New Delhi: The next health emergency is not a matter of imagination but of time, a senior government official said, emphasising that India, with its tech resources, is confident of tackling any exigency. Speaking at the Digital Health Summit – 2023, Ministry of Health Additional Secretary Lav Agarwal said technology has been “our silent yet powerful ally in the battle against Covid”. Mr. Agarwal said,
We believe, with our current tech resources, India can be confident of being able to tackle any exigency.
The event was organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India here. Chairing a session on “Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure Through Technology”, Mr. Agarwal said,
Through our data-first approach and the COVID-19 India portal, we harnessed the strength of information from every district, every corner of the country. This portal, often unsung, became the backbone of our response, providing vital data and enabling efficient oxygen management, right down to tracking the movement of cylinders. It is crystal clear that without technology, India would not have triumphed over COVID-19. Mr. Agarwal added that India had proposed a global initiative on digital health with compatible systems internationally. This will go a long way in addressing rising medical queries across the globe.
The summit was spread across six sessions, including a panel discussion on “Technology and Innovation in Healthcare – Delivering Healthcare Beyond Physical Boundaries”. During this session, GE Healthcare Vice-President (Digital Platforms and India Technology Center) Girish Raghavan said,
As we face the challenges in our country’s health care system, one critical issue lies in the gap between the potential demand for quality care and the capacity of our healthcare institutions to meet it. He added that technology expertise holds the key to bridging this divide.
Through innovative solutions such as virtual care and machine learning, Raghavan said,
we can transform the delivery of healthcare, bringing it to the fingertips of every citizen.
Speaking during a session on “Artificial Intelligence – Building Smart Healthcare Ecosystem”, NIRAMAI Health Analytix Founder and CEO Dr Geetha Manjunath said,
AI in health care serves three primary purposes — optimising operational efficiency, enhancing clinical efficacy and prioritising patients’ affordability and accessibility. These applications aim to streamline processes, improve medical outcomes, and make healthcare more cost-effective and readily available to all.
The summit was also addressed by NITI Aayog Director Urvashi Prasad, who spoke during a session on “Enabling Preventive Health at Scale. She further added,
The paradigm shift from curative to preventive care is gaining momentum, and it reflects a positive change in the mindset of our health system. As we work towards building a comprehensive primary health system, integrating technology will play a significant role in enhancing preventive aspects, early detection, and access to quality care.
(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 the 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 – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) 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, fightmalnutrition, 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, which 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 likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.