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Wednesday 16 August 2017

Dr. Ruchi V Dass elected Royal Society of Medicine Overseas Fellow

Popular Health Technology Author and Founder, HealthCursor Consulting Group Dr. Ruchi V Dass elected Royal Society of Medicine Honorary Fellow in the United Kingdom. (Photo courtesy of Ruchi Dass)

Joining some of the elite names among scientists and physicians, Health Technology Author and Business Icon Ruchi Dass has been elected as a fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom.

Dass is a renowned Physician and has worked with development organisation across the world driving technology driven public health initiatives. She is the Founder of the consulting group HealthCursor, and Author of several journals, including her upcoming book on “Big Data in Healthcare” with Springer.

Dr Dass wrote a book on “Innovations in Healthcare” that was unveiled by the Honourable President of India Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in 2013. Dr. Ruchi Dass was listed amongst Most Powerful and Influential leaders in IT by Information week in 2013 and also received INTEROP’s “Women leader” recognition by Facebook CEO.



“Telemedicine includes a wide and growing variety of electronic medical information and the ways that it is exchanged. From smartphone technology to virtual patient visits, from rural locations to new military applications, telemedicine is poised to assist physicians in the task of providing excellence in patient care.,” she said.

“I am proud to have been a small part of the advances we have made in the area of using advanced Cognitive and Digital Technology in Healthcare.” Dr Dass mentioned.



Each year, an elite group of physicians or scientists is elected to The Royal Society of Medicine following nomination and committee review; former fellows include Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Edward Jenner and Sigmund Freud. Elected fellows of the Royal Society are comparable to members of the Institute of Medicine in the United States.

Dass lives in India and amongst her other affiliations are the WHO’s PMNCH forum volunteer, Member HIMSS Innovation Community (Las Vegas), ICT4D member, the IPIHD Innovators (World Economic Forum) and the Indian Dental Association.

-----------------------excerpt from Telegraph

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Blockchain, Predictive Analytics and Healthcare

Episode-of-care payment and comprehensive care payment systems can help providers prevent health problems; avoid the occurrence of acute episodes among individuals who have health conditions; prevent poor outcomes during major acute episodes, such as infections, complications, and hospital readmissions; and reduce the costs of successful treatment.

Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a decentralised database, or “digital ledger”, of transactions that everyone on the network can see. This network is essentially a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded.

Learn more about the use of Blockchain in healthcare here:




It is distributed. Means it is de- centralised. Nobody is an owner.

It is public. Everyone can see it.

Things that have happened are time stamped, recorded and coded.

It is persistent. As far as everyone is participating, it is for forever.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY are built into the system as well. (On the internet the problem was that TCPIP is not built in for identity or encryption.

Smart contracts are built in- which means once a transaction is made automatically the laws of the contract are applied and executed. Value, data and money can be moved now.

For example, if everyone in a conference room has a spreadsheet of no. of shirts they own and they share it. The data miners after every 10 seconds will find out the new shirts added, shorts deleted, ownership of shirts changed, etc..

The miners will then publish this to everyone holding a ledger who participated in the blockchain. This is called block of work chained to the initial block and hence blockchain- that is why it is persistent, and you get a running, consistent account of things that is time stamped, verified by everyone, virtually un-hackable because no one can reverse it.

And this is the reason why for Bitcoins, financial services it is an important technology because this is why you wait for 3 days for your cheque to get cleared. Right!

INDIA- The Growth Engine

The economy minister, Shaktikanta Das, has given his prediction of India's GDP growth for the coming 2017 - 2018 fiscal year. He says that it will be upwards of 7% and there's not any reason to doubt him.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in India expanded 1.80 percent in the third quarter of 2016 over the previous quarter. GDP Growth Rate in India averaged 1.67 percent from 1996 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 5.80 percent in the second quarter of 2009.Here are stats related to some popular markets:



The only potential fly in the ointment any of us can see for India's economic growth is the effects of demonetization, and whatever they are they are now--it has happened, and it has gone. Macroeconomic conditions are such that the government is providing a modest boost to the economy with a smallish budget deficit. Inflation is not negligible, but it does appear under control. Much to most of the growth is domestic and not affected all that much by the global lassitude in growth.

Ongoing efforts to restructure bank balance sheets to revive lending and reduce excessive leverage at large corporations is setting the stage for a recovery in investment spending likely to drive growth higher in FY2017.Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. The Indian wellness industry was estimated at close to Rs85,000 crore in the financial year 2014-15 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12% for the next five years. The industry can achieve about Rs1.5 trillion by FY20, according to a recent report by Ficci and EY.

In India, we will see a radical consolidation in the healthcare industry owing to several scenarios. Mega-corporations will have the advantage over mom-and-pop shows. I assume that apart from the government, three-four large players, some of them international giants, will dominate 80% of the market.

The sheer size of our country will attract investment in healthcare infrastructure, divided between increasing the reach and deployment of technology. High-end communication technologies, devices and platforms will form the backbone of effective range. Analytics and big data will be the direction setters for the way patients are treated, medically or otherwise.I am reasonably sure that the practices of medical professionals will be largely institutionalised owing to super-specialization. The design of current set-ups like hospitals will see a sea change. In all probability, they will become diagnostic and treatment stations, while recuperation will be shifted to homes.

The India Conference is one of the largest student-run conferences focusing on India in the USA. It is hosted by the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School by the graduate students of Harvard University.

In 2017, India Conference will be celebrating our 14th anniversary. The conference will bring together business leaders, entertainment professionals, government officials, philanthropists, and many other leaders to engage in a conversation about India’s path to global leadership. Our 2016 conference had over 1000 attendees and was a resounding success.

Learn more from experts at India conference about Union budget measures, infrastructure, arts, technology growth, rural economy, new businesses, global synergies and demonetization. Refer to the agenda here and register.

Sources:

ADB-https://www.adb.org/countries/india/economy#tabs-0-2

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/02/04/indias-gdp-growth-for-fiscal-2017-to-be-upwards-of-7-shaktikanta-das/#1f0f379e653b

News Livemint- http://www.livemint.com/Politics/H50PvO2qmDaapNgNN6KWZM/India-in-10-years-Healthcare-sector-will-see-radical-consol.html

Friday 3 February 2017

Human Factors in Healthcare

Stare in the middle of the image below..as you move your eyes around you will see black dots flashing. now you know that there is no flashing possible here but it tricks your brain.




Human eyes could be easier to trick than you might think.A Japanese professor, Kokichi Sugihara, created sculptures that trick the mind to see the impossible. He was the winner of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest in 2010 and 2nd place in 2016.

Like when that thing goes there, isn't it supposed to go over there and not over there? Shouldn't the little balls be rolling to the right instead of the left? How did that thing do the thing? Huh?!

Check out some of Sugihara's best brain-bending illusions:


Conformational Bias Illusions occur when brain tries to make sense out of conflicting information based on his/her experience.

Human sight is falliable and images can easily be misread leading to errors in processing information. For practising Physicians as well, we have seen such conformational bias.

When a new piece of information is presented which is not in tandom and consistent with someone's current mental model, there are chances that it will be disregarded.

Let us think of a mental model including the three units in Patient management-

Experience-- Expectation---Briefing

My cousin got admitted in the Emergency department Saturday night and the duty doctor made a presumptive diagnosis. The next day this diagnosis was handed over to the head of the department as a part of patient's history. The Physician here adopted the briefing, experience and expectation of the Emergency department Physician to his mental model and prescribed medication- possibly got blinded to realise a differing picture.

That is why in Psychology of Healthcare, a shared mental model design is necessary. There are a lot of factors that can influence situation awareness. Mental model sharing includes:

1. members of the team holding the least possible/least consistent mental model as their approach to avoid underestimation, conditioned thinking and oversight.
2. Effective communication between all team members
3. active monitoring of team memener actions, understanding, data processed/evidence available through the senses
-also for patient, equipment, summary, documentation and instruments.

Schizophrenia 

The important principle to understand is that our perceptions are not the same thing as stimuli that are picked up by our sensory receptors. Think of hallucinations in individuals experiencing mental illness like schizophrenia.

Hallucinations are involuntary and can occur in the absence of an external stimuli. That means a person sees or hear something that is not there. In the neuroimaging studies, sientists have gathered information around normal and abnormal conciousness and unconcious brains states.

Brain can pretty much create its own realities and illusions. That means brain can respond differently to external and internal stimulus.

In the 19th century, Dr. E. Babbit, M.D. proved that colored light was capable of healing through the effect on the autonomic nerve fibers in the skin and via the nerves from the eye to the brain. Dr. Spitler proved in the 1930’s that psychiatric illnesses could be cured or improved by using a visual colored light source. It is now known that there are at least four effects from light. These are:

1. The optic nerve to the pituitary gland, temporal lobe, and occipital lobe of the brain. This information affects the conscious part of the brain without interpretation.

2. A second nerve bundle from the retina to the hypothalamus, which is a major control area for both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. Dr. Fritz Hollwich, M.D. has shown that color affects neurotransmitter and hormone levels in the brain and spinal cord, which in turn affect the rest of metabolism and biochemistry.

3. This path goes from the retina to the midbrain, and then to the superior cervical ganglion to the brainstem and then to the pineal gland. This area controls, among other things, our circadian (sleep/wake) cycle.

4. The last is a direct effect of the light upon particles that travel in the lymph, blood, and nerves. Researchers at the University of Vienna found that albumin is one of the particles able to be charged by light. It is then able to deliver this charge to tissues at distant locations (tissues) in the body.

Watch Dr. Paul McHugh talking on How a Psychiatrist Approaches the Illusion of Technique in Health Care Delivery Today

There are several brain tricking /training exercises available. I leave you with few of these here:

How many figures can you see?
















How many planks are there?











Is this a duck looking left or a bunny looking right?











Are the horizontal lines straight?
















How many legs does this elephant have?














Comments welcome.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Dr. Ruchi Dass to speak at Harvard Business School- India Conference, Boston


Meet Team India at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as they discuss business opportunities under the theme

INDIA - THE GLOBAL GROWTH ENGINE, FEBRUARY 11-12, 2017



INDIA - THE GLOBAL GROWTH ENGINE
FEBRUARY 11-12, 2017

More on http://indiaconference.com/2017/speakers/

Friday 7 October 2016

Why we never noticed ZIKA?- Indian Research and Development

“Zika had 'disappeared' because it wasn’t worth worrying about and people weren’t paying attention.”

Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in a sentinel monkey that was being used to monitor for the presence of yellow fever virus in the Zika Forest of Uganda. At this time cell lines were not available for studying viruses, so serum from the febrile monkey was inoculated intra-cerebrally into mice. All the mice became sick, and the virus isolated from their brains was called Zika virus. The same virus was subsequently isolated from Aedes africanus mosquitoes in the Zika forest.

In 1950, when some serological studies were being done, it was found that we humans developed antibodies against this virus. Further studies revealed evidence of infection in other African countries, including Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and Gabon, as well as Asia (India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia). The virus circulating in Brazil is an Asian genotype, possibly imported during the World Cup of 2014. As of this writing Zika virus has spread to 23 countries in the Americas.

India is vulnerable to Zika virus outbreak as the species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which carries the virus, is found across the country. It's the same mosquito that carries the viruses of Dengue and Chikungunya. The prevalence in the country of dengue and chikungunya can make it hard to gauge Zika’s prevalence early.

Dire need to digitize records and report early- The baseline prevalence of congenital microcephaly is difficult to determine because of underreporting, and the inconsistency of clinical criteria used to define microcephaly. Although population-based estimates of congenital microcephaly in Brazil vary, the number of infants with microcephaly currently being reported in Brazil is greater than would be expected???

During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and can pass from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness by strictly following steps to prevent mosquito bites.

Advanced Disease Analytics It is very hard to prove the linkage between Zika virus and microcephaly cases. The proposed link between Zika and microcephaly began taking shape in September after some pediatricians in northeast Brazil noticed an unusual number of babies born with microcephaly. This spike in microcephaly cases coincided with an outbreak of Zika, a virus related to the dengue virus and spread by mosquitoes, and when a task force set up a registry to track the problem, it discovered that in 26 of the first 35 cases entered, the mother had developed an illness with a rash potentially indicative of Zika during her pregnancy.

But confirming a link between Zika and microcephaly will take more research and time — months, if not years — and the confirmation may end up as a preponderance of evidence rather than a definitive link. What’s easy to forget about the oft-cited scientific mantra, correlation is not causation, is that causation is incredibly difficult to prove. When you’re a doctor who’s seeing an alarming number of infants born with birth defects, correlation may be all you have to go on.

Hope: There are currently no antiviral drugs or vaccines that can be used to treat or prevent infection with Zika virus. We do have a safe and effective vaccine against another flavivirus, yellow fever virus. Substituting the gene encoding the yellow fever E glycoprotein with that from Zika virus might be a good approach to quickly making a Zika vaccine. However, testing of such a vaccine candidate might require several years.

Hyderabad based lab claims breakthrough achievement in developing world's first Zika vaccine- Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based vaccines and bio-therapeutic manufacturer, on February 3, claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to fight the dreaded mosquito-borne Zika virus. The two candidate vaccines are in an advanced stage of development and could be ready soon after pre-clinical studies are concluded in the next five months.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued the Pre-qualification of Medicines Programme (PQP) certification to Chennai-based Green Signal Bio Pharma. The pharmaceutical company got the certification to manufacture a Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, with which, it became the only Indian company to get PQP certification from WHO.

Zika virus has never been isolated in India. The only time any trace of the virus was recorded in India was in 1952-53. A study titled ‘Neutralising antibodies against certain viruses in the sera of the residents of India’, published in a journal called The Journal of Immunology, recorded among other viruses, antibodies to the Zika virus. The study, which went to 38 localities in six states in India, tested 15 vector borne viruses. “Significant numbers of the sera neutralised Zika,” noted the study authored by “KC Smithburn of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, JA Karr, director, virus research centre in Poona and PB Gatne, Medical offer, Bombay State India.

Remember:


  1. The Zika virus is heat-driven. The hotter it is, the more effectively the mosquitoes are able to spread diseases. India is a favorable climate.
  2. India is one of the countries where Aedes Aegypti - the mosquitoes that transmit both Dengue and the Zika virus are extremely prevalent.
  3. Storage of drinking water and other urban water, containers including plant-pot bases, guttering, tarpaulins and tyres and discarded containers can all collect rainwater and provide habitat for Aedes aegypti larvae.


Aedes aegypti

  1. Is a domestic mosquito
  2. Generally, lives indoors and near people
  3. Rests in cool shaded places in houses such as in wardrobes, laundry areas and under furniture
  4. Is hard to catch and moves very quickly, darting back and forth
  5. Often bites around your feet and ankles, and may bite repeatedly
  6. Has a bite that is often relatively painless, so you may not notice you are being bitten or you may think you are being bitten by sandflies or biting midges
  7. Feeds during daylight hours. Biting activity is higher in the two hours after sunrise or before sunset, but they will bite throughout the day. As a result, bed nets do not prevent dengue transmission.
  8. Stepping up action against Zika virus, Health Ministry on Monday said 10 new diagnostic facilities will become operational in different states by the end of February. In addition to the two diagnostic facilities at NCDC and National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, 10 new facilities will become operational by end of February. These are located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Assam.

As a precaution, all aircraft are being disinfected as per the WHO guidelines. In addition, vector breeding in containers at the seaports is also being taken up and National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program and National Centre for Disease Control are checking for control of vector densities. Surveillance activities have been activated through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network along with Rapid Response Teams in states. So far no Zika case has been reported in India. We urge the common public to keep a watch and report every Zika case to RRT teams in every state.

As Zika heads to India, an older strain in Indians prepare for a second coming- A virulent version of the Zika virus that has swept the globe is headed for India, where an older, more benign strain is likely to be quietly residing within some Indians, possibly preparing genetic ground for a quick, new second-coming, experts have warned.

In India, the Zika virus – which has no cure or vaccine – was first found in Pune 64 years ago, as part of a survey that was testing immunity to Japanese and Russian varieties of a virus-borne brain infection called encephalitis, according to a forthcoming paper authored by World Health Organisation (WHO) scientists.

The paper comes soon after this study in the Lancet, a medical journal, which used travel patterns to predict that India – where more than 67,000 air travellers arrive every year – and four other countries (China, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand) were most at risk for year-round transmission of the Zika virus. China has more people, but more people are at risk in India. Read more>>

Chinkungunya wasn’t supposed to be in India; then it showed up

Zika’s cousin, chikungunya, first had a major outbreak across India – barring Kerala which had no Aedes aegypti mosquitoes then – between 1964 and 1967.

Chikungunya faded from public and scientific memory, and when it returned in 2002, “we were caught with our collective pants down”, said T Jacob John, a retired virologist who, along with two colleagues, documented India’s first HIV infection in 1986, and designed a national response.
The second coming of chikungunya in India came through a mutated and more virulent virus, John noted. “We missed a golden opportunity to document all that.”

Referrring to Zika, John described the feeling as “deja vu chikungunya”.



Friday 23 September 2016

Innovations that caught my attention recently-#Healthtech

No. 1- Lyme bacteria use the same technique as White Blood Cells to navigate and move in blood vessels


In an interesting case of convergent evolution Lyme bacteria use the same technique as White Blood Cells to navigate and move in blood vessels.To zip through the bloodstream and spread infection throughout the body, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease take a cue from the white blood cells trying to attack them. Both use specialized bonds to stick to the cells lining blood vessels and move along at their own pace, biologist Tara Moriarty and colleagues report September 6 in Cell Reports.

“It’s really an amazing case of convergent evolution,” says Wendy Thomas, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn’t part of the study. “There’s little structural similarity between the molecules involved in these behaviors, and yet their behavior is the same.”


No.2- Wearable Robot for people who lost their hand function


This wearable robot helps disabled patients regain control of their hands. The system consists of a glove that fits between the index finger, middle finger and thumb. Patients who have lost their hand functions due to injuries or nerve-related conditions, such as stroke and muscular dystrophy, now have a chance of restoring their hand movements by using a new lightweight and smart rehabilitation wearable robot.


video


This is what one customer wrote as feedback after going through the demo-

"To have personally come back from a spinal cord injury - to be able to walk again still blows my mind. changed my view on this power vessel called a body. I love my body- stretchmarks, cellulite and all. It is a wonderful machine. My passion is to continue to educate people on the word function and to truly explore what it means. Much of our society is based on the "look of things" and not the "function" it has damaged the very essence of life for many. This is a wonderful demonstration of dedicated people. Thank you for the service you have provided for many.."

No. 3 Stroke prevention Implant

video
I have seen many innovations that help predict a stroke and send info to a Doctor remotely to take action and rehabilitate.This new innovation called "Watchman" can be inserted in less than an hour and could save your life. A lot of people might think that it is like striking one thing off their list to worry about. However, good diet and exercise is something still beneficial and should be maintained.
The newly FDA-approved Watchman device is a small implant that reduces the risk of stroke and blood clots.

The blood thinner Warfarin is the standard way doctors try to prevent clots and strokes in patients with irregular rhythms, but the Watchman implant stops blood clots where they start. The majority of clots form in a pouch called the left atrial appendage.

When people have atrial fibrillation in the upper chamber of their heart, known as the atrium, it does not pump, but instead it quivers and that is why the appendage fills with blood. It does not squeeze out the blood and that's how clots are formed.

The Watchman is deployed through a vein in the right leg where the pouch is and it plugs the opening. "Blocking off this pouch is as good as, if not more effective, than taking the blood thinner Warfarin, which is the only other option that many of these patients have," said Dr. Shephal Doshi with the Pacific Heart Institute.

Doshi started the first clinical trial seven years ago. The procedure may not be for everyone with an irregular heartbeat, but it's another option that can be life changing for so many.













Credits:
Hashem Al-Ghaili
Science age
Sciencenature/FB page
Sciencedaily

Thursday 15 September 2016

Let us go back in time- Let's go natural.


Yes this post of mine is not around Healthcare Marketing, Digital Innovation or Community Health programs.

I thought to write about this particular topic after studying trends related to people's ill health and the food we eat, the cosmetics we use and the bad additives that have done enough bad to us already. I remember those times when my Grandma used to mix Glycerine with rose water and it used to be our skin care staple for winters. Dry some Indian gooseberry and heat it up with home made coconut oil to get luscious locks.

Things were simple, fresh and homemade. Now Grandma is long gone and we are buying such products off the shelf knowing little about additives like mineral oil, LLP (Light Liquid Paraffin Oil ), perfumery compounds, preservatives and what not.People who have no connect to the cosmetics and food industry know very little about such compounds and need to be educated. For them a good brand name like Bajaj, Dabur or Patanjali serves the purpose. However, it is time that we take our home shopping a bit more seriously. The question is how? How many of us read labels? Do we have the time to?

Well, we have to make time. Our kids are suffering from rashes, baldness, premature greying and severe health problems. Mineral oils used in hair oils are associated with Cancer. Most of the commercially available hair care products today use harmful, potentially carcinogenic ingredients.

I was surprised to see that almost all hair products my sister was using lately had POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PPG/PEG) and Formaldehyde (probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos) in them.

Well, labels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products.A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Plus half of the chemicals are not tested, not listed and never discussed.

Hydroquinone: Asians are crazy about lightening creams-you will find this in most of these creams. Rated most toxic on several databases, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara that asians are again crazy about.

Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, hair oil, moisturisers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

And this is a long list....

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/, http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/20-toxic-ingredients-avoid-when-buying-body-care-products-and-cosmetics.html
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov
http://naturalhaireverything.tumblr.com/post/3253973196/10-ingredients-to-avoid-putting-on-your-hair, http://thehairoine.com/pages/chemicals-to-avoid
http://www.livestrong.com/article/171916-ingredients-to-avoid-in-hair-products/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/31850421/study-links-toxic-chemicals-to-black-hair-care-products
Image: So Malicious

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Are you a Healthcare Innovator? Join the Partnership at IPIHD


Innovations in Healthcare (founded as the International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery) is a nonprofit organization hosted by Duke University and founded in 2011 by Duke Health, McKinsey & Company, and the World Economic Forum. I am an IPIHD innovator myself and the learnings I had not only assessing my own innovations but engaging with other innovators is impeccable. At the heart of Innovations in Healthcare is our network of 60+ innovators from around the world working to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare. Every year, IPIHD identifies and recruit entrepreneurs with promising models of healthcare to apply to join their network as innovators. Through a highly competitive process, they then select the best organizations to join them. They help connect these innovators with opportunities, information, and contacts they need to scale up their work.

Nominations are open and the deadline is 16th September 2016. Do you know an organization that wants to be part of a global network of entrepreneurs working to innovate new solutions in healthcare? Would they like to connect with and be part of conversations about healthcare innovation with leading funders, corporations, academics, and other experts?

If so, recommend an organization to join our network! Again, the deadline for nominations is September 16th. You can nominate an organization you think should be in our network here: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4OA6hxGc5uU6ANT

Currently, our network is comprised of 67 healthcare innovators working across 49 countries. Through a competitive annual selection process, innovators are chosen to join our network based on their innovation, readiness to scale, and the financial sustainability of their approach. Last year, we received more than 160 nominations and selected the top 12 organizations from this pool.

For more details about our network and selection process, please click here.

Questions? Please contact Logan Couce at logan.couce@duke.edu.

We look to grow our network to include companies working in some of the geographies and health care areas listed below, as part of our efforts to scout for the best healthcare innovators globally:

• Geographies of Focus: Brazil, Southern and West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, East Africa, Mexico

• Type of Care Focus: population health management, chronic management for non-communicable diseases (especially as connected with primary care), healthcare financing models

What should innovators expect from here?

Innovations in Healthcare has a two tiered selection process:

• July 25th-September 16th, Nomination Period: Interested innovators can self-nominate through the short online form. Finalist candidates will be notified by October 1st.

• October 1st-October 31st, Application Period: Finalist candidates submit more detailed applications. Internal and external review committees help to assess the finalists. Organizations selected to join our network will be notified in mid-December.




Tuesday 29 March 2016

EdisonChallenge by GE Tech India- A Great experience


You may have come across sayings such as, “Nothing is permanent but Change.” Also a few others would say, “If Change was permanent, it would have stayed”. We evolve and so does our needs and priorities and in the Indian market it makes so much more sense because as a nation we yearn for access, empowerment and rights.


Recently, growing attention has been devoted to the concept of “Open Innovation”, both in academia as well as in practice. Open innovation is “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively.” The concept has emerged from the belief that growth just like innovation has to be inclusive.


Recently, I was at the GE Edison Challenge venue in Bangalore, India where GE invited college/university students to showcase promising innovations that can aid in achieving these goals by a digital-physical solution across industries. The audience and mentor group came from the esteemed pool of GE scientists, leaders and engineers.

From the GE’s manifesto we learnt that GE believes that it’s impossible for any organization to have all the best ideas, and hence they strive to collaborate with experts and entrepreneurs everywhere who share the same passion to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.

As simple it may seem, I was astounded to see the enthusiasm and array of technology categories these students applied in.

“Collaboration between academia and private sector is a necessity of our times”, states Ms. Sukla Chandra. She also highlights how GE’s Edison Challenge is helping bridge the gap and encouraging innovation.”


DRISHTI- a wearable for blind population to assist in Navigation.
Navigation in indoor environments is highly challenging for the severely visually impaired, particularly in spaces visited for the first time. Several solutions have been proposed to deal with this challenge. Although some of them have shown to be useful in real scenarios, they involve an important deployment effort or use artifacts that are not natural for blind users. Drishti (Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute) presented an indoor outdoor navigation system that was designed taking into consideration usability as the quality requirement to be maximized. This solution enables one to identify the position of a person and calculates the velocity and direction of his movements. Using this information, the system determines the user’s trajectory, locates possible obstacles in that route, and offers navigation information to the user.

Health Category dominated with some really quirky innovations that were worth a consideration.

Here is a collage of the interesting ones:

For patients suffering from respiratory diseases, an intelligent remote health monitoring system was proposed by Mesh Bees, Pondicherry Engineering College. The AndroLung app records breath sounds and sends the same to a cloud for diagnosis. Any audible noises associated with breathing as occasionally, wheezing or the gurgling caused by secretions in large airways are audible to the "naked" ear. Lung sounds, also called respiratory sounds or breath sounds, can be auscultated across the anterior and posterior chest walls with a stethoscope. Adventitious lung sounds are referenced as crackles (rales), wheezes (rhonchi), stridor and pleural rubs as well as voiced sounds that include egophony, bronchophony and whispered pectoriloquy. Descriptions and audio recordings for all of these sounds are available with several algorithms and as reference in medical guides. A prescription approval, modification and further course of treatment is advised based on the same.

For people suffering from disabilities and especially the ones that are dependent on wheel chair for movement and tend to spend a lot of time on it- the IIT Kharagpur team came out with an innovative solution. The wheel chair is equipped with Bio potential signal and Magneto Plethysmography (MPG) for Heart rate monitoring and other sensors as well.

The 5 finalist teams of the GE ‪#‎EdisonChallenge 2016 were Out of control (Indian Institute of Science), TechieCardia (IIT Bombay), Agaaz (Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, Rajasthan), 2Pi Radians (R.V. College of Engineering) and Flame (Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology, AMU, Aligarh) and all of them battled it out for the win.

Team FLAME from Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology (#‎ZHCET), AMU, Aligarh presented an idea related to home health/ domestic checkup. The service delivery point is at home where blood testing is done without a prick and AI algorithms are applied. These algorithms are then deployed to the hardware (device). The solution also demonstrated smart data sharing and communication back and forth in the healthcare ecosystem. TEAM FLAME is the winner of #EdisonChallenge 2016.

The idea also indicated a possible use of Predix platform from GE which is built on cloud foundry and is optimized for secure connectivity and analytics at scale - in the cloud and on the edge.

Predix is more than just cool new technology. It's a fundamental platform for the next kind of industrial company. - Bill Ruh, SVP and Chief Digital Officer, GE Digital

And then there were others to detect stroke (Team Chaperone, VIT University), fetal monitoring at the convenience of your home (Priceless brains, Madras Institute of Technology), data driven ICU tracking and alarm system (Order Zero, IIT Guwahati), safe and pure water system (NIT, Karnataka), digital health networks (Vikings, Manipal Institute of Technology) etc.

Outside the health category the challenge also brought other sectors’ related innovations. Team TraFix, IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal presented a unique solution to control traffic congestion on roads. VSM, CMR Institute of Technology presented a solution on vehicle safety based on smart sensors placed on the bumper of the car that help initiate a trigger in cases of collision, accidents etc. and has been integrated with SOS/Ambulance on alert services. Ambulance is guided to the location via GPS system in the car.

Team Out‐of‐Control from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore showcased a solution based on prediction analytics based algorithms that help reduce traffic congestion and mitigate jams. It also has an interesting incentive model and is coupled with short term active measures like ramp metering, dynamic speed limit control and adaptive traffic signal control. Team Out-of-control walked away with the runner up prize.

Some of the ones that I personally like were around:

• Digitally enabled farming (Agaaz, Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, Rajasthan),
• Smart Gas (Green Tech, IIT Roorkee),
• Emission monitoring (NuaJoog Labs; National Institute of Technology Silchar), Smart Parking (Team Chrysalis, NIT Karnataka)
Special mention and Congratulations to the two winners of the 'Social Squad'- Team Phoenix, NIT Raipur and Team ArdIoT, NIT Durgapur.

My Heartiest congratulations to the Team Flame and all others who participated for their valiant efforts and ingenuity throughout the course of GE’s #EdisonChallenge 2016!
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