Today, the buzz word is data. Every industry, every service, every business talks about data. Data in turn is all about analytics and prediction. If you are able to get the data of the seismic activity in a particular part of the earth, you may be able to predict the tsunamis or the earthquakes in that area and save millions of lives in the process. If you are able to predict the future trends in an industry by analyzing the current data, then you might be able to create a best-selling product. Hence, data is the spell and data analytics is the magic wand that can help in creating a better world.
What if this could be translated to the medical field? What if your doctor could predict your health problems before hand? What if you could be warned about an impending medical problem like a heart attack, weeks or months before it happened and you could take some preventive action?
No, this is not out of a science fiction novel. These and other discussions were very much a part of the two-day international conference on Applied Health Informatics at the Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences and Technology (MGUMST) in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In this conference, health professionals from different parts of the world such as USA, Denmark, Bangladesh talked about developing workforce in digital health to make the above mentioned scenario a reality. The chief guest of the function was Ms. Mugdha Sinha, IAS, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan. The Guest of Honour was Dr. Khalid Moidu, who is a multifaceted man and has worked to make medical informatics a well-recognized discipline in the world. Dr. Vikas Swarankar, the chairman of MGUMST also talked about creating a future where people could live healthier and longer lives. The conference was attended by students of IIHMR, MGUMST and many other such medical colleges.
Today, telemedicine has changed lives of many people in small towns and villages across the country. The patient no longer has to travel long distances for small ailments. A doctor sitting in a big hospital in a big city can examine him with an equipment like a digital stethoscope and prescribe medicines according to his condition.
The stalwarts who came and the students who attended, both benefited from the mutual knowledge sharing that this conference enabled which has been the vision of Major General Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, a man who dreams of taking the best medical facilities to each and every village in the country and making good health a reality.