS). A forum for discussions between the speakers and delegates was also organised towards the end of day 1.

    On day 2, a special session focussed on the celebration of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation’s (ATNF) X anniversary. During this session, Prof K Ganapathy, the President of ATNF demonstrated live teleconsulting with the use of cutting-edge yet simple technologies. A special demonstration was also made on day 2 by Health Super Hiway that focussed on health information exchange solutions.

    Shri Dinesh Trivedi during the valedictory session

    The valedictory function for the conference took place at the end of day 2. The Chief Guest of this session was Sri Dinesh Trivedi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Sri Trivedi enlightened the audience with key efforts being made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare toward development of eHealth in India. A special address during this session was made by Ms Sujatha Rao, Secretary of Health, Government of India.

    Day 3 of the event was loaded with product and solution demos by some of the key industry players in the health IT space in India. Several parallel sessions were being conducted on this day that focussed on multiple product demos of different organisations.

    The consortium partners for the event were TCS and CISCO, while supporting industry partners were HIMSS, CII-India Healthcare Federation and several other wings of Indian Government establishment. The event successfully provided an ideal opportunity for all stakeholdres in the technology and healthcare domain to meet and exchange knowledge and ideas for growth and development of the health IT industry.

 

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