Information Technology making inroads in the Health Sector
Released on: March 3, 2008, 12:12 am
Press Release Author: HOSMAC Foundation
Press Release Summary: A day long conference organised by HOSMAC Foundation in partnership with GTZ, India and IL&FS, Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited brought together experts and policy makers to focus on making healthcare services accessible to India's population
Press Release Body: IT in Health has far reaching results. HOSMAC Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, focused on the healthcare sector, last week brought together a group of eminent domain experts and policy-makers to discuss the 'Emerging Role of Information Technology in Healthcare' at a conference in the capital. It also instituted an oration in Honour of Sir Joseph Bhore. Aimed at highlighting the need for integrating IT with Healthcare, the HOSMAC Foundation Conference emphasised the imperative need for innovative assimilation of IT through applications such as Telemedicine, Health Information Management Systems (HMIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) to maximise the reach of healthcare services in India. Also to charter a way forward for practicing IT in Healthcare and look beyond IT's role in administrative management.
The conference was inaugurated by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, M.P. and Chairman MSSRF. During his speech he emphasised the need for latest IT technologies in healthcare sector that are available to the urban population to be made accessible to the rural areas of India as well. He said, "The Government is committed to expanding rural connectivity through a slew of measures so that rural users can access information of value and transact business. This will include connecting block headquarters with fiber optic network, using wireless technology to achieve last mile connectivity and operating information kiosks through a partnership of citizens, panchayats, civil society organizations, the private sector and Government." He expressed a need for similar initiatives to be made available to Rural India in the field of health information technology as well.
Speakers who addressed the Conference were experts like Mr. L S Satyamurthy of the Indian Space Research Organisation, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala from IIT (Chennai), Dr. Sundeep Sahay from National Health Systems Resource Centre, Mr. K.K. Panchal from the Government of Gujarat, Dr. S. Sabesan from Indian Council of Medical Research and Mr. Vishawajeet Ringe from National Informatics Centre. The sessions were moderated by Dr. T. Sundararaman of the National Health Systems Resource Centre, Dr. S.K. Das from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Mr. Rajeev Pradhan from HOSMAC India Pvt. Ltd.
The Conference focused, among related subjects, on the effectiveness of Telemedicine for 'Delivery of Healthcare Systems to the rural and Remote Populations of India', on leveraging Information and Communication Technology for 'Providing Healthcare to Rural India in an Affordable Manner', using GIS mapping for 'Integrated Disease Vector Surveillance'.
Dr. Vivek Desai, Managing Trustee of HOSMAC Foundation felt that "This conference is a platform where industry experts congregate to address the dismal state of expenditure and coverage if IT in Public Health System in India and look at possible solutions".
India would also need to adapt and upscale innovations that take place in the Health sector and look at larger outreach to promote better health practices, disseminate information, provide solution exchanges, professional support, in short a clarion call to invest on IT for better healthcare systems to make the world a better place to live in.
The panel discussion at the end of the day had Dr. J.P. Steinmann from GTZ Health Sector Support aptly concluding by saying that "we need to see IT as an effective tool that will add momentum to the healthcare delivery system and bridge the gap between the supply of services and its demand, that is, requirement of the people."
About HOSMAC Foundation HOSMAC Foundation is a not-for-profit trust set up in 2005 with the vision to bring about "An equitable and sustainable society where people live in dignity with good health and in harmony". The Foundation is an affiliate of HOSMAC India Pvt. Ltd., which is a pioneering name in the field of Healthcare Planning & Management consultancy in the country. The Foundation strives towards improvement in development indicators. The focus areas of work include health, education and environment. HOSMAC Foundation is also venturing into new areas of livelihood systems, adaptability, water and more developmental projects which are in concurrence with the Foundation's larger vision of empowering the community and valuing life.
Web Site: http://www.hosmacfoundation.org
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