Rohit Kumar
Managing Director,
Elsevier Health Sciences

By changing the way healthcare professionals access information, Elsevier is at the forefront of the drive to improve outcomes for patients and reduce healthcare costs. Rohit Kumar-Managing Director, Elsevier Health Sciences, South Asia, in an interaction with Dhirendra Pratap Singh, shared Elsevier’s initiatives in this space and threw light upon the role of ICT in streamlining medical information products and services. Excerpts:

Please throw light on Elsevier’s role as medical information provider?

Elsevier is the world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Our products and services include electronic and print versions of journals, monographs, textbooks and reference works and cover health, life, physical and social sciences subject areas.

As a global leader in science and health information and tools, Elsevier serves more than 30 million scientists, students, and health and information professionals around the world with over 1,800 journals, 2,200 new books each year, software and databases, pharma communications. Our overarching objective is to make genuine contributions to the science and health communities we serve. Today we are driving innovation by delivering authoritative content with cutting-edge technology, allowing our customers to find the answers they need quickly. We develop online information solutions that help professionals achieve better outcomes. We publish around 2,000 journals and close to 20,000 books and major reference works.

Elsevier has always been associated with Nobel laureates of worldwide acclaim. For the second year in a row, esteemed panel of editors and authors of Elsevier, 9 this time, are to be awarded with Nobel prizes in the month of December last year. We welcome the global nature of our business and encourage people to work collaboratively across business units, hierarchy and functions. We constantly strive to break down barriers between organisations.

What are Elsevier’s initiatives in changing the face of education pattern in healthcare and medical field?

Elsevier develops electronic tools that demonstrably improve the productivity of those we serve – we are dedicated to helping them make a difference.

Elsevier’s journals and reference works are the most referred through its iconic Science Direct platform and other printed materials. For the health community, Elsevier’s clinical reference works and healthcare text books are the most widely respected and trusted by students, faculty and practitioners. Elsevier under its fold has flagship titles like Gray’s Anatomy, Netter’s Atlas, Davidson’s Principles and Practices of Medicine and Clinics of North America.

Recently, we have launched Elsevier Biofuel, an online search and discovery tool that provides biofuel managers and research development professionals instant access to the highest level of scientific, industrial, and commercial information to solve their continued innovation requirements. Through a wealth of content and information, Elsevier Biofuel will assist companies in making key decisions surrounding the Biofuel and the Bio-energy markets, making developments in the industry quicker and more efficient. The Elsevier Biofuel tool allows users to drill down to keywords that pinpoint the exact information needed. Moreover, with the Elsevier Biofuel Tree Thesaurus, research professionals can easily and accurately navigate through more than 900 journals and 800   books, 5.8 million patent documents, enriched with 500,000 domain specific keywords in the thesaurus and growing.

“For medical professionals and students, learning anatomy is a challenge. There are hundreds of terms and structures to learn as well as functions of the body and how they relate”

How do you think that providing information online has changed the education pattern for the readers?

For medical professionals and students, learning anatomy is a challenge. There are hundreds of terms and structures to learn as well as functions of the body and how they relate. Add to that the lack of time, lack of staff to teach anatomy and the lack of donated human bodies for dissection, and the picture becomes even more complicated.

Today’s medical students have grown up with advanced computer games, and they are used to games as educational tools. That’s why Elsevier has partnered with Cyber-Anatomy Inc., an Iowa-based company that creates interactive learning systems for medical students, to develop state-of-the-art software using advanced gaming technology for learning, reviewing, and teaching anatomy. Cyber-Anatomy approached Elsevier because the Netter brand, of which Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy is the leading product, was considered dominant in anatomy, and Elsevier saw the potential.

Elsevier and Cyber-Anatomy worked for two years to fine-tune the tool, usage and functions of the gaming environment. The collaboration involved bioengineers, anatomists and graphic artists. The result is a new line of interactive anatomy products, InteractElsevier, which give students and faculty more time and flexibility to master and teach anatomy. 

How do you see Indian market in medical information provider segment?

Elsevier plays a leading role in establishing standards and policies that improve scientific communications, promote business ethics, and encourage continued, sustainable growth in the field of scholarly publishing. India is providing largest numbers of health professionals. In effective health care delivery, India will be the best.

What are your future plans and upcoming projects?

Our future plan is to do much more in ICT related medical education. We will be introducing in the next one or two years more of our contents for the Indian market built for these types of products.

The paradigm of buying and selling of scientific information has changed significantly with the advent of the digital library. Issues once so familiar, like archiving, interlibrary loan, delivery and pricing have become sources of uncertainty, while new issues have come into play requiring new expertise. We have taken a leadership role in advancing the technologies necessary to create a seamless electronic information delivery environment. We look forward to working with people who are interested in bringing about change. We are looking for partners who can change this.

We have contracted with Providence Health and Services, a not-for-profit health system committed to providing services to provide evidence-based clinical content software. Providence Health and Services selected CPM as the vendor of choice for evidence-based interdisciplinary professional practice workflow support, including clinical documentation, care planning and clinical practice guidelines for nurses and interdisciplinary clinicians in order to improve overall patient care and patient experience. CPM’s evidence-based content seamlessly interfaces with health information technology platforms.

Who is your role model?

Mahatma Gandhi has been my role model. With his ideas, without the internet and good transport, he got 300 million people to come behind one movement which was for a better and free India.

I think whatever we do; we should look at how we can positively change the lives of the people by creating something which we all believe. If we are able to help people for better tomorrow, then it will be very nice feeling.

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