Healthcare Technology


The exponential growth of Mobile phones and IoT devices has led to a whole new industry that supports numerous applications ranging from consumer to healthcare to industrial and many more. Despite its usefulness, there are problems that need to be considered.

In November 2018, an FDA nominated study under National Toxicology Program concluded on the hazards of high Radio Frequency exposure (Non-ionising Radiation) from Cell Phones.

The conclusions were :

  • Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
  • Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
  • Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma.

It is generally believed that the FCC has set limits on cell phone radiation and if any devices exceed the limits, it will not reach the market. However, the NTP study showed that harmful effects can be seen even at levels below the SAR limits set by FCC. This is because, the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) requires the devices being tested at a short distance away from the human dummies and not in contact with human body, which is how people use the phones and keep the phones in their pockets.

A wide variety of scientists, clinicians, and national medical associations have raised significant visibility towards this issue, ranging from European Scientists calling for a moratorium on 5G rollouts, until the effects are better understood, to asking for further scientific information from FCC and FDA chairpersons on the radiation hazards.

Whilst this complex problem gets resolved by future scientific studies and regulatory mechanisms, there could be an extremely simple alternative solution.

DFF with technology from AiQ Smart Clothing, has developed an innovative RF shielding fabric, leveraging its leadership position in the conductive textiles industry. The fabric blends very fine stainless steel fiber (typically about 10 micron in width) with a variety of commercially available yarn using special purpose machines to produce what looks, feels and behaves like regular textiles. It can blend all types of textiles, build different structures and yarn counts just like regular textile. The clothing or other textile form factors such as curtains etc built out of this RF shielding fabric are also machine washable just like any other clothes.

It is capable of blocking upto 99.99% of a 30 dB signal at 2.4 Ghz, making it ideal to create a wall of protection around places on the body which typically host the mobile phones. For pregnant women and small children, one could create complete clothing using the shielding fabric. 


Dr. Mohan Kumar R, Co-Founder , Digital Fashion Factory™ and Satya Bhavaraju, VP, Biz Development, AiQ Smart Clothing



Healthcare Technology Public Health

Is India taking care of its senior citizens

Last week I was at Hyderabad for a conference where the focus was on the elderly. India has roughly 120-130 million citizens above the age of 60, and this number is going to rise further due to better healthcare facilities and greater awareness of health. I also got a chance to visit my aunt, who had just recovered from fluid in the lungs. The whole visit to Hyderabad was an eye-opener for elderly care. I think we have a serious challenge in this space and currently, we have more questions than answers.

During the conference, I spent some time connecting with other healthcare professionals like Varma from Intel Health Innovation Group and Vikas Bhalla from Philips. I also had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion on how technology is helping increase access for senior citizens.

In the panel with me were, Dr. Mahesh Joshi, CEO Apollo Homecare, Vikas Bhalla – Director (Ultrasound,) Philips India and Rajagopal G – Founder CEO, KITES Senior Care. Raj and Dr. Joshi have worked extensively in senior care, both at the hospital level and services. The crux of the discussion was the breakdown of the family system that has led to a serious problem, with regards to caring for the elderly. This is more of a social problem. But it gets compounded by the fact that there is no one to care for the elderly. No one to care includes no one to monitor if they have taken their medicines on time or if they are keeping up their doctor’s appointment.

Also, we just don’t have the right number of qualified people to care for the elderly. Medical and Nursing schools are producing professionals who mostly cater to emergency cases and those that need chronic conditions. We are grossly under-equipped to take care of the physical and mental wellbeing.

To add to this we just don’t have the process in place to take into account, continuous monitoring using wearable devices. Also, there is no structure to incorporate that data into the health data to make the right decisions.

While there are many questions there have been some efforts in this space. A leading hospital in Bangalore is working on a model for remote patient monitoring of senior citizens at an old age home.

Gurgaon based Suvida is another venture in this direction where the Suvida Care Manager accompanies the elderly care recipient to the medical facility, takes detailed notes, including a personalized Visit Summary, and accompanies the care recipient back home, Suvida to become the first end-to-end medical coordination company, with a built-in unified user-first EMR (electronic medical record) system, so users don’t have to depend on individual medical facilities for their records.

While these are all steps in the right direction, the scale is clearly not enough to meet the demands of the nation. So the question to you is, is India really taking care of its senior citizens?

Healthcare Technology

Apollo Hospitals and Aravind Eye Hospital win big at the 6th Asia Pacific HIMSS Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018

The results of the 6th Asia Pacific HIMSSElsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018 have been announced. This award recognizes outstanding achievements and innovations globally in the implementation and usage of health information and technology. Winners were recognized at a dinner reception held on November 5, 2018, at the South Bank Rydges Hotel, Brisbane.

Out of the 22 Asia Pacific submissions received this year, five hospitals from Australia, China and India emerged winners in the two award categories. Their projects exemplified excellent usage of technology, from hospital-wide EMR implementation to using AI-enabled clinical decision support systems to improve workflow efficiencies and reduce variability in care. Though India did not win in the Outstanding ICT achievement category, two hsopitals Apollo and Aravind Eye Hospital won in the innovation category.

The Outstanding ICT Achievement Award recognizes hospitals that leverage technology to achieve substantial improvements in patient care and safety and have addressed the major challenges faced by their institution.

Outstanding ICT Achievement Award Winners:
 Metro South Health, Australia – Metro South Health Digital Hospital Project Providing acute medical, cancer, surgical, rehabilitation, maternity, cardiology, orthopedics, renal, and other specialty services for both children and adults, the health service embarked on an ambitious project to roll out the integrated EMR across all hospitals and facilities. Metro South Health’s Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) was selected as the exemplary site for the implementation of the shared integrated EMR solution for Queensland.

 Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Australia – The RCH ViCTOR EMR Project ViCTOR, short for Victorian Children’s Tool for Observation and Response, helps nursing staff to chart physiological observations of children, recognising patterns or changes in those observations to prevent the rapid health deterioration among hospitalised children. What began as a paper-based observation chart with various data value label and colored-shaded zone for normal and abnormal physiological observations, has since become the standard of care for all pediatric hospitals in Victoria. In April 2016, ViCTOR went digital with RCH’s hospital-wide Epic EMR system implementation – the first in Australia to implement a hospital-wide EMR in one day.

 Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University, China – To Save Faster and Better: Combine AI and Rebuilding ED Process to Improve Efficiency and Quality of Stroke Emergency Care Being one of China’s leading facility for providing stroke emergency care, Xuanwu Hospital devised a new stroke emergency patient fast-track process with the revised emergency department information system, creating a closed loop of the complete stroke emergency care process. They also introduced an AI-enabled clinical decision support system with the Mayo Clinic knowledge base for their care process and checking of physician documentation quality breaches that improved the accuracy of diagnosis recommendations.

The Outstanding ICT Innovation Award recognizes the most innovative and creative ICT solutions that improve patient care and safety.

Outstanding ICT Innovation Award winners:

 Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited, India – A Multifactorial Cardiovascular Risk Prediction Tool Using Machine Learning for Indian Population This is the first EMR Integrated heart risk related project and risk model on the Indian population using retrospective & prospective data which can be helpful in better management for cardiovascular disease care. The objective of the project was to come up with a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk score prediction model taking into consideration risk factors associated with cardiac disease specifically focused on the Indian population with the ability for the model to be integrated into the organization’s EMR.

 Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry, India – Low-Cost Technology Coupled with Electronic Medical Record to Tackle Needless Blindness in Rural India Aravind Eye Hospital Pondicherry has devised a way to increase the rate and completion of referrals to the base hospital by creating an innovative EMR-based camp. This technology-intensive model utilizes portable low-cost devices such as the ICare Tonometer (for glaucoma screening), fundus camera (for diabetic retinopathy and optic neuropathies), and hand-held slit lamps (for anterior segment disease) paired with a tablet-based EMR.

“We are extremely delighted to be shortlisted as finalists for both the ICT Achievement and ICT Innovation categories at this year’s HIMSS-Elsevier Awards. As we continue our innovative efforts to reduce needless blindness in India, receiving the innovation award is akin to hitting a significant milestone as we take the next step on this journey to help rural patient populations, said Dr. R. Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital – Pondicherry, India.

Metro South Health and Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University are both first-time recipients of the award, while Royal Children’s Hospital, Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry and Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited have been recognized in previous years.

“This year’s winners demonstrated such a high level of innovative thinking and implementation of health ICT, which resulted in a tie within the Outstanding ICT Achievement Award category. I would strongly encourage other organizations to get inspiration and learn from their spirit of excellence,” said Tim Morris, Product & Partnership Director for EMEALA/APAC, Elsevier. “We are continually impressed by the growth and successes of healthcare providers across Asia Pacific.”

The submissions were evaluated by a panel of six judges:  Bill Le Blanc, Executive Director and Chief Information Officer, SA Health, Australia  Dr. Aamir Ali, Health Informatics Consultant, Ministry of Health and Prevention, UAE  Dr. Korpong Rookkapan, Board of Directors, Paknampo Group of Hospitals by Principal Healthcare Group; Director, Principal Healthcare Group; Executive Director, Hospital Management Training & Development Institute, Thailand  John Daniels, Global Vice President, Healthcare Advisory Services Group, HIMSS Analytics  John Sutherland, Chief Information Officer, Ramsay Healthcare, Australia  Robert Nieves, Vice President of Health Informatics for Clinical Solutions, Elsevier

“Congratulations to all winners of the 2018 Asia Pacific HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award. This year’s winning projects showcased the best of cutting-edge achievements and continuous innovations and the award is testament to the vision and efforts of these hospitals to improve care through process

reinvention aided by the proper use of information technology,” said John Daniels, Global Vice President, HIMSS Analytics.

Since its inception in 2013, the award has received 218 submissions in six years across 30 countries and 120 unique organizations globally.

Healthcare Technology

Three Indian Hospitals in the finals of the Asia Pacific HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018

Elsevier, the information analytics business specializing in science and health, and HIMSS Asia Pacific have announced the finalists of the sixth Asia Pacific HIMSSElsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018. This award recognizes outstanding achievements and innovations globally in the implementation and usage of health information and technology.

Healthcare Technology

Is healthcare ready to take the quantum leap ?

In early August, I had the opportunity to lead a panel of doctors and technologists on an interesting topic; “New Technologies shaping the world: Will healthcare take the quantum leap?”

The members in the panel were
·   Dr Kirti Chadha, Vice President –  Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.
·   Dr Vidur Mahajan, Associate Director, Mahajan Imaging
·   Ravi Ramaswamy, Sr. Director, Philips Healthsystems
·   ShivaKumar KR, Fellow & Global Architect, Philips
·   Sampath Herga, CEO of Hyper Chain Private Limited