Opinion

Healthcare: Technology can solve India’s healthcare crises

Healthcare: Technology can solve India’s healthcare crises

By : Dr. Shameer Khader

Leveraging technology is the key to improving healthcare delivery, accessibility and outcomes in India. Building a digital health infrastructure and compiling a nation-wide electronic medical record system and big data resource of healthcare delivery would help to understand the factors driving the value across high volume patient population. 

Storytelling: How to tell compelling stories about health issues

Storytelling: How to tell compelling stories about health issues

By : Sam Berkhead

From outbreaks like Zika & Ebola viruses to long-term health effects of pollution,health journalists tackle a wide array of stories.Priyanka Vora, winner of 2014 Johnson & Johnson Global Health Reporting Contest & Mini Thomas,2015 winner aren’t strangers to these topics.In their home country-India, they regularly cover issues like diseases, maternal & child health.


India need to deal with its e-waste problem

India need to deal with its e-waste problem

By : Dr. Ipsita Bhattacharjee

India is not only one of the largest waste generators; it is also one of the biggest waste importing countries in the world. Annual generation of unwanted products such as computers, phones, TVs & refrigerators far outstrips the ability to collect and recycle it. Today among the top ten cities generating ​e-Waste, Mumbai ranks first followed by Delhi and Bengaluru.

Salt and health: Take it with a pinch of salt

Salt and health: Take it with a pinch of salt

By : Claire Johnson

Indians are consuming more than double the recommended amount of salt. This hidden salt is killing hundreds of thousands every year in India.  To save lives, India has committed to reduce dietary salt intake by 30% by 2025. There is a need to develop an evidence based programme for a national salt reduction.

What lies ahead for health-trends in 2017?

What lies ahead for health-trends in 2017?

By : Jisha Krishnan

From foreign investments in healthcare sector to alternative systems of medicine to mental health issues. Also, 2017 will be a year of enhanced technological innovations in healthcare sector as artificial intelligence and mobile technology make their way to medicine. 

Budget 2017: 10 healthcare takeaways

Budget 2017: 10 healthcare takeaways

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

Health is a state subject in India. Every state is responsible to provide healthcare services to the people. To supplement the efforts of states, central government provides financial support. This year the ​central ​government has allocated Rs 47,353 crore for health.  We take a look at big measures that were part of the union budget.

Empowering ingenuity for improved healthcare

Empowering ingenuity for improved healthcare

By : Devmalya Sarkar

The HITLAB World Cup challenges entrepreneurs and innovators to submit breakthrough ideas for improving healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes through technology. It is a platform for young health innovators and will provide an to access the local innovation ecosystem. 

The burden of air pollution

The burden of air pollution

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

Global air pollution-related healthcare costs are projected to increase from $21 billion (using constant 2010 dollar and PPP exchange rates) in 2015 to $176 billion in 2060. In India as well, the effects of air pollution are crippling economy and are putting our long-term well-being and productivity in serious jeopardy.

Collecting data, the Karnataka way

Collecting data, the Karnataka way

By : Jisha Krishnan

Karnataka has many firsts to its credit in data collection including that it is the first state in India to capture health data by computerising all records of the health departments – right from the primary healthcare centre to the state level. Yet the state faces innumerable problems to collect health data.

What Gets Measured Gets Done

What Gets Measured Gets Done

By : Oommen C. Kurian

In India, rates of infant mortality have been falling. The latest official data shows India’s Infant Mortality Rate has come down to 37. That is still high by international standards, but markedly better than the rate of 60 in 2003. Overcoming data challenges to track health and nutrition targets can help to save more babies.

Uncovering the rising kidney failure deaths

Uncovering the rising kidney failure deaths

By : Dr Vivekanand Jha

In India, deaths due to renal failure constituted 2.9% of all deaths in 2010–13 among 15–69-year-olds, an increase of 50% from 2001–03. Diabetes being the largest contributor to renal failure deaths. Data provide strong evidence of the rising contribution of kidney failure to premature deaths in India.

Data Tools for Healthcare reporting

Data Tools for Healthcare reporting

By : Surbhi Kaul

It is no secret that data tools can help journalists immensely in crafting stories from raw data. A good visualisation not only earns more readers but creates a lasting impact on readers's mind. Here are some hands-on tools which can help health journalists tell better stories through data visualisation.

What is the biggest threat to global health?

What is the biggest threat to global health?

By : Nabeela Khan

Are emerging epidemics the biggest threat to global health or it is the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases or antimicrobial resistance? Are climate change consequences the biggest underreported issues? Six candidates who want to run WHO share their vision & what they consider the biggest health threat?

And India's best hospital is…

And India's best hospital is…

By : Jisha Krishnan

Hospital surveys are known only to the bigger players leaving little chance of that neighbourhood clinic with an impeccable medical record making it to the coveted list. Usually survey is done in metros & bigger cities. This leaves us with a lot of questions and room for doubt about how hospitals are ranked in India. 

India’s new healthcare policy

India’s new healthcare policy

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

The government of India is working on a new national health policy. Health will not become a fundamental right. That is a major departure. But the govt is embarking on an ambitious plan to revamp the health sector with staged reforms to help create a health system in-tune with the 21st century needs of India. 

Suicide, the hidden epidemic

Suicide, the hidden epidemic

By : Dr Mudasir Firdosi

Proper record keeping and effective data can help reduce the number of suicides. But India lags far behind when it comes to exact figures of suicide deaths. The NCRB data over the past has been much criticised for providing inaccurate numbers on suicides in India. This in turn hide the real toll of mental health.

 

 

Health emergency in India's capital

Health emergency in India's capital

By : Nabeela Khan

Delhi has shut down schools, halted construction & closed a coal-fired power plant as Delhi is engulfed by toxic air pollution. But the measures taken by the government are too little, too late. Many of the problems that turn Delhi’s air so toxic continue unabated.

Food safety: not yum

Food safety: not yum

By : Manpreet Kaur Singh, Shamsher Kainth

Two Indian-Australian journalists, Manpreet Kaur Singh and Shamsher Kainth, carried out an investigation that reveals that several food items available in Australia and imported from India are “unfit for human consumption”. 

An app a day…

An app a day…

By : Jisha Krishnan

Widespread adoption and growing popularity of mobile technology in healthcare, or mHealth, is viewed as inevitable by more than half of the doctors and healthcare payers in developed and emerging markets around the world, including 60 per cent in India. 

India's insurance divide

India's insurance divide

By : Oommen C. Kurian

Over 30 million health insurance claims were made in India in 2014, as per latest official data. Of these, nearly 8% did not have gender-related information. For the rest, the data shows three alarming findings including that 70% of claims honoured were those of males.

From HuffPost to Health

From HuffPost to Health

By : Nabeela Khan

Why America’s celebrated editor who co-founded and built the Huffington Post into one of the Web’s most prominent liberal media giants, left the Post to focus on health-and-wellness startup. She says her mission now is to end “the collective delusion that burnout is a necessary price for success.”

How India should deal with low organ donation?

How India should deal with low organ donation?

By : Dr Vivekanand Jha

Data from Tamil Nadu shows that 100% of the 603 kidneys and the 268 livers retrieved from deceased donors went to Indian citizens, only about 75% of the 34 hearts were transplanted into Indian Nationals, with the rest going to foreigners. Prevalance of commercial transplants worsen the situation.

The oral contraceptive pill problem

The oral contraceptive pill problem

By : Jisha Krishnan

Official data shows that number of Indian women using the oral contraceptive pill has declined over the last decade. 10 out of 18 states and union territories surveyed showed a decrease in the use of contraceptive pills.  And in Delhi and Kerala, there is no data available about the use of the pill.

How chikungunya has grappled India

How chikungunya has grappled India

By : Nabeela Khan

WHO has criticised the system of data collection in India and has said that the figures by the government does not reflect the true picture of about Chikungunya cases in the country. Official data is contradictory and shows that states like Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have no Chikungunya cases.

What can be done to boost doctors’ numbers?

What can be done to boost doctors’ numbers?

By : Isobel Leybold-Johnson

Indeed, with 4.0 doctors per 1,000 of the population, Switzerland comes in at 7th on the OECD listings for 2013 (neighbour Austria heads the rankings at 5.0). This puts it on a par with Germany and France - and it far outstrips the Anglo-American world in this respect.

What does Karnataka's health data reveal

What does Karnataka's health data reveal

By : Dr. Malatesh Undi

Karnataka is performing better in many health related indicators. But the state is facing a major challenge in healthcare data collection and supervision. A lot of healthcare data is missing or under-reported because of sluggishness  and incomplete reporting formats. And worse, the private sector doesn’t share data.

Why India needs to do more to combat TB

Why India needs to do more to combat TB

By : Dr. Madhukar Pai

Two unique studies, published in The Lancet, highlight the critical importance of engaging India’s massive private sector for improving TB care and control in India. Here is a brief excerpt from the research on why India need to invest more in TB control and take the lead in ending the epidemic.

In Pakistan, a new data initiative

In Pakistan, a new data initiative

By : Dr. Shehryar Khan Toru

Healthcare in Pakistan is facing its own challenges. That includes poor health data collection and storage.  The country’s health information system does not produce the quality data required for planning. A think tank is trying to make a difference by sharing data on health.

Why is AAP unhappy with private hospitals

Why is AAP unhappy with private hospitals

By : Nabeela Khan

Good and accessible healthcare was one of the key poll agendas of the Aam Aadmi Party. It is now opening over 1,000 neighbourhood clinics to improve basic healthcare facilities in the national capital. And it wants to improve accountability and transparency in providing treatment to people.

How medical education reforms can help doctors

How medical education reforms can help doctors

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

India’s medical education is facing multiple challenges. There are issues with the quality of medical education and regulation. A better education system calls for more than money. That is part of the reason why the Union Health Ministry has embarked on an ambitious project to reform medical education in India.

Bringing sustainable healthcare to Delhi

Bringing sustainable healthcare to Delhi

By : Satyendar Jain

Currently, about one lakh patients visit in OPDs (outpatient department) of Delhi government hospitals in a day and there is no system to get any idea of the patients or diseases. So, we are computerising the healthcare system in Delhi, starting from Mohalla Clinics. 

When PM Modi spoke about antibiotic resistance

When PM Modi spoke about antibiotic resistance

By : Narendra Modi

How to combat the dangerous rise of antibiotic resistance?PM Narendra Modi made a rare personal appeal & urged people not to take antibiotics without prescription. In his radio programme Mann Ki Baat, he said people must take the rise in resistance to antibiotics seriously.

Joint medical research – way ahead for Indo-Pak

Joint medical research – way ahead for Indo-Pak

By : Dr. Javed Akram

We require data & collaborative studies involving both countries. These studies can be prevalence, observational & interventional. I propose a platform where research on medical issues can be performed so that we share data & have joint medical training programmes.

Million dollar to fight antibiotic resistance

Million dollar to fight antibiotic resistance

By : Nadeem Akhtar

How to combat the dangerous rise of antibiotic resistance. In a worldwide effort to defeat antibiotic resistance, UK asks Indian innovators to participate in Longitude Prize. The prize is a challenge with a £10 million (88 Crore) prize fund to help solve the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

Pellet injuries - terrible fallout

Pellet injuries - terrible fallout

By : Dr Mudasir Firdosi

Most pellet victims come from a poor background, since good treatment of pellet eye injury is not available locally, they cannot afford to travel outside the state for specialised treatment. Such victims of the brutal blinding violence are likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder, depression & anxiety disorders.

Why so many pellet injuries

Why so many pellet injuries

By : Nabeela Khan

Government said that it will form panel to review pellet gun use to tackle crowd. These pellets, which are presently categorised under “non-lethal” weapons, have caused serious injuries to protesters and others, & sometimes even killed them. Kashmir is struggling to deal with the widespread eye injuries.

India’s burden of new HIV cases

India’s burden of new HIV cases

By : Aarti Dhar

People living with HIV/AIDS has been steadily increasing across the world and reached 388 lakh in 2015,but HIV/AIDS mortality has been declining over the years from 18 lakh deaths to in 2005 to 12 lakh deaths in 2015, according to a study published in the Lancet journal. 

 

Drug-resistant TB key to antimicrobial resistance?

 Drug-resistant TB key to antimicrobial resistance?

By : Dr. Madhukar Pai

Drug resistance surveillance data show that an estimated 480,000 people developed MDR-TB in 2014 and 190,000 people died. A major reason behind poor TB control is the fact that TB is a low priority for many developing countries. Unfortunately, high TB burden countries are yet to seriously address the problem. 

 

 

Healthcare crisis in Pakistan

Healthcare crisis in Pakistan

By : Sara Malkani

Indifference of Pakistan’s government to health is reflected in the fact Pakistan spends only 0.9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product on health. The country must not accept the state of health as inevitable since this mindset only encourages government complacency and indifference. 

Physical symptoms of psychological distress

Physical symptoms of psychological distress

By : MSF India

Jammu and Kashmir has been afflicted by years of conflict and therefore mental health issues are rampant in the valley. Number of people suffering from mental health issues are increasing. Therefore understanding mental health is essential to overcome the stigma associated with it.