Maharashtra University of Health Sciences

The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) inaugurated the first-ever statewide Network of Centers of Excellence (CoE) in healthcare, spearheaded by the University as its central coordinating body. This initiative, unveiled by Hasan Mushrif, Minister of Medical Education, aims to elevate medical research, education, and healthcare standards across the state through collaborative efforts, according to Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar (Retd), Vice-Chancellor of MUHS.

Functioning on a hub-and-spoke model, the newly established Maharashtra State Health Training and Research Institute (MSHTRI) at MUHS will serve as the core and apex centre. The concept of CoE gained impetus with the issuance of the Network of Centers of Excellence Policy, in 2023 by the Maharashtra government, as part of the Asian Development Bank’s loan program. Collaborating closely with state and MUHS teams, the ADB refined the CoE network concept. In addition to CoE, the ADB’s $500 million loan program aims to enhance healthcare infrastructure, promote digital medical education, foster talent development, and enhance procurement processes in Maharashtra.

Several initiatives are underway, including the establishment of a faculty development academy to train healthcare professionals in contemporary techniques, technology, and management. DISHA, an incubation centre for medical innovation, will support professionals and startups in bringing their ideas to fruition. An augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) simulation lab will provide a realistic yet safe environment for faculty and students to learn and experiment. MSHTRI will also house a digital learning studio, a state-of-the-art healthcare museum, and a library.

In its inaugural year, MSHTRI aims to facilitate digital learning for over 10,000 medical students, incubate more than 20 startups, and train over 400 faculty members through various initiatives. The network and its initiatives were jointly conceived by MUHS with technical assistance from the Boston Consulting Group.

During the event in Nashik, the Digital Health Foundation Course (DHFC), in collaboration with the Koita Foundation, was launched. DHFC will be integrated into the curriculum of over 450 medical colleges and will benefit more than 40,000 medical students. Supported by a virtual Digital Health Lab (DHL), DHFC provides practical experience alongside theoretical knowledge. Tailored for students, healthcare professionals, and those interested in expanding their expertise in Digital Health applications, the course covers topics such as Hospital Management Information Systems (HMIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Imaging Technologies, Healthcare Data Interoperability, Data Privacy & Security, ABDM, Wearables and Apps, AI/ML, and more. The DHFC curriculum has been curated by leading doctors and subject matter experts from India and abroad.

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