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India and the Netherlands on Thursday unveiled plans for a joint thrust in the e-health sector, with the aim of providing digital health facilities and security to every Indian.
Part of India’s ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), this cooperative initiative will see the two countries work closely to create capacities and put in place the requisite technology backbone to enable this revolutionary initiative.
The alliance was announced at a web-based workshop hosted by management consultancy firm Primus Partners.
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Unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address, the NDHM aims to create a centralized mechanism to uniquely identify every participating user by storing their medical records. The objective of the program is to improve care quality significantly and provide better access to healthcare, using analytics and aggregated and anonymized data mining.
NDHM holds the potential to unlock the incremental economic value of over $200 billion for the healthcare sector over the next 10 years.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to tap the growing potential of the digital health sector. NDHM is a revolutionary idea and vast in scope. Merging technology with traditional health knowledge is a novel idea,” India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, said.
“Where the Netherlands comes in is not just as an economic partner, but also as a proponent of e-health. The Netherlands and Europe are world leaders in this space and their experience will see India benefit tremendously as it rolls out this digital health initiative,” he added.
The Netherlands’ Counsellor for Health, Welfare, and Sports Marcel Floor said: “This is a path-changing alliance and in the best interests of patients in India and around the world. Healthcare is changing profoundly, and no institution or government can fight it alone.
“Nations and institutions have to pool resources and the Covid-19 pandemic has taught the world work how to together in an unprecedented manner. Today’s alliance will see us work together to take quality healthcare to the masses.”
Under the NDHM, there will be a main Open Digital Ecosystem (ODE) which will drive healthcare transformation in India. This will include transparency of information with ‘health registries’ acting as a single source of information for all stakeholders.
The ability of all stakeholders to use data interoperable between different stakeholders will allow patients to share their digital health records across providers, while standardized claim processing, digitized prescriptions, and the development of patient-centric innovations will improve healthcare in India.
J. Satyanarayana, Chairman, National Digital Health Blueprint Committee, said the alliance with the Netherlands was only the first step in building a digital health backbone in the country.
“We finalized the NDHM blueprint late last year and are only now embarking on the implementation. We are using a federated PRESS NOTE architecture model to set and follow global standards in this initiative. We started small, but beginning with this announcement today, we will scale things up quickly now.”
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, said: “We have created the necessary infrastructure and capacities to take this program forward. We now have the capability to conduct 500,000 consultations in the country every day. We are using a mission approach and focusing heavily on IT, ensuring that issues like privacy and data integrity are taken care of in a world-best manner.”
The NDHM’s vision is to create a national digital health ecosystem which provides timely and efficient access to inclusive, affordable, and safe healthcare to all citizens, significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of health service delivery and be a major stride towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Universal Health Coverage.
Noting that the digital health sector in India is growing at an 18 percent Compounded Annualised Growth Rate (CAGR) and is expected to touch billions of dollars in the ongoing year itself, Primus Partners CEO and co-founder Nilaya Verma said that they were delighted that India and the Netherlands are partnering in this initiative.
“We have already received over 58 business proposals over 18 business sectors and today’s alliance will only see these numbers go up,” Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO, Invest India, said.
NDHM is envisioned to be a complete digital health ecosystem with four key features – National Health ID, personal health records, Digi Doctor, and health facility registry. At a later stage, it will also include e-pharmacy and telemedicine services, regulatory guidelines for which are being framed.
In this regard, it is proposed to explore bilateral collaborations between Dutch and Indian organizations in the healthcare sector, especially with respect to the NDHM. (IANS)
Some women say they experienced period changes after getting a Covid-19 vaccination. While the reported changes are short-lived, research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the success of the vaccination programme, according to an editorial published in The BMJ.
"A link between menstrual changes after Covid-19 vaccination is plausible and should be investigated," wrote Dr Victoria Male, a reproductive specialist at Imperial College London, in the editorial. Reports of menstrual changes after Covid-19 vaccination have been made for both mRNA and adenovirus-vectored vaccines, she added, suggesting that, if there is a connection, it is likely to be a result of the immune response to vaccination, rather than to a specific vaccine component, she said.
While changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding are not listed as common side effects of Covid-19 vaccination, more than 30,000 such reports have been made to the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) surveillance scheme for adverse drug reactions till September 2. However, most people find that their period returns to normal the following cycleand, importantly, there is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility, Male said.
Most people find that their period returns to normal the following cycleand, importantly, there is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility, Male said. | Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash
The MHRA states that its surveillance data does not support a link between changes to menstrual periods and Covid-19 vaccines, since the number of reports is low in relation to both the number of people vaccinated and the prevalence of menstrual disorders generally. However, the way in which data is collected makes firm conclusions difficult, Male noted.
She argued that approaches better equipped to compare rates of menstrual changes in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations are needed, and pointed to the study that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has undertaken. Indeed, the menstrual cycle may be affected by the body's immune response to the virus itself, with one study showing menstrual disruption in around a quarter of women infected with SARS-CoV2.
If a link between vaccination and menstrual changes is confirmed, this will allow individuals seeking vaccination to plan in advance for potentially altered cycles, Male contended. In the meantime, clinicians must encourage their patients to report any changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination. And anyone reporting a change in periods persisting over a number of cycles, or new vaginal bleeding after the menopause, should be managed according to the usual clinical guidelines for these conditions, she suggested. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: vaccine, menstrual cycle, period, covid, women, health
A garage sale in the 21st century needs a tech-savvy platform. This is where Poshmark comes into the picture, the platform with a community of over 2.5 million Canadians has products listed with over half a billion dollars in value by their users.
It began expanding outside of the United States in Canada in May 2019 and has now launched in India. So its become simple and easy for anyone to sell items from their closet, enabled by a full suite of end-to-end seller tools and services, including seamless listing, merchandising, promotion, pricing, and shipping. Indian consumers will be able to join Social marketplace Poshmark, Inc. (Nasdaq: POSH), a booming community of more than 80 million users and a vibrant network of millions of shoppable closets to make money, save money, connect with others, and foster entrepreneurship.
The platforms scalable model and infrastructure enables continued expansion to new countries and categories in the future. | Photo by Duy Hoang on Unsplash
"As an Indian who grew up exploring the marketplaces of Old Delhi, I know firsthand how important it is to come together and connect as part of the shopping experience. I am confident that our social marketplace will resonate with Indian consumers and allow us to build a thriving and successful community here." The platform's scalable model and infrastructure enables continued expansion to new countries and categories in the future. (IANS/ MBI)
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Keywords: Clothes, garage, Poshmark, India, Old Delhi, social marketplace
Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.
Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.
The Plague broke out from improper disposal of garbage and poor sewage conditions. Fleas from the rats that lived in the sewers spread the disease that killed more than half of London's population. Many people fled from their homes as there was no medicine available for those who were infected.
Beak-shaped masks worn during the Great Plague of London Image source: wikimedia commons
It was around this time that masks began to be invented. The first masks were shaped like beaks, and were worn not to protect the wearer from the disease, but to the prevent them from being able to smell the decay and death around them, which they called 'miasma'. The beaks were filled with floral herbs that allowed doctors and nurses to tend to the sick without being reviled from the smell.
Children are often seen forming circles by holding hands and reciting loudly,
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down"
An illustration of the Great Plague of London, 1665 Image source: wikimedia commons
When the last line is sung, they break the circle and fall down. The roses and posies are believed to be the preferred fragrances inside the masks, and a single sneeze (a-tishoo) was enough to infect the one who was exposed to the disease. Consequently, they fell down, ill, and later died.
An alternative version of this rhyme is sung about the fall of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath of World War II. The roses and posies are interchanged with geranium and uranium, to symbolise what was used in the atomic bomb. But this version is not as famous the original.
Keywords: Rhymes, Ringa-ringa-roses, Great Plague of London, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Folklore