Imagine a world where tiny robots navigate our bodies, fighting diseases and fixing problems at a cellular level. Sounds like science fiction, right? Well, hold onto your hats 🎓👒, because this is a rapidly becoming science fact!
Welcome to the fascinating world of precision medicine and nanorobots.
First off, what’s precision medicine? It’s like having a tailor-made suit, but for your health. Traditional medicine takes a one-size-fits-all 💊 approach, but precision medicine is all about personalization.
It considers your genetic makeup, environment, and lifestyle to provide treatments that are just right for you.
Now, enter the nanorobots. These microscopic marvels, often smaller than a human hair, are set to transform our medicine.
Think of them as tiny doctors 👨⚕️👩⚕️ travelling through your bloodstream, delivering drugs precisely where they’re needed, targeting tumors, or even repairing damaged tissues.
It’s like having a mini medical team inside you, working round the clock!
💡 Let’s dive into some mind-blowing research. Scientists are already making headway with these mini miracles. For instance, researchers have developed nanobots that can identify and isolate cancer cells much more efficiently than traditional methods!
These bots are like skilled snipers, taking out the bad guys without harming the innocent bystander cells.
And it’s not just about tackling the big C (cancer, that is). Nanorobots could play a crucial role in managing chronic diseases like diabetes, by continuously monitoring blood sugar levels and releasing insulin as needed.
Imagine saying goodbye to constant finger pricking and injections! 💉
But wait, there’s more! These nanorobots aren’t just about treating diseases; they’re also about prevention! With their ability to monitor your health at a microscopic level, they can detect potential health issues before they become serious problems.
It’s like having a crystal ball for your health! 🔮
Now, I give you some examples: Imagine a nanobot that’s like a tiny plumber, unclogging your arteries to prevent heart attacks. Or think of them as microscopic gardeners 🌻, pruning away the bad cells and nurturing the good ones.
The possibilities are endless and quite inspiring to think about!
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. The ethical implications and safety concerns of having these tiny robots in our bodies are topics of hot debate.
💚✅But one thing’s for sure, the future of medicine with these nanoscopic helpers is bright and incredibly exciting.
So, there you have it – a peek into our future where nanorobots team up with precision medicine to keep us healthy. It’s not just about curing diseases anymore; it’s about enhancing our lives, one tiny robot at a time.
Stay tuned, because the future of healthcare is also looking incredibly small – and that’s a big deal!
Please share your thoughts, experiences, place a Like or even share this article if my article was somewhat inspiring to you 🌞 to Marcus Parade, who is the international sales manager at Messe Frankfurt GmbH
The importance of having a safe place where everyone can find understanding and full attention. But how can we find a proactive way to address life and career challenges proactively in our always on world? How can we create an opportunity to encourage our colleagues and friends to talk about themselves with a professional?
In digital media, many of us have strict targets to hit, travel and sometimes live on the edge when a big deal is about to be signed or delivered. This requires a specific stress management type and a mindset that understands goals beyond hitting revenue targets.
These goals are essential for all of us to live our lives more meaningfully and have a high quality of life experience. Many have had signs of exhaustion or even burnout after a stressful time and needed to take shorter or longer time off from work to shift the focus to their SELF as opposed to constantly performing on a high level without finding a way to create a state of the family which most of the time referred as “work–life balance”.
Racing to be the best and get our bonuses is just one side of the coin. We need to think about how these fears and negative thoughts create the feeling of guilt, and as we all know, guilt creates pain.
Operational departments have different types of pressure. I call it the back-office syndrome. It means that they need to be capable of being the technical experts of the online campaigns, constantly train themselves, understand the issue and make decisions in absolute real-time.
These professionals are continually racing with time, and a little glitch can significantly impact the company. Carrying this weight of responsibilities is not easy either, especially if they are the only experts in a global company without having a frank conversation with anyone who can understand them, and they can open up freely.
Well, this is one reason I advocate for a coach approach rather than a mental health practitioner. I want to be there for people who struggle and have none to talk to because they fear losing their jobs.
Coaching is not about good or wrong answers or thoughts; coaching is about finding the best possible outcome of situations, goals, etc..… by using the individual or team’s full potential for achieving these objectives. The other central aspect of having a coach is that you need an independent person who can mean a safe place to everyone.
Coaching is about trust and willingness to listen to people who can be overwhelmed with work, technology and so on…
In the last year, I have seen mainly two types of people in terms of their connection to the digital industry, which pushed me to write this article with my inner need to do something to care about the individuals behind roles and job titles.
The two cohorts are:
– Job seekers who try to create groups and support each other.
– Workers who are primarily exhausted, overworked, sad to see their colleagues go, and possibly feel guilty that they weren’t part of the recent redundancy processes. These people are more likely to have anxiety and fear of the future, thinking about when they will be the next.
This negative thought slowly poisons everyday lives and results in self-doubts, burnout and, eventually, time off from work.
The modern online world must adopt a new mindset and approach professionally and how companies create a healthy, motivating environment for their workforce.
Yearly budgeting and investment ideally have a space for team coaching or budget for individual coaching or mentoring programs.
Many of us miss something in life or want to achieve grand visions and life goals, but these only stay as a “want” within our minds as we block them immediately with our limited beliefs.
Let me tell you the secret of life: we can achieve our aspirations if we are ready for the change and all the work. Moreover, we all have the answers to the “HOW?”
Coaches are now studying hard and have specialities they want to work with. This connection is based on a mutual rapport and has an entirely equal manner. As I say, live and breathe with the “coachee” without judgment during the client’s journey.
Before I explain why coaching is essential for all of us, I want to clarify some crucial points.
Coaching is not mentoring. The coach won’t tell you what to do, but she will guide you to use your resources and explore your hidden potential.
Coach is not a medical practitioner; she focuses more on your inner balance, aspirations, and the healthy functioning between body-mind- and soul.
If you want to start your journey to your better self with a coach, you must be patient and determined and progress at your own pace. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as we are unique and unrepeatable.
Now let’s talk about our fantastic but many times stressful, target-heavy industry and why I, as a digital media professional, decided to learn and became a coach.
Well, I am an observer and a listener. When talking to my industry colleagues, I pay attention to words and nonverbal signs. During my 12+ years in the industry, I experienced many ups and downs, but since 2020, something has radically changed in our online world.
After the pandemic, these changes and the new lifestyle created an overwhelming, fast and even more performance-focused world, with more restrictions and new ways of approaching online marketing. We also have less face-to-face and more virtual interactions that force us to adapt to a new lifestyle. Some of us had fewer issues, and others had more; this is why mental health became the forefront of almost every company.
This is so much of a reactive way of treating one of the most difficult challenges and keeping employees and people safe with a healthy mind and thoughts. Well, this is how coaching as a proactive solution comes into place.
First and foremost, listen and see, then seek an expert who can be the best asset to help achieve overall company effectiveness with compassionate leadership, creating a place for the employees where they can talk to an independent person who can understand, explore, and with the company on individual motivation or group achievements. A coach can also anonymously address employees’ wants and needs as a mediator.
I see the future much brighter than digital is now.
I want managers to become mentors, and I can use my coaching knowledge to guide many great professionals from all levels.
Most asked questions
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The telehealth industry is expected to grow from US$26.4 billion in 2020 to $70.19 billion by 2026.
At the onset of the pandemic, virtual visits to healthcare providers peaked. As the population ages and more people live longer with chronic conditions, the demand for telehealth services will continue to rise.
Remote consulting allows patients – who might have mobility issues or live far from the clinic – to access medical services more easily and conveniently. It also enables doctors to provide more flexible and responsive care, which can be especially beneficial in the case of follow-up consultations.
Some will argue that remote consultations will never replace the in-person experience. This is where virtual consultations come in.
Virtual consultations are a modern approach to delivering traditional face-to-face consultations. When implemented, they offer a secure digital healthcare service to your patients.
What is a virtual consultation
It allows patients from their houses to consult with a doctor online using live video conferencing, which results in more convenient and cost-effective care for both parties.
Two-way high-definition (HD) video conferencing has paved the way for more types of virtual visits than ever before. Advisors can now engage with patients via this technology, which allows them to access a new range of treatment possibilities from any location–using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
A virtual consultation is also an effective tool for follow-up consultations between patients and their doctors after they’ve been discharged from the hospital or clinic.
We have seen practices establishing virtual health clinics with a full suite of diagnostic tools and secure video conferencing technology.
This allows the continuity and flexibility of best care without sacrificing the quality of that care and the patient experience.
Improving health services with virtual consultations
Let’s discover some of the best features that make virtual consultations an excellent tool for delivering healthcare.
Easy to use
A virtual consultation must be simple to join and a user-friendly tool. It allows patients to connect with their doctors from their homes or any location, using a smartphone or computer. The process must be quick, easy to follow, and not require any technical support.
High-quality video and audio
The quality of the video and audio is key to a successful virtual consultation. For doctors and patients to have a productive session, they must be able to see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices clearly, with no delay in transmission. This is where carrier-grade services come into play.
Carrier-grade services are dedicated and specialized networks that deliver high-quality voice and video with minimal delay. The standard for this kind of service is the ability to deliver 99.95% uptime.
They are designed to ensure a consistent experience for both parties in all environments, including remote locations such as rural communities where there may be limited or no access to other forms of communication infrastructure.
Text messages are often more effective ways to communicate with patients than emails. This is often the case of reminding them of upcoming appointments or medication.
The ability to send text messages to their mobile phones is a very useful feature that can help streamline your practice’s workflow and improve patient satisfaction.
SMS notifications can be used for many things including appointment reminders and schedules, prescription refills, disease management programs, and more. It’s also an easy way to communicate with patients who don’t have email access or prefer not to use it.
A recent study shows that text messages receive a 90% engagement rate and help patients feel more connected to healthcare teams.
In addition, call links or live chat can be included in text messages. This function allows patients to click a link in the message to connect with their advisors in real time.
Combine all channels and networks in a virtual space where your team can collaborate in real-time on any device. It’s an environment that fosters patient care and empowers staff to work together seamlessly across different locations, making it possible for them to stay connected no matter how far apart they are.
A unified workspace brings together all of the tools you need—like scheduling, messaging, file sharing, video and call conferencing, and more—into one place so everyone has access to the information they need at any given time.
It’s an easy way to connect with patients while maintaining high levels of security and privacy.
Virtual numbers provide a convenient way to connect with patients, no matter where they are. Whether you’re a local clinic serving your community or a multidisciplinary clinic with international patients, virtual numbers can be answered on any device and will always forward to the correct location.
Keeping patient data secure is one of the biggest challenges for healthcare providers.
Healthcare organizations are required to comply with HIPAA regulations that govern the protection of patient health information, which includes ensuring that all data is encrypted and stored in a secure environment.
To protect your data, consider using platforms that offer encryption, backup and recovery, GDPR compliance, and relevant industry standards. In the age of data breaches and hacking, it’s paramount to have a secure way to communicate with patients.
Benefits of online consultations
Virtual consultations offer health services the chance to diversify the ways they interact with their patients.
In today’s world, convenience is key. This concept unsurprisingly applies to healthcare with 74% of patients preferring easy access to services over in-person interactions with providers.
Advantages for patients
Online triage, psychiatry, and therapy offer an improved level of healthcare to vulnerable groups, including the elderly and disabled. Patients are not required to leave their comfort zones and can feel more at ease during the consultation, enabling better diagnosis.
Advantages for doctors
Increasing the efficiency of care delivery and reducing the costs of transporting patients between medical care facilities.
The use of virtual consultations can also help doctors manage their workloads, reduce their mental stress, and improve their work-life balance.
A growing trend in virtual healthcare consultations
Virtual consultations in healthcare are a permanent part of the medical landscape, and they are here to stay.
They offer patients access to a wider range of healthcare providers than ever before and allow providers to extend their reach into areas where they have previously struggled to establish a presence.
Communication technologies have become an essential part of most people’s daily lives, but until recently they have not been widely used in health care. A secure and user-friendly installation with audio and video clarity is crucial for virtual health.
The implementation of remote consultations is not meant to replace in-person consultations but to improve the overall doctor-patient journey.
Women’s health is the most neglected sector, even after multiple attempts of bringing attention to it on different horizontal and vertical levels. According to WHO health is the culmination of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of an individual.
A woman starts her biological journey from the onset of puberty, fertility years, and menopause, and till life continues.
LevelUpForWomen, a women’s health and wellness-based startup working on the niche of reversing PCOS was co-founded by partners Chetan Arora and Bhawana Yadav. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common endocrine disturbance that affects roughly 6% to 12% of women of reproductive age. The data is still insufficient as most of the women go undiagnosed due to several factors in their lives and the lack of PCOS-based specific scientific research and developments.
The startup was conceived based on personal experience and lack of guidance by the medical fraternity for the initial years of bearing with PCOS symptoms. It is currently bootstrapped and is already on the profitable side from the business perspective.
Technology has been a boon for women’s healthcare, especially in the post-pandemic world. It can be looked at from both the sociological and economic lens to arrive at the conclusion that healthcare and technology are a great combination for the knowledge and wellness revolution.
In a research conducted by Mckinsey, they analyzed 763 FemTech companies (FemTech a term coined by entrepreneur Ida Tin) largely tech-based and enabled, consumer-centric solutions addressing women’s health, excluding biopharma and incumbent medical devices as well as the companies which included unisex services.
It concluded the beginning of the FemTech revolution and domination in public awareness and generating large-scale funding, However, the services were earlier limited to menstrual products, devices, and applications.
New startups like LevelUpForWomen have proven to be a one-stop virtual healthcare and wellness platform.
In our experience and case studies, technology in terms of social media has become a great tool for social awareness and probing to take an action even if you are sitting in the far remote corner of the country.
It does not just act as a catalyst and solution provider to the direct consumer but also a great medium to sensitise other genders and generations which have hushed over women’s reproductive health for centuries.
In the post-pandemic world, the mental and physical health of women has undergone a major toll, being the bearer of family and trying to manage work-life balance has become even more difficult. The results are visible in hormonal imbalances, increased stress, anxiety, and depression cases. Women feel safer reaching out to judgement
-free healthcare solutions online rather than visiting traditional clinics where the approach is the same as it was 20 years ago.
The FemTech revolution in the healthcare industry is still in a nascent stage and will take time to be accepted in Tier-2 cities with fewer apprehensions but it is the dawn of the future.
Women are finding a supportive community via these technological mediums and a platform to grow and heal and restore balance in their lives. These developments promise a tomorrow where health tech will not just expand the female consumer-oriented business but also provide an opportunity for groundbreaking research and growth for sustainable women’s health.
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For an entrepreneur and a technologist like myself, the potential of Web3 bringing in a Hardware manufacturing and R&D revolution in India, feels like music to the ears. India has long been viewed as a cheaper alternative for software services, an industry largely responsible for creating millionaires and scores of ambitious tech entrepreneurs.
Now, with the Hitech Manufacturing facilities being set up in various states, including Mysore and Bangalore, it’s time the world takes notice of India for their high-end hardware needs.
India – The Potential
India is the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy in the world and the fifth-largest overall, with a nominal GDP of $2.94 trillion. India became the fifth-largest economy in 2019, overtaking the United Kingdom and France.
India is expected to overtake Germany to become fourth-largest economy in 2026 and Japan to become third largest in 2034, according to a recent report by the UK-based Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
The Indian Software services industry contributes 8% to the overall GDP currently (from 1.2% in 1998), and is among its largest contributors.
India is blessed with a demographic dividend – 60% of the 1.3Bn population being under 35 years of age. Compared to other Asian giants like China and Japan, India is in an extremely favorable position to chart out a growth trajectory for the 21st century, especially in tech sectors like Hitech Manufacturing, Semiconductors, Device Hardware etc.India has been striving to attract foreign investment across sectors and is steadily climbing up the ladder as far as ease of doing business is concerned, worldwide.
India is also the second largest mobile phone market in the world, next only to China.
The government is taking steps to boost local manufacturing through initiatives such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing, Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), and the scheme for modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC2.0). Recently, the announcement of India’s first semiconductor plant to be setup in Mysore at a cost of ₹22,900 crore ($3 billion), has ushered-in a new wave of focus on hardware across the nation.
The semiconductor plant is expected to generate 1,500 high-tech and high-caliber jobs, and about 10,000 ancillary jobs, according to K.S. Sudheer, General Manager, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), Mysore Cluster.
Opportunities in Hardware Development with Web3
As far as systems’ topology for Web3 is concerned, the visualization landscape is driven by VR/AR. For decades, VR has seemed like a futuristic dream that is just around the corner, but never reaches its full potential.
This time, however, might really be different. Recent advances in the power of VR hardware, notably the headsets and processors used to produce realistic VR experiences, suggest that VR is finally powerful enough and cheap enough to go mainstream.1 It, however, remains clunky and heavy leading to a cognitive loss of immersion for the user.
To add to it, multi-sensory experiences demand peripheral wearables like Haptic Gloves and suits, among others, further depleting the embodied cognition necessary for Web3 immersive experiences. In fact, one of the reasons for VR not being adopted mainstream is the weight and discomfort with the present HMDs (Head-Mounted Devices).
R&D Opportunities with Head-Mounted Devices
This is a great opportunity for India to shine with indigenous R&D that could not only look to reduce the size and increase the comfort of these HMDs but also price them so as to disrupt the global market.
In terms of XR devices, a beginning has been made with JioGlass (Tesseract) and AjnaLens but complete indigenous technology across the supply-chain is still undeveloped. Some of the areas for R&D include assessment of the underlying optics technology in HMDs. For example, a technique called polarization-based optical folding is a way to design lenses so light bounces in the right way to the human eye so on-screen images are displayed properly—but the light doesn’t need to physically travel as far as it does in traditional optics. That makes the space needed for VR optics smaller.
The other technique under consideration is holographic optics, an optics technology that “bends light like a lens but looks like a thin, transparent sticker”. Holographic optics replace glass or plastic lenses, making the resulting VR headset much lighter. In fact, these advances could make the VR headsets of tomorrow, with proposed designs less than 10mm in thickness. Meta is at the forefront of this research with large investments.2
Clearly, the stakes are high and so is the investment. It’s definitely a bus India cannot afford to miss. Timely interventions have already been initiated by the Govt.
Our innovative minds need to be brought together from multiple domains like Physics, Material Sciences, Nanotechnology, Neurosciences etc. across research institutes like IITs, IISc to help crack the pilot-prototype-fabrication-commercialization cycle.
R&D Opportunities with Multi-sensory Peripheral Devices
Today, research into multi-sensory experiences yields peripheral devices for each sensory experience – Gloves and Suits for Haptics (touch), scent-based devices (smell) and gustatory (taste) devices.
A person who wants to be immersed in the virtual world should have no cognition of the real world. In this case, however, the user is well aware of these devices clinging to him, thanks to their weight and design, thereby hampering the experience and the power of Web3, for the user.
The opportunity, therefore, is to look at an integrated multi-sensory device as well as BCI (Brain-Computer Interface) capabilities that can be leveraged to create a seamless, immersive experience for the user. It is noteworthy to mention that initial steps in this regard have been undertaken at various IITs, especially IIT Chennai (Haptics), IIT Jodhpur (Sensory Devices) and IIT Bhubaneswar.
A Defense-Academia-Industry collaborative setup would help accelerate targeted research into design and usage of such devices.
This has huge potential for India in terms of IP ownership, Manufacturing and Commercialization, on a global scale. The aesthetics and function of these devices are equally important. These devices should be disruptive and act as lifestyle products which could yield greater market access globally.
Some of you reading this article may have your own ideas/concepts. The need of the hour is to institutionalize hardware R&D for Web3 and execute it on mission-mode much like what India did with institutions like ISRO and BARC.
It’s time for the world to take note of India as a viable and necessary market and destination for hardware launches and cutting-edge research & development in hardware manufacturing and testing. India needs to set itself up and be laser-focused on the path of R&D, Aesthetics and Commercialization of indigenous hardware for Web3, to realize that leapfrog moment.
The healthcare industry is not yet ready for digitalization, but blockchain technology has the potential to transform how healthcare is delivered.
There are numerous potential blockchain applications in the healthcare industry, and it is critical to investigate all of them in order to fully realize the technology’s potential. However, let us discuss the TELEMEDICINE technology that has so far been used in the healthcare industry.
With the rise of telemedicine technology, more revolutionaries are turning to health tech to improve global health and well-being. Users can consult doctors and other medical professionals from the comfort of their own homes, thanks to telemedicine (be it in rural, remote, or urban areas). It has grown so quickly that everyone wants to have access to high-quality services.
Telemedicine has numerous advantages, including convenience, improved access to healthcare, quick response time, reduced workload on local medical personnel, and lower cost.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Convenience is one of telemedicine’s biggest advantages. Patients are no longer required to miss work or travel long distances to see a doctor. They can simply log into a telemedicine platform and have a doctor consult with them from the comfort of their own homes at a lower cost. This is advantageous to everyone, especially those living in rural areas where it is difficult to obtain quality healthcare at an affordable cost.
Patients can consult doctors and other medical professionals via telemedicine from anywhere in the world, at any time. This means that patients in rural areas will be able to access high-quality healthcare without having to travel long distances.
Telemedicine also saves time, money, travel expenses, and time away from work. Furthermore, telemedicine is frequently less expensive than in-person care. This is due to the fact that telemedicine platforms frequently have lower overhead costs than traditional healthcare practices.
In light of all of this, it is clear that telemedicine is a game-changing way to improve healthcare access and achieve global goal 3 for all. It is convenient and inexpensive, and it allows patients to consult qualified medical professionals from any location and at any time using their devices. Telemedicine is transforming the healthcare industry worldwide. Consider what blockchain and telemedicine can accomplish together. It would change how we get quality healthcare, keep health records, authenticate medications, and more.
Blockchain technology can be used to create a secure, decentralized platform for storing and sharing patient data. Streamline clinical trials, research initiatives, and the authenticity of pharmaceutical and medical supplies.
One potential application for blockchain is the secure storage and sharing of patient data. In the past, there has been news of patient data being stolen within individual healthcare organizations, making it difficult to share information between providers.
This has resulted in inefficiency in healthcare delivery and has put patients at risk when records are not properly handled and updated. Most developing countries now lack centralized, up-to-date, paperless medical information about their patients. This has made it difficult for organized bodies to obtain concise data or information about the state of health in some countries.
To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it is critical to find solutions that can help to address this issue, such as the use of blockchain as a means to save and protect users’ medical data.
Blockchain technology provides a decentralized system for storing and sharing patient data. This would enable the healthcare provider to obtain any information required at any time and from any location. It would also protect users’ data, which would only be accessible with the patient’s permission.
Furthermore, blockchain can aid in ensuring the authenticity of data collected during clinical trials and research. Clinical research data must be used to determine the efficacy of a new treatment.
Clinical trials are often complex and time-consuming to coordinate, but blockchain can help to streamline processes by providing a secure, decentralized platform where clinical trial data can be stored and shared.
The part that most leaders haven’t noticed is that blockchain can also help with medical supply chain authentication. Many counterfeit drugs have been sold on the black market, posing a serious threat to the public. Blockchain can aid in ensuring the authenticity of medical records.
By providing tracking technologies powered by smart contracts and nodes, blockchain can help to ensure the authenticity of medical products.
This would ensure that patients receive safe and effective medications while also assisting in the fight against the sale of counterfeit medications.
Building a solution that lasts longer is what inspired the creation of HellthGO, a healthcare adherence provider with the goal of providing quality healthcare services to all individuals at all levels.
HellthGO would be able to reach all parts of Africa with services such as telemedicine, where notable and qualified medical professionals would provide the best healthcare services to all.
HellthGO, in addition to telemedicine, is a social commerce platform where individuals and corporations can learn more about health care, first aid, cures, and healthcare adherence from renowned tutors, raising awareness about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and creating a safe and healthy world.
To make it easier for everyone to afford and access quality healthcare, HellthGO has decided to use blockchain technology to finance our users’ daily expenses and savings through a decentralized wallet that gives users total control over their funds while rewarding them for adhering to a health adherence plan.
This allows our users to transact in both fiat and cryptocurrency and connects them to the HellthGO transchain, where their data is secure and shared in a blockchain-powered decentralized ledger, also assess a comfortable lifestyle where HellthGO provide home delivery of medical product and services through our dispatch partners.
Speaking of other strategies, HellthGO, a health technology startup leveraging blockchain, has developed solutions that work and provide accessible healthcare through telemedicine and more technology built to reward patients for being healthcare compliant.
At least 400 million people have no basic healthcare and more than 1.6 billion people live in fragile settings where protracted crises, combined with a weak national capacity to deliver basic health services, present a significant challenge to global health (UNDP).
By digitalizing the healthcare industry using telemedicine and blockchain, we will be able to achieve good health and well-being for all by the year 2030.
This is the driving force behind HellthGo, the leading decentralized healthcare adherence solution working to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. That is, everyone has access to quality healthcare services, allowing for a reduction in mortality and morbidity rates in most African countries and improving access to healthcare for everyone, regardless of gender, age, religion, political affiliation, or geographical location, thereby increasing life expectancy.
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Every byte of data has a story to share. Important question is whether the story is being narrated accurately and securely. Usually, our focus is sharply on the trends around data with a goal of revenue acceleration, but we commonly forget about the vulnerabilities caused due to bad data management. Data possesses immense power, but immense power comes with increased responsibility. Just collecting, analysing and building prediction models is simply not enough in today’s world. Always keep in mind that we are in a generation where the requirements for data security have perhaps surpassed the need for data correctness. Hence today the need for Privacy by Design is greater than ever.
“Privacy by Design” and “Privacy by Default” have been frequently discussed topics related to data protection. The first thoughts of “Privacy by Design” were expressed in the 1970s and were incorporated in the 1990s into the RL 95/46/EC data protection directive. Privacy by design is an approach to systems engineering that seeks to ensure protection for the privacy of individuals by integrating considerations of privacy issues from the very beginning of the development of products, services, business practices, and physical infrastructures. The adoption of security and privacy principles is a crucial step in building a secure, audit-ready program.
Privacy by Design is based on following 7 principles:
Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial – Privacy by Design comes before-the-fact, not after.
Privacy as the Default Setting – it is built into the system, by default.
Privacy by Design is embedded into the design and architecture of IT systems and business practices
Privacy by Design seeks to accommodate all legitimate interests and objectives in a positive-sum “win-win” manner not Zero-Sum
End-to-End Security — Full Life-cycle Protection
Visibility and Transparency — Privacy by Design seeks to assure all stakeholders that whatever the business practice or technology involved, it is in fact, operating according to the stated promises and objectives
Respect for User Privacy — Keep it User-Centric.
Privacy by Design in Health Data Management Policy by ABDM
Consider data protection requirements as part of the design and implementation of systems, services, products, and business practices. The federated design of the National Digital Health Ecosystem ensures that no personal data other than what is required at a minimum to create and maintain Health IDs, Facility IDs or Health Professional IDs shall be stored centrally. Electronic medical records shall be stored at the health facility where such records are created, or at such other entities as may be specified by Policy. Electronic health records shall be maintained by entities specified by Policy, as a collection of links to the related medical records. ABDM shall issue appropriate technological and operational guidelines providing for the establishment and maintenance of the federated architecture, for ensuring the security and privacy of the personal data of data principals, and for maintenance of electronic medical records and electronic health records.
Clear and easily accessible statements of its practices and policies.
Type of personal or sensitive personal data collected.
The purpose of collection and usage of such personal or sensitive personal data.
Whether personal or sensitive personal data is being shared with other data fiduciaries or data processors.
Reasonable security practices and procedures used by the data fiduciary to safeguard the personal or sensitive personal data that is being processed.
The managerial, organisational, business practices and technical systems designed to anticipate, identify and avoid harm to the data principal.
The obligations of data fiduciaries.
The technology used in the processing of personal data, in accordance with commercially accepted or certified standards.
The protection of privacy throughout processing from the point of collection to deletion of personal data.
The processing of personal data in a transparent manner and
The fact that the interest of the data principal is accounted for at every stage of processing of personal data.
Article by Sujeet Katiyar
Digital Health । Rural Healthcare । Regulatory Compliance । ABDM, HIPAA, GDPR, Data Security & Privacy Professional as Consultant, Start-up Founder, Director with 23 years in Web & Mobile Technology with AI, ML, Blockchain
“We used to travel several kilometres for basic medical facilities, and many times lost precious time at work and our wages but this medical Van which comes to our village now has proved to be a boon,” says Damyanti Devi as she deftly embroiders beautiful patterns on a shawl she is working on at the cottage industry she works.
“My husband had undiagnosed diabetes which was posing many health issues for him making him miss work, making it difficult for us to make ends meet”, adds Veena who works at the same place, “The doctors who talks through the ‘Television’ at the van in consultation with Para-medical staff on the van which reports the vitals to the doctor and explains the medicine & treatment to the patients, not only diagnosed it but have also treated it effectively and now he is leading a normal life and goes to work regularly”.
This is a heart whelming story of many in these rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Set in the interiors of the region, the villagers had to travel long distances to avail themselves of medical care. But the mobile medical Van by O-health, fully equipped with telemedicine facilities has changed the lives of people in these remote villages.
Changing Lives and Landscapes
Srinath, a construction worker who hails from Bihar, is working in the Kathua district of J&K, beams at us when we asked him about what he thinks about the facility. He has just finished his teleconsultation with a specialist in Delhi. He says he was suffering from fatigue and restlessness for many months but after this ‘Doctor Wali Van’ (Van with Doctor) started coming, his BP was diagnosed, and he is now well with regular medication and checkups. He says that with this Van people can avail affordable health care almost at their doorstep.
The telemedicine service provides the facility of Tele-Consultation with India’s Topqualified doctors and specialists who provide evidence-based care and boasts of having done over 8000 consultations till date. The state-of-the-art telemedicine facility by O-health has the facility to conduct clinical tests and supply medicines to people who are living in remote areas.
The Man Behind the Mission
Visioned and conceptualised by Arunoday Singh, a Biomedical Engineer with an MBA and MSc in Health Economics from theLondon School of Economics, O-Health is born out of Arunoday’s vision to bring accessible and affordable quality healthcare to rural India and take the best of medical facilities to the patients at the farthest of villages, in J&K, some of which are merely 01 km from Indo-Pak border, with Pak army posts clearly visible from camp sites.
Arunoday Singh has strived to serve the rural population of the country in a way that could bring a major positive change in their lives. Thus, in the process of striving to provide universal access to primary healthcare, he came up with the idea of this telemedicine Van, equipped with the best of diagnostic, pharma and speciality care which has now fast become the ‘Saviour’ for the rural population in these remote villages of the region.
“There is no denying that, unlike in olden times, there is much better road connectivity to rural areas these days but still these places continue to face the paucity and lack of good medical facilities and doctors at par with towns and cities. Most doctors wish to set up their practices in bigger towns and cities after having dedicated many years of their lives studying, but many of them also wish to serve the marginalized section of the society in some way” Arunoday said. “With the fast improving internet connectivity in the villages, digital healthcare can really make a powerful change in the healthcare landscape of rural India”, he added.
This telemedicine facility on wheels allows O-Health access to the patients in the far-flung rural areas, without having to compromise their careers.
“The main motive of the project is to extend healthcare facilities to the needy at their doorstep,” says the staff we met in the van, which is like a mini-hospital on wheels with all the facilities of a good clinic put together comprehensively.
The Challenge and the Solution
Rural patients are seen to be somewhat averse to new technologies, especially in healthcare, due to some of the reasons – paucity of awareness and knowledge aboutthe technology, lack of trust on the individuals running the services and inefficient ways of care delivery leading to ineffective treatment outcomes. “It is critical to send an accurate patient parameter feedback to the remote doctor for a correct diagnosis, otherwise the treatment remains incomplete and hence, leaves the patient ill. We use high fidelity digital health devices like digital stethoscope, digital otoscope, digital derma-scope, etc to capture the parameters and images, to be shared with the specialist for accurate diagnosis leading to an effective treatment. When patients start feeling better after consultation, their level of trust on the technology shoots up”, said Arunoday.
Wheels of Change
Soon, O-Health also aims to setup a larger mobile van to cater to other remote areas with even more health services as well as plans to pilot a static clinic to position itself as a permanent care giver in the region. The service is fast becoming popular as lack of access to affordable and quality medical care is a huge challenge in rural India. This innovative Medicine Facility provides people of remote regions with easy access to quality health services and has worked towards improving the general health of the population in the area as patients can now avail regular diagnostic check-ups. It has also changed their perspective towards their health and well being, making them aware of the value of timely action and lifestyle changes when it comes to their health.
Committed to bringing a change where it matters, in the area of rural health, the wheels of O-Health move ahead with a conviction to bring a change in the area of the health sector in rural Jammu and Kashmir and there is no stopping them!
The landscape of the region seemed buoyant with health and hope when we visited it and people brimmed with a promise of newer, healthier horizons!
Currently, the service is completely free as it has been fully funded by a Public Sector Enterprise. We have examined over 8000 patients for free till date.
The need for digital literacy in a country as populous and diverse as India is critical.The gap between limited availability of resources as against vast requirement could be addressed by use of technology. Technology can provide effective ways to scale up solutions and bridge the gaps. The technology and connectivity together can make a huge difference to the socio-economic levels of a community, and ultimately, the country, true progress comes from inclusive growth.
The Government of India has launched ‘Digital India’ – A programme to transform India into digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. The Digital India programme envisages to ensure that Government services are available to citizens electronically. Under the ‘e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services’, one of the initiatives includes ‘Technology for Education – e-Education’ under which ‘Universal Digital Literacy’ at the National level is envisaged.
I would like to share the experience gained in implementation of a successful Digital Literacy programme across India, led by CSC.
THE NEED FOR DIGITAL LITEREACY IN INDIA
The technology and connectivity could be utilized effectively for delivery of education, healthcare, citizen services, financial services etc. The true potential for these aspects can only be realized if all the citizens are made digitally literate.
The key is to have sustained efforts by harnessing collective energies, strengthening partnerships and leveraging them to pull down the divisive digital wall.
Digital literacy is therefore a key component of the Government’s vision of building an empowered society as envisaged under “Digital India initiative”. Spinoff effects of digital literacy especially in the context of rural India would address a number of socio-economic issues.
Rural population can gain immensely from the ‘Digital Literacy’.
‘Digital Literacy’ would bring the benefits of ICT to daily lives of rural population in the major thrust areas of Healthcare, Livelihood generation and Education.
DIGITAL LITERACY GAP
As per Census of India 2011, 68.84 % (883 Mn) of population resides in rural India. The number of rural households is 168 million. 5.2% of these rural households possess a computer.
Computer Literacy (who can operate a computer) by age group in rural India:
14-29 years – 18%
30-45 years – 4%
46-60 years – 1%
In addition, a significant number of these households don’t have computer access and are likely to be digitally illiterate.
IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL LITERACY
The implementation of the PMGDISHA Scheme is being carried out by the CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd. (CSC-SPV) which acts as the Programme Management Unit (PMU). More than 250,000 Training Centres have been empaneled under PMGDISHA to provide enrollment/training to the candidates. The Training Centres are spread across the country and are participating in achieving the goal of making India digitally literate.
In the years 2014 to 2016, two Schemes entitled “National Digital Literacy Mission” (NDLM) and “Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (DISHA) were implemented with certification of 5.4 million candidates, out of which around 42% candidates were from rural India.
In February, 2017, the Government approved a scheme titled “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (PMGDISHA) for ushering in digital literacy in rural India by covering 60 Million households.
Far too much illness and uncertainty, and far too many disruptions have characterised the Covid-19 pandemic. With the onset of new waves of infection and emergence of variants, we are confronted with the same question repeatedly – what’s the future of ‘brick & mortar’ healthcare delivery system, and how will we ensure the resilience of healthcare systems?
Each time we have been hit by a new wave or by reinfections, there has been a pause on visits to hospitals, elective surgeries get postponed and even routine vaccination schedules get thrown out of the window. All steps and interventions towards preventive healthcare or chronic disease management are first to be displaced or put on a backburner.
The only silver lining in all this, is the seamless healthcare provided through digital healthcare tools. The pandemic has compressed digital transformation timelines in healthcare to 6-12 months, from earlier estimated 4-5 years.
India has emerged as one of the biggest adopters of digital healthcare– nearly 80 % rise in consumption of digital healthcare services after Covid-19. Aarogya Setu & Cowin have achieved global recognition for contact tracing and streamlining digitalized vaccination processes for our 1.3 billion population. Start-ups and innovations that emerged during the pandemic, be it personal wearables, 24*7 tele-medicine, robotics and 3D printing, or process automations, AI(Artificial Intelligence) & ML(Machine Learning) based predictive tools, all have put digital on a fast track and are transforming healthcare like never before.
There is no turning back, as digital healthcare has improved healthcare outcomes, processes and is building more equity. Covid-19 has given us a moment to rethink healthcare in ways that will help us reach those whose needs and access issues were not being catered to earlier. India’s 900 mn active internet users by 2025, rising tele-density and increasing smartphone base, augurs well for digital healthcare apps and tools. This in turn should lead to more value based, equitable healthcare.
Here is an illustration on how value-based care will get a boost through digital health care modules. India has approx. 77mn people, who are diagnosed with diabetes. This has made India, the diabetes capital of the world. Usually the focus is on episodic acre and it is the patient who visits the doctor with an issue. Digital healthcare is transforming these mechanics and design of healthcare delivery. Diabetes focused apps can connect patients with doctors, give them regular reminders for medicine compliance, updates such as dietary or exercise counselling, at low cost and across geographies. This implementation of continuum of enhances patient experience and standardises outcomes, cost of care, and treatment delivery through a collaborative chain of activities.
This is particularly beneficial to those living in remote or rural parts of our country, where the doctor-patient ratio is dismally low- often just one doctor per 25,000 population. It is estimated that innovative healthcare solutions like tele-medicine could save India between USD 4-5 bn every year, replace half of in-person outpatient consultations, and reduce the cost by 30% less than equivalent in-person visits. Reduced waiting time, on-demand doctor availability, no infection risks, EMRs availability, have all increased the demand for digital health.
Digital apart from strengthening the iron triangle of cost, quality & access, will go a long way in streamlining the supply side- reduced administrative burden on providers, real time updated registries & repositories of doctors and other healthcare workers, availability of full medical history of the patient to consulting doctors, and better time management for doctors who can spend more time on patients. In the not-so-distant future, a software platform could emerge as the biggest provider of healthcare, creating a smart bed less hospital just as Airbnb has emerged as the biggest hotel chain without owning any rooms.
However, for the future of healthcare to be successfully anchored in omni, we need to bridge the digital divide. For instance, 47% of global population is not using the internet, & the cost of available broadband exceeds affordability targets in 50% of developed countries. Similarly, in lower income economies, only 32% of population has basic digital skills.
We need to address these underlying issues of lack of skills, connectivity, affordability and accessibility. Multi-stakeholder participation is the way out, along with upskilling healthcare professionals in digital tools, sustaining investments, and providing conducive policy support. Initiatives such as the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) are timely and will provide necessary support for integration of digital health infrastructure in the country.
What stands out most in digital health ecosystem, is that it empowers the patient, who can now make informed decisions about treatments basis medical history, lifestyle preferences and other factors. It offers immense opportunities to integrate continuum of care with insurance and pharma, and thus reduce drops offs in patients’ funnels from diagnosis to treatment. Providing digital health access and tools to all could go a long way in accelerating our mission towards achieving Universal Health Care, that leaves no one behind.