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Covid Pandemic Showed How Technology Can Be Game-Changer: AIIMS Director

If you do not have a healthy nation, you will have a fate on your economy, said Dr Gurleia

Covid Pandemic Showed How Technology Can Be Game-Changer: AIIMS Director
  • There has to be a lot of focus on using technology: Dr Guleria
  • A pandemic has negative impact on a country’s economy: Dr Guleria
  • We have adopted teleconsultation very quickly: Dr Guleria

New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has showed the importance of technology and how if used properly can be a game-changer in the country where there is a big issue of resources and manpower crunch as far as the health sector is concerned, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Friday (October 22).

Also Read: Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Speaking at Public Affairs Forum of India’s 8th National Forum 2021, he said the pandemic showed that if you do not have a healthy nation, you will have a fate on your economy, it could affect tourism, it will affect travel, and it will have a lot of other effects which are so-called collateral damage.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of technology and it really showed that technology used properly can be a game-changer in our country where there is this big issue of resources and manpower crunch, as far as the health sector is concerned. So we’ve adopted teleconsultation very quickly, which allowed us to consult with a large number of patients across the country without them having to come to hospital. It was cost-effective. And, I sometimes worry that we should make sure that technology doesn’t increase that divide. We must make sure that we think it is more inclusive for even those who may not be that tech savvy, and that is very important in the tech sector, he said.

Dr Guleria also said that there is a huge inequity as far as health is concerned, both in urban and rural India, and that has to be addressed.

The AIIMS chief said there has to be a lot of focus on using technology “And, that is something that we need to do in terms of screening for non-communicable diseases or training for cancers, which will help in the burden of disease in a big way. We have to invest more in research, which is India specific and encourage more entrepreneurship,” he said.

National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma said there are a number of areas in which the cost will significantly reduce using technology, and that significant reduction in cost will obviously be passed on to the service providers, and also to the people.

I completely agree that technology has to be inclusive. It has to cater to diversity as it exists in the sector. It has to be interoperable. It has to be scalable. It has to be frugal. It has to you know be, kind of, people should find it very easy to use it, so it should be easy to kind of integrate in our workflow, it should not be an activity in itself, you know, catering to technological requirement should not really become an additional burden on the time of a doctor, he said.

Talking about privacy, he said the people think that designing for privacy will reduce functionality.

The thing is that privacy is a zero-sum game, you know that if I make things private then I can’t do anything to it. But that’s not the case. If you design carefully, it is a non-zero sum game, you can continue to have all the functionalities without sacrificing privacy, he said.

A zero-sum game is a mathematical representation of a situation in which an advantage that is won by one of the two sides is lost by the other.

Also Read: Vaccination On Wheels To Inoculate Labourers Against COVID-19 In Delhi

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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