Dr Seema Khanna

Dr Seema Khanna, Deputy Director General, National Informatics Centre focuses on the intersection of technology and humanities for collective well-being.

Technologies are ought to be built around human needs and should address crises, said Dr Seema Khanna, Deputy DG, (Scientist-G) at National Informatics Centre, at the second edition of Elets Digital Health Conclave, held with a theme ‘Reimagining Healthcare with Technology’. She remarked that Co WIN and Aarogya Setu app was the frontline technology that played a crucial role in India’s fight against the Covid-19. “Aarogya Setu app is a shining example of collaborative development by the government and volunteers rolled out at a short notice for a vast population of India.”

Sharing her perspective on the silver linings of the Covid-19, she observed, “The past year and a half have evolved human beings. We have encountered a pandemic for the first time in our lives and the fight continues with no end in sight as of now. But, like all dark clouds, this one also comes with a few silver linings visible to only those who thrive on optimism.”

The first silver lining in this very dark cloud, Khanna said is staying positive and hoping for a better tomorrow. “The past year and a half have highlighted a very few simple rather obvious life facts but these facts had somehow taken a back seat in our daily struggle. First and foremost as humans we have realised that how important family is? We were all forced to hit the pause button in our lives and got a chance to reflect and realise that family may be the best medicine. We also now know that self-care is not an indulgence; this is not just about the pandemic as our health is directly related to our lifestyle, nutrition and physical activities. We need to look after ourselves and build our inner resilience to fight the outer world, she noted at the inaugural session attended by Abhishek Singh, CEO, MyGov; President & CEO, National eGovernance Division; and MD & CEO, Digital India Corporation, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Katamneni Bhaskar, Andhra Pradesh’s Commissioner and Mission Director for National Health Mission at the Department of Medical, Health & Family Welfare; Dr Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy CEO, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, National Health Authority.

Khanna also observed that the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications have prompted people to be good friends with technology and to be online is the new mantra. “It also taught people that being productive does not mean being chained to your chair as productive brains can operate from anywhere. I think that it also brought the best brains together to unleash a revolution in medicine and technology.”

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