Networking for Smart City and Smart Health

The Smart City mission, a part of the Urban Rejuvenation initiative by the Government of India, is a step towards leveraging technology to create smart solutions to make our cities efficient and sustainable. This concept includes smart governance, education, and healthcare along with smart buildings, infrastructure and energy. The rise of digital India and the government’s ongoing initiatives towards digitisation have taken this concept from dream to a reality. Considering that the success ratio of any city is directly proportional to the health of its people, can the smart city and smart health concepts remain mutually exclusive?

Nilesh Vyas, a US-based technologist, has a long experience in healthcare systems and solutions. He is the founder of MARS Plus, a fully-integrated healthcare platform. “This digital age compels us to explore opportunities for doing things better. An integrated ecosystem for smart health is a strong push in making healthcare better, more organised and accessible for all,” he shares. He further gives a lowdown on the same.

According to him, new and emerging technologies in healthcare are driving the consumerisation of healthcare. The smart health ecosystem, much like the smart city concept, aims to leverage technologies to bring about healthcare transformation. This concept gives healthcare providers the option to leverage technologies to create a healthcare system that is more efficient, organised and resilient, thus helping them become more patientcentric by connecting the dots in our existing healthcare structure.

However, in order to reap the benefits of the ‘smart’ concept, what we need is a completely connected and integrated ecosystem that removes the silos that impede growth.

A connected healthcare system, much like the Smart City concept, leverages data to improve efficiencies. Whether it is to improve doctor-patient interactions, improve process efficiencies, or improve healthcare management, data is where we must look. However, when data is stored in siloes, it becomes hard to access and process. An integrated ecosystem takes care of this challenge and makes sure that the users and providers have anywhere, anytime access to all health-related data to facilitate better decision-making. An integrated platform that offers OPD, and IPD management, EHR/ EMR management, finance management, electronic medi-claim supplemented with data analytics helps in eliminating performance inhibitors in the hospital environment.

Such an integrated ecosystem works towards connecting all the stakeholders of healthcare on one platform to facilitate information exchange. This means the patient, the doctors, and the ancillary healthcare branches such as pharmacy both inside the hospital and outside, and labs are also connected seamlessly using a central network. Patient care, thus, becomes infinitely easier with greater access and management of health data for all stakeholders.

The data generated from smart health initiatives can be used to further public health initiatives. Identifying public health problems, assessing risks of pandemics and epidemics, facilitating better decision-making and proactive care become easier and efficient with the help of data.

Such systems can also help in better disease management by enabling better pre and post-operative care. Chronic health diseases management can become easier using mHealth. This helps in reducing hospital readmission rates. Additionally, this variety of data is a goldmine for aiding preventive medicine along with aiding research.

This article originally appeared in Times of India

Savetime CEO tells Lighthouse Insights how a simple idea is helping thousands of patients, docs connect online

Mitesh Bohra, Co-founder and CEO
Mitesh Bohra, Co-founder and CEO

From a dream that three entrepreneurs shared at a park in Andheri to an algorithm that was too complex to cut it, to the great Indian reality check that led the trio to answer the fundamental question that besets Indian healthcare, Savetime.com’s journey has been an engaging one.On March 11, social media news website Lighthouse Insights met with Mitesh Bohra, co-founder and CEO of Savetime to understand how the Internet has changed the way we look at every aspect of our lives.

In the interview, he talks about how Savetime simplified the decision-making process of a patient as far as choosing the right doctor or hospital is concerned. This journey not only involved technical troubleshooting that creating such a vast platform presents, but also understanding the phenomenon of migration (1 in 3 Indians is a migrant!) within the country and, finally, answering that one simple question: “Which doctor should I visit?”

This ostensibly simple question threw up some interesting challenges. For instance, was it enough to find a doctor? As Mitesh explained, for a web platform to actually affect life in a positive, substantial and cohesive manner, it was not enough to be just another online directory.

Savetime had to go deeper into the problem that people actually face. After a dedicated survey in Pune and Indore, the picture got clearer and led to Savetime.com as it is today: a large community of patients and doctors.

Mitesh also told Lighthouse how Savetime spent many hours on the field talking to doctors, and understanding how the health eco-system functions. These field excursions answered an interesting question: It wasn’t just about finding a doctor, but also about helping the patient make an informed decision. And that is how the patient review system came about – a powerful tool in the hand of the consumer. This system today answers the most basic question: Did you feel better after visiting the doctor you chose? Was the experience pleasant?

As Mitesh further explained, doctors are also appreciating the value addition that Savetime is making to patients’ lives directly. Many doctors are happy that they can now connect with the patient community online with the tools that Savetime.com offers. And Savetime is helping them do this in an ethical manner, using various tools like social media, patient outreach, and so on.

Today Savetime is an online community comprising over 4,300 doctors and 7,000 patients in just about a year. And this mutually beneficial connection is growing at a phenomenal rate. The reason for it is that Savetime is about something that we deeply care for: our health.

To get a detailed account of Savetime’s journey and how it is pioneering change on the healthcare map, check out this two-video interview series at Lighthouse Insights:

Mitesh Bohra, co-founder, Savetime talks to Lighthouse Insights

Lighthouse Insights video part 2

NASSCOM chooses Savetime among top 5 companies of Pune

On March 5, Savetime saw yet another proud moment when NASSCOM declared the top five emerging companies of Pune at its event, ‘NASSCOM Product Conclave’ held at Hotel Westin in Pune. The event, largely attended by Pune-based companies, had a panel of jury comprising successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, representatives from NASSCOM, TiE and large corporate houses.

The participating companies were asked to do a presentation for the jury. The pitches, meant for the jury, went all day long till 4:00 p.m. The jury finally declared the top five companies at 5:00 p.m for showcasing at the main stage. Product-centric innovation and real solutions for pain-points were among the top criteria in choosing these companies. Apart from Savetime Technologies, the other companies chosen were:

A)    Ascent Informatics: SaaS service for monitoring industrial devices in real time.

B)    kPoint Tech: Cloud-based video creation and sharing platform.

C)    Qualitia: Selenium-based test automation platform that doesn’t require scripts.

D)    ANTfarm Robotics: Product that helps consumers control their electrical appliances at home using their mobile phones.

Savetime has over 4,300 doctors in Pune listed on its platform. The platform provides accurate and comprehensive information collected directly from the doctors and genuine patient reviews collected directly from real patients. This makes Savetime a decision-enabling platform which offers more value than a plain directory. After the jury declared the result, this writer spoke to Mitesh Bohra, co-founder and CEO, Savetime. He said, “Savetime is extremely beneficial for folks who do not know where to go when they have a medical need. We help you find the right doctor in your area within your budget. You don’t even have to know the medical jargon. Just talk to our system like you are talking to a friend. Tell us your symptoms and we will suggest the right specialist.”

Mitesh Bohra, founder and CEO, Savetime Technologies making a presentation about how Savetime works
Mitesh Bohra, co-founder and CEO, Savetime Technologies making a presentation on how Savetime works

Chemical used in yoga mats and shoes also found in 500 packaged foods

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of us know that packaged food is suspect as far as kind of chemicals used to keep them shelf-friendly. Now, a health and advocacy group called Environmental Working Group, have come up with a study that tells you how alarming the scene is.

Apparently, 500 foods on grocery store shelves in the US, including the stuff that is labelled as ‘health food’ is suspect because they may potentially hazardous industrial plastics chemical.

For instance, Azodicarbonamide. Better known as ADA, is an ‘active’ ingredient in breads, bagels, tortillas, hamburger and hot dog buns, pizza, pastries, and other food products. In fact, some consumer groups have demanded the complete removal of ADA from food packaging as it damages the body in ways we are still to fully understand. Continue reading Chemical used in yoga mats and shoes also found in 500 packaged foods

Heart patients, say goodbye to surgical pacemakers

A wireless pacemaker that requires no surgery has been invented. The device can be implanted in 10-15 minutes with a catheter that is threaded into the groin and then up to the heart via the femoral vein. The breaking news came from Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan recently after the doctors successfully implanted the first of the new pacemakers.

This means no invasive procedures, no surgery and no wires. This pacemaker is also leadless. Because of its smaller size, the battery should last longer, and might not need to be replaced over the patient’s lifetime. Current pacemakers need battery replacement every 7 to 12 years, which requires surgery.

Every year, about 700,000 new heart patients require a pacemaker. The new pacemaker will benefit more than 4 million patients who currently have a pacemaker.

The possible advantages of this pacemaker include:

  • Elimination of a surgical pocket
  • No visible pacemaker device under a patient’s chest skin
  • No incision scar and no restrictions on a patient’s regular activities
  • Less potential for complications and malfunction
  • Fully retrievable from the heart

However, before the new pacemaker is widely used, it needs an approval from FDA. Until then, it will be used only in clinical trials.